The 21 mile (34km) walk following the course of the River Ivel from its source at Ivel Springs in Baldock, through the towns and villages of the Ivel Valley, to Roxton Lock, provides a perfect introduction to the Ivel Valley countryside, its wildlife and history.
This section of the walk is 6 miles starting in Baldock and finishing in Arlesey.The route is defined by signposts and waymarker posts bearing customised Kingfisher Way waymarker discs. These in conjunction with the map and directions provided in the route description below will enable you to follow the route with ease.
Please note: The section of the Kingfisher Way between New Road, Sandy, and Biggleswade Common is no longer open to the public. Please read this notice for the alternative route.
The start of The Kingfisher Way is reached from Baldock station. Baldock can be found on the A507 from Bedfordshire.
Car parking is available at Baldock and Arlesey stations, and at Stotfold. If you park in the station there is a fee to pay.
The waymarked trail starts at Ivel Springs.
Grid Ref TL 245 342. This walk is covered by Ordnance Survey Landranger sheet 153 and Pathfinder sheets 1049, 1048, 1025 and 1002.
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 hours
Surface Types: You will walk across a variety of surfaces ranging from a hard firm surface with some loose stones no larger than 10mm to grass or uncultivated earth path with ruts/mud.
Linear Gradient: There are two sections of the walk that have a linear gradient of 1:6 - 1:9.
Cross Falls: None recorded.
Width Restriction: There is a minimum width restriction of 590mm between Bowman and Ivel Mills.
Steps: There are two sets of steps, the first set is between the A1 and Baldock, there are 17 steps, each step is 200mm high. The second set is at the crossing of the A507, there are 11 steps, each step is 100mm high.
PLEASE TAKE CARE WHEN CROSSING THE A507
Barriers: Kissing gates: There are ten kissing gates with a width restriction less than 1000mm. There is one kissing gate with a width restriction of between 1000 - 1500mm. There are three kissing gates with a width restriction greater than 1500mm. There are three two-step stiles along the walk. There is also a squeeze gate by Stotfold Mill with a width restriction of 240mm.
Refreshments: There are public houses and shops in Baldock, Stotfold and Arlesey.
Public Toilets: None on route
Picnic Tables: There are three picnic tables at the playing field in Stotfold.
Seats: There is seating between points 4 and 5 on the map and between points 8 and 9.
The start of the Kingfisher Way is reached from Baldock station by turning right onto Station Road to pass underneath the railway bridge. 20m after the last house on your right, turn left along a track onto the wildflower meadow at Ivel Springs.
Follow the waymarked trail across the wildflower meadow and climb the steps by the bench. Follow the path over the bridge and bear to your right for 200m before heading down a flight of steps then turn left to a stile. Cross the stile and turn right to follow the field boundary and then cross another stile, turning left to follow the path around the floodwater lagoon. At the kissing gate turn left and pass with care under the A1 along Nortonbury Lane, before taking the footpath on your right at the sharp left hand bend in the road.
Where the paths fork, bear left to reach an old iron bridge and a sleeper bridge. Cross the meadows, using 3 more bridges and follow the path along the hedgerow to a kissing gate. Turn right to pass the farm buildings and then head over a bridge to arrive at the lake at Radwell Mill. Turn right and follow the road for 200m before taking the footpath on your left through the paddock.
Follow the path around the lake, keeping the netting fence on your left and then cross the lane and use the sleeper bridge. The field edge path leads to the Stotfold Bypass. With care, cross the road and follow the signpost direction onto the disused Baldock Road. Turn left along the road and then right alongside the River Ivel and through 3 small fields.
On reaching Mill Lane in Stotfold, turn left and then follow the track which is immediately on your right, which leads onto meadowland. Follow the path around to your right to meet the river and keep the river on your right until you reach Ford Bridge.
Take the path through the riverside playing field and around the end of the football pitch. Take the first turning on your right into the housing estate. Follow the road straight ahead and continue along the footpath which bears to the right and passes alongside the industrial units to meet Taylor's Road.
With care, walk along Taylor's Road, passing Taylor's Mill and Ivel Mill before following the footpath to your left. Continue along the footpath and turn left on reaching Mill Lane in Astwick. Follow the waymarking in front of Bowman's Mill, across 2 small pastures and onto Astwick Road opposite St Guthlac's Church.
Leave Astwick via the bridleway from Astwick Road and follow the waymarking around the sewage works before following the wide grass path back towards the river. On reaching the river, turn left to keep the river on your right and head towards Arlesey.
Turn away from the river along the field boundary and follow the waymarking to the bypass. With care, cross the road and follow the path southwards and then turn right to follow Pix Brook. On reaching an area of tarmac, either turn left and then right along Old Oak Close to Arlesey Station, or, if you want to continue along the Kingfisher Way, bear right to rise up to the pavement and follow the waymarking and directions given in the Walk 2 leaflet.
This walk has been developed by the Ivel and Ouse Countryside Project. If you encounter any problems or would like further information on this or any of our other walks please contact us at:
Ivel and Ouse Countryside Project, The Smithy, The Village, Old Warden, Biggleswade, SG18 9HQ
Tel 01767 626326