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 9 miles starting in Biggleswade and finishing at Roxton Lock.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.
Biggleswade is just off the A1 to the south of Sandy.
There is parking at Biggleswade station. If you park in the station there is a fee to pay.
The walk starts from Franklin's Mill, Biggleswade. From the station, follow Station Road, Bonds Lane and Mill Lane to Franklin's Mill.
The walk ends at Roxton Lock, Tempsford.
Distance: 9 miles
Time 4 hours
Surface Types: You will walk across a variety of surfaces ranging from a hard firm surface with stones no larger than 5mm to a hard but variable surface with some loose variable sized stones. You will also walk across grass or uncultivated earth paths, some with ruts and some without. There are also boardwalks in places.
Linear Gradients: There is a section of the walk that has a linear gradient steeper than 1:6. Another section has a linear gradient of between 1:6 and 1:9.
Cross Falls: One short section of the walk near Franklin's Hill and Meccano bridge has a cross fall measuring 1:9 or steeper.
Width Restrictions: There is a minimum width restriction of 600mm along the river bank where the ground drops away on either side.
Steps: There are a number of sets of steps. There are six steps up to the A6001. There are five steps up to and four steps down from the bridge by the gravelworks beyond Biggleswade Common. There are three steps up and three steps down from Twinbridges. The maximum step height is 300mm.
Barriers: Kissing gates: There are 28 kissing gates with a width restriction less than 1000mm. There are two one-way opening gates with a width greater than 750mm, two one-step stiles and four two-step stiles.
Refreshments: There are public houses and shops in Biggleswade, Sandy, Blunham and Tempsford.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are three seats in the churchyard at Biggleswade and two beside the A6001 before Biggleswade Common.
Point 1 The route follows the western bank of the River Ivel from Franklin's Mill and crosses the Meccano Bridge to continue along the eastern bank of the river on Biggleswade Common.
Point 2 Leaving the river, you should head towards the East Coast Mainline Railway and then turn northwards, leaving the Common and following a stream beside the gravel workings to the riverside path.
Point 3 The walk returns to the western bank of the River Ivel passing through grazed meadows. Follow the waymarker posts leading the route away from the river to the A1. Walk along the pavement beside the A1 for 150m and then return to the river at The Riddy, via the Baulk.
Note: The route northwards from New Road to The Baulk is subject to change. Please follow the local waymarking on the ground.
Point 4 On reaching the river, either turn left and continue along The Kingfisher Way through The Riddy to 5; or cross the bridge and follow the inset ‘feeder route' map to Sandy Station.
Point 5 The walk leads you over Girtford Bridge and then northwards along the eastern bank of the River Ivel, crossing to the western side near the Abbey Corrugated factory at South Mills. Walk alongside the factory and follow the road from the factory entrance to the cottages and then turn right to the pass under the disused railway.
Point 6 Crossing the river once again, follow the riverside path past a series of wildfowl lakes and Blunham Mill to Twin Bridges. Continue alongside the river and then follow the waymarking across the meadow towards Tempsford.
Point 7 Follow the track past Tempsford Mill, turning left at Church Street and left again at Ouse Farm to walk through the farm yard. Cross over the River Ivel for the last time and turn right, following the path to Roxton Lock, where the River Ivel meets the River Great Ouse.
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
The Ivel and Ouse Countryside Project is an initiative of Bedfordshire County Council, Mid Beds District Council and The Wildlife Trust to enhance and promote enjoyment of the countryside.