Leighton Buzzard Circular Walk

Leighton Buzzard Circular Walk

This walk can be enjoyed all year round with wonderful views which, on a clear day, allow you to see the White Lion at Whipsnade. During early May the bluebells are usually at their best and the walk through the wood is enchanting.

How To Get There By Passenger Transport

BY BUS – Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am – 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN – For timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950.
Click here for the National Rail Enquiries website

How To Get There By Car

Leighton Buzzard lies to the north of the A505, about 8 miles to the west of Dunstable.
Parking is available at Leighton Buzzard Station car park.

Start/Finish Point

This circular route starts from Leighton Buzzard railway station car park.

Access and General Information

Length: 4½ miles (7.2km)
Time:
Access Information:
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones larger than 5mm, to hard and firm with no stones greater than 10mm, to hard and firm with some loose stones, none greater than 10mm, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts and mud.
Linear Gradient: There are linear gradients steeper than 1:6, of between 1:6-1?9, between 1:10-1:13, betwen 1:14-1:17 and 1:18 or less. The steepest gradients are from Knaves Hill, through Linslade Bluebell Woods and down to the canal towpath.
Cross Falls: There are sections with cross falls of 1:9 or steeper, of between 1:10-1:15, between 1:16-1:20, between 1:21-1:25 and of 1:26 or less. The steepest cross falls are from Knaves Hill, through Linslade Bluebell Boods and down to the canal towpath.
Width Restriction: There are no width restrictions less than 1000mm.
Steps: There are 70 steps at the railway bridge at Leighton Buzzard station with a maximum step height of 170mm. There are 4 steps at the canal bridge near The Globe with a maximum step height of 300mm.
Barriers: There is one kissing gate with a restriction of less than 1000mm and one staggered barrier with a minimum restriction of less than 950mm.
Refreshments: All facilities are available in Leighton Buzzard.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: There is one picnic table at the children's play area near to Leighton Buzzard station.
Seats: There are seats at the recreation ground near to the station, at Leighton lock and at the canal bridge in Leighton Buzzard.

Route Description

From the station car-park, take the railway bridge across the tracks to the Linslade exit. Walk up Southcourt Drive, turn right into Southcourt Avenue and first left into Rock Lane. Immediately cross Rock Lane and take the footpath opposite. This leads past a school into Leopold Road. Continue walking in the same direction to the junction with Soulbury Road and cross over to St Mary's Way. At the top of the hill (post box on the left hand corner), cross over to a footpath opposite. After 50m you will come to a T junction. Take the left hand path and follow this round, ignoring all other turnings and after a few minutes you should emerge onto the road called Knaves Hill.

On the opposite side of the road you will see a wooden gate. This will lead you into a set-aside field planted with young trees. Take the bridle path leading straight up from the gate to the brow of the hill. From here you will have fine views all around Leighton-Linslade. On a clear day it is possible to see the White Lion at Whipsnade.

At this point you will meet another bridlepath coming up the hill from your right. Turn left, and about 150 metres further on you will see a narrow path leading off on your right into Linslade Bluebell Wood. If the bluebells are in flower (usually in late April and early May), it is well worth making a circuit of the wood. After ten yards, the entrance path joins a circular track (not waymarked). Turn left. At one point you will come close to an open field on your left, with views of the main line railway. The footpath now bears uphill and to the right, running parallel to Stoke Road (the traffic noise is clearly audible).

Continue along this footpath until it begins to climb the hill and leave Stoke Road behind. You will come to a meeting point of several paths, with a prominent tree in the middle. Take the path leading downhill. After a short distance the path exits from the wood and crosses an old orchard to a hedge opposite. You will pass a mobile phone communication mast on your right. At the tall metal fence turn left and follow the path down to a kissing gate leading onto Stoke Road.

Cross the road and turn right. At the far end of the railway bridge you will see a footpath sign leading down to the canal. Turn right at the canal and follow the path to the nearby bridge. Cross the bridge, and turn right along the tow path. The Globe public house is a popular spot during summer, with a children's play area and outside seating. Continue along the canal past the lock and later Tesco supermarket to the road bridge over the canal.

Walk over the canal bridge to the nearby pedestrian crossing. Cross to the far side of Wing Road and turn left. Turn right into New Road. About fifty yards on your left is a Baptist Chapel with a paved footpath leading into Church Road. Turn right into Church Road towards the Hunt Hotel. Cross the road and take the lane that runs to the right of St Barnabas' Church. Follow the main footpath down through the recreation ground.

You will see an iron footbridge straight ahead, which dates back to Victorian times, and carries the footpath over the railway into Linslade. Just before the footbridge, take the path on your right. This will lead you back to Leighton Buzzard railway station.

Acknowledgements

This is one of a series of walks produced by the Leighton Buzzard Group of the Ramblers' Association.