Parish Paths in Henlow

Parish Paths in Henlow

How To get There By Public 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

Henlow lies on the A6001 about 4.5 miles south of Biggleswade. It lies just to the north of the A507, about 2 miles east of Shefford.
Parking is available near the church in Henlow. Please do not obstruct the entrance.

Access and General Information

Walk 1
Access Information
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is between 1:10-1:13.
Cross Falls: None recorded.
Width Restriction: There are two width restrictions of 950mm between St Mary's Church and where the route joins the A507.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are two kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm and one 1-way opening gate with a width greater than 750mm.
Refreshments: There is a pub at Henlow - The Five Bells - and shops.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are seats at point 4.

Walk 2
Access Information
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts, to farmland.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is steeper than 1:6 between points 4 and 5.
Cross Falls: There is a cross fall of steeper than 1:9 between points 4 and 5.
Width Restriction: There is a width restriction of 560mm between posts at the A507 at point 6, and one of 400mm across the road.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are three kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, and two 1-way opening gates with a width greater than 750mm, and one two-step stile.
Refreshments: There is a pub at Henlow - The Five Bells - and shops.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are seats along the tree-lined walk past Henlow Grange.

Walk 1

Approximate time required: 45 mins

1. Leave the church and walk towards the Five Bells public house. Take the first turning on the left into Park Lane and pass the old infant school, now a private residence. Note the inscription over the entrance. On your right is the Village Hall (rear) and opposite is the Raynsford Lower School. Also on the left is the Recreation Ground with old and new pavilions, all well used for sporting activities.
This area was once parkland. Note the magnificent topiary in the garden of the old gatehouse.
2. Bear left, skirting the playing fields. A signpost on the right shows the way between a house and a brickwall which leads to a kissing gate. Within 50 yards look for a way-mark post, straight ahead along fence on the right. Leaving the present path, walk diagonally to the left, keeping the houses on your right. Sometimes there are sheep in this field. Look for another waymark post in the middle of the field.
3. Go forward to the hedge line and forward with fence on right, climb the stile and walk forward, crossing the front of what was once a quarry (now Henlow Aggregates). With the road on your right follow a line of trees towards a fence.
4. At the fence end turn left through an avenue of trees, where black squirrels are often seen. Henlow Grange will soon come into view.
5. Continue forward to Henlow Middle School, past the Boyd Memorial Scout Field, presented by Lord Boyd, on your right and back to the church.

Walk 1 Map

Walk 2

Approximate time required: 1hr 20 mins

1. With the church on your left, walk forward towards the two gatehouses, which at one time formed the main entrance to the Grange. Pass the Boyd Memorial Scout Field on the left and continue through a set of gates, the entrance to Henlow Middle School. Keeping to the left, pass to the side of a field gate and into the parkland of Henlow Grange.
2. Carry on forward, passing the Grange, with its imposing gates, on the left. Watch for traffic as this can be a busy area. Continue forward through an avenue of trees. Both black and grey squirrels can be seen along this part of the walk.
3. At the A507 turn left and look for a stile on the opposite side of the road (approximately 70 yards). Cross with great care.
4. Climb the stile and walk forward, with the lake on your right. This disused quarry is usually inhabited by swans, mallards and coots. It is also a good place for blackberries in autumn. Carry on to another gate and pass to the side. Horses and ponies are usually grazing in the paddock on the right. Further on near a tree on the left is a waymark post. Turn right here, towards the trees which surround another lake. This is well fished by man and heron! Keep to the track and head for a lone tree and another waymark post
5. Turn right and continue along the path. At the end of a wired fence (waymark post), turn left across a field heading for another waymark post. There are lovely open views from here with the Chiltern Hills in the distance. Now turn right, with a ditch to your left, and soon the A507 is reached. Take care in crossing.
6. On reaching the shared cycle/pedestrian path turn left, and walk towards a plane tree where there is a signpost. Pass through a kissing gate and on towards another Kissing gate into the field and towards yet another kissing gate. Walk between a fence and the backs of gardens on to the road (keep close to the fence on the left).
7. Bear left at signpost, then right on to Park Lane skirting the recreation ground. Pass Raynsford Lower School and into Church Street, turning right to the church.

Walk 2 Map


A Short History of Henlow

Henlow is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086 AD). The derivation of the name is obscure. One explanation is that "Hen" is Celtic for "old" and "loe" means "hill". The village has ties with the Pilgrim Fathers through Elizabeth Tilley, who was baptised in the village church and sailed in the Mayflower to New England in 1620. The village is surrounded by farmland, mainly arable, with a few copses. There are several lakes and pits where gravel and sand has been extracted. These have become interesting water features bringing water fowl into the area.

The Greensand Ridge lies to the north and the Chiltern Hills to the south. In the village there are several buildings of historical and architectural interest; the Mailings, two old school buildings and the Crown public house. The 13th century church, St Mary's, is the focal point of the village. Until the latter part of the 19th century there were many thatched cottages; now only one survives, in Hitchin Road. There was also a wheelwright, bakery, dairy, butcher, Alms Houses and six public houses! The village sign, situated next to the pump was commissioned by the Parish Council in 1993 with money donated by the late Robert Purdew, of Henlow Grange.

The pump, built in 1897 (presumably on the site of the original pump), commemorates the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne. It was restored in 1977 to mark Queen Elizabeth ll's Silver Jubilee. The village hall, built in 1893 was once the Vicar's Club room and is well used for social activities. Henlow Grange, a Grade II Georgian building stands on the site of two manors, Llanthony, and Henlow Warden. It was the site of religious foundations until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In the past this was a family residence, one of whom was Lord Boyd of Merton. The grange has been a health farm for the past 35 years. The village Lower School is called Raynsford after a past owner of Henlow Grange.