Pavenham - two walks of 5 and 3¼ miles

Introduction

Footpaths and Bridleways in the Parish of Pavenham

Formed by a U-bend of the meandering Great Ouse, Pavenham is not only one of the oldest settlements along the river valley in Bedfordshire, but also one of the most attractive of the riverside villages.
This 5 mile walk follows the footpaths and bridleways around the village. An alternative shorter route of 3.25 miles can be walked using the 'Short Cut' as decribed below.

How To Get There By Passenger Transport

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How To Get There By Car

Pavenham is 6 miles north-west of Bedford and 2.5 miles east of the A6 at Clapham. From Oakley cross Stafford Bridge and continue into Pavenham Road. The Village Hall is on your right near the playing field.

Start/Finish Point

The suggested starting point is at the Village Hall, Pavenham. This is located about half a mile east of the centre of the village on the road to Oakley. Grid Ref SP998555

Access and General Information

Distance: 5 miles   Time: between 2 and 2.5 hours 
Shorter Route Distance: 3.25 miles   Time: between 1.5 and 2 hours

Access Information:
Surface Types: You can expect to walk across varied surfaces ranging from a hard, firm surface with stones no larger than 5mm to grass or uncultivated earth with and without ruts, to farmland that has been cultivated.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is between 1:6 and 1:9 on FP 7 and FP 2. Other linear gradients are 1:10 - 1:13 on FP 7, and FP 2.
Cross Falls: The steepest cross falls are 1:10 on FP 7 and 1:15 on FP 2.
Width Restriction: None recorded.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are 3 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, two 1-step stiles, three 1-way opening gates with a width greater than 750mm, and twelve 2-step stiles.
Refreshments: There is a pub in Pavenham village - The Cock.
Public Toilets:
None recorded.
Picnic Tables:
None on route.
Seats: There is a seat at the playing fields on FP 7.

Route Description

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5 mile Walk
Start from the Village Hall. Follow FP 7 along the edge of the playing field, with the woods on your left. At the top of the field, pass through the kissing gate onto the golf course and continue following FP 7. The river can be glimpsed through the wood on the right. Turn left onto FP 13. The path now traverses the golf course and as it climbs, gives fine views of the course and, to the north and east, of the river valley and the escarpment behind it.

On reaching Church Lane, turn right towards Felmersham. After about fifty yards, turn left onto BW 9. As you walk along the bridleway, there are splendid panoramic views to the south and west across the river valley to Bedford and Stevington. On clear days, Stevington mill and the Chiltern Hills escarpment can easily be seen. Pass the junctions first with FP10 on the left then FP14 on the right. In springtime a short northward diversion up the latter path can be taken to see the bluebells in the wood. For a shorter walk, turn left onto FP 10 and follow the directions under "A Short Cut."

At FP 8, turn left through the farm gate and go down the hill, over the stiles to the back of Poultry Farm and The Retreat to join FP 11. Go past the former chapel to the High Street.

At the High Street, turn left and cross over the road. Go onto FP 5 at the rear of Derwent Cottages ( at one time these were the village Workhouse ) and follow the path across the pasture meadows to join FP Al. To the right, FP Al goes to Stevington and, just prior to the parish boundary, traverses, via a boardwalk, a Site of Special Scientific Interest where grows the great horsetail, a leafless and flowerless plant so ancient that it goes back to the coal forests of carboniferous times. There is another bluebell wood a short distance further on.

At FP Al, turn left and follow the path along more pasture meadows to the bottom of Mill Lane. Cross diagonally over Mill Lane and go down the back of "River Row" Cross the stile and follow FP 2 eastwards until you reach the Pavenham Road at the start of the Causeway. Access is permitted into Stafford Bridge Meadow, which is managed as part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. This is a traditional hay meadow alongside the River Great Ouse where conservation management will help to maintain and improve the wildlife interest in the meadow and surrounding hedges. An ideal place for a picnic or a gentle stroll by the river. Turn left and follow the road back to the village hall.


Short Cut
Start from the Village Hall. Follow FP 7 along the edge of the playing field, with the woods on your left. At the top of the field, pass through the kissing gate onto the golf course and continue following FP 7. The river can be glimpsed through the wood on the right. Turn left onto FP 13. The path now traverses the golf course and as it climbs, gives fine views of the course and, to the north and east, of the river valley and the escarpment behind it.

On reaching Church Lane, turn right towards Felmersham. After about fifty yards, turn left onto BW 9. As you walk along the bridleway, there are splendid panoramic views to the south and west across the river valley to Bedford and Stevington. On clear days, Stevington mill and the Chiltern Hills escarpment can easily be seen. Pass the junctions first with FP10 on the left then FP14 on the right. In springtime a short northward diversion up the latter path can be taken to see the bluebells in the wood. Up until now you have been following the main route for the short cut turn left onto FP 10. Cross the footbridge and go down the headland of the arable field with the ditch/hedge to your left. Continue across the fields to join FP 11. Go over the stile to the left and follow the path to the top of Weavers Lane. Turn right down the lane and cross the High Street to FP 3. The building to the right is the former village school - note the inscription above the clock. At the field entry, turn left onto FP17 (or right FP3) and go around the headland to join FP 2. Turn left and follow FP 2 to the junction with FP 4. Turn left onto FP 4 and follow up the road. Turn right back to the village hall.

Acknowledgements

This leaflet has been prepared by the Pavenham Group members of the Parish Paths Partnership in conjunction with Officers in the Environmental Services section of Bedfordshire County Council, and is published with grant aid from the Countryside Commission.




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