Ridgmont Clay Way Leisure Rail Walk

Leisure Rail Through Marston Vale: Ridgmont ‘Clay Way’ Circular Walk

There are many opportunities for enjoyable walks from stations on the Bedford to Bletchley rail line. The walks associated to this leaflet (there are four: Fenny Stratford Circular Walk, Stewartby to Millbrook walk via Stewartby Lake, Bow Brickhill Circular Walk, Ridgmont ‘Clay Way’ Circular Walk) are suggestions, suitable for most ages, but not advisable with pushchairs. The length of the walks is generally between 1 and 2 hours, depending on stops made at places of interest. These walks all begin and end at stations on the Marston Vale rail line.
This 3 mile walk starts from Ridgmont Station.

How To Get There by Passenger Transport

BY BUS – Ridgmont is on bus routes between Bedford and Leighton Buzzard. Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am – 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN – Ridgmont station, on the Bedford to Bletchley line, is approximately 1 mile from Ridgmont village. There are no trains on Sundays. For full timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950.
Click here for National Rail Enquiries website

How to Get There by Car

Ridgmont station is just off a turning along the A421 between Brogborough and junction 13 of the M1. There isn’t a designated car park, off street parking is the best option.

Start/Finish Point

Ridgmont Station. Grid Ref SP 966376.
Note that there is no route map available.

Access and General Information

Distance: 3 miles
Access Information
Surface Types: You will walk across both uncultivated and cultivated land.
Linear Gradient: A large part of the walk has a linear gradient of 1:6. There are other variable linear gradients ranging from 1:6 – 1:9 to 1:14 – 1:17.
Cross Falls: Its steepest cross fall is 1:10 -1:15.
Width Restriction: None recorded - see barriers below.
Steps: There are six steps on a sloping bank crossing the A421; maximum step height is 200mm.
Barriers: There are three one-way opening gates with a width restriction of more than 750mm.
Refreshments: There is a café in Brogborough.
Public Toilets: None on route
Picnic Tables: There are six picnic tables at Brogborough picnic site.
Seats: There are two seats located in the A421 underpass and seats at Brogborough picnic site.

Ridgmont ‘Clay Way’ Circular Walk

Leaving Ridgemont Station, turn right towards Ridgmont village (1.5 miles distant) and take the bridleway, on the left just before reaching the M1 overbridge. The bridleway signs bears the ‘Clay Way’ motif. Look out for these throughout the walk.
Continue ahead, with a field to the left and the M1 to the right for about 100m before turning left and taking a path across the field. Follow signs ahead to a grassed path with hedgerows to your right. The path bears left passing a farm, towards the railway and industrial park. Cross the railway by a bridge then follow the path straight ahead towards the Roundhouse.
Bear left at the ruins of the Roundhouse, towards the A421 trunk road, but descend to the right just before reaching a blue bridge over an old wagonway. The wagonway is now a footpath and bridleway. At the bottom of the slope turn right and follow the path down hill. At the bottom, turn left and walk under the A421. Take a sharp left turn immediately on the other side and walk up a steep slope and then right onto an old road. This leads to Brogborough Hill Picnic Site (to the left). Before reaching this site, on the right is access to the FOREST TRAIL and Reynold Wood. This site was bought by the Woodland Trust in 1992. Since then, more than 60,000 trees have been planted to create a new wood within the Forest of Marston Vale.
Impressive views across west Bedfordshire can be seen on a clear day. There is good signage provided for additional possible walks to Holcot Wood and to Cranfield and Bromham following the Clay Way.
Cross the picnic site and take the steps down to the A421 and take great care in crossing this busy road. Alternatively, retrace your steps back to the wagonway under the road. If you have crossed the road you need to cross the wagonway by the blue bridge (mentioned earlier) and descend to the wagonway path. Turn sharp left and walk under the bridge, uphill, towards Brogborough village. The Industrial Park, called "Marston Gate" is to the left. The wagonway ends in a children's playground. Bear right then left towards a lane leading onto a cycle path. This leads through Marston Gate and back to Ridgmont Station.

Acknowledgements

This leaflet is published by the Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users' Association.