Turvey Trails - 5.2 mile walk

Turvey Trails 5.2 mile walk

The trails start at the village green next to the Post Office in Turvey. The long walk is about 3.5 hours but with plenty of chances for shortcuts back. The short walk is about 2 hours. Turvey has one pub and two shops so you can stock up on snacks before you start or enjoy a meal at the end of your walk. You can pop in to the pub beforehand so your meal is ready when you finish your walk.

How to Get There by Public Transport

BY BUS: The local bus from Bedford or Northampton is the X2 stopping in the centre of the village.
Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am – 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN: For train timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950.
Click here for the National Rail Enquiries website

How to Get There by Car

Turvey is on the A428, 8 miles west of Bedford.
There is street parking off the High Street in Turvey. There is also a small area of parking at the gate onto the A428 at the exit from Picts Mill.

Start/Finish Point

Begin at the Corner Stores and turn left into Carlton Road. Grid Ref: TL941524

Access and General Information

Distance: 5.2 miles (8.5km)
Access Information
Surface Types:
You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size, and hard and firm with no loose stones greater than 10mm in size, to grass or uncultivated earth paths (with and without ruts/mud), to cultivated farmland.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is between 1:6 and 1:9.
Cross Falls: The steepest cross fall is near to Point 5 on the map, with a cross fall of steeper than 1:9.
Width Restrictions: There are no restrictions less than 1000mm.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are 7 1-way opening gates with a width of greater than 750mm, and 8 two-step stiles on the route.
Refreshments: Turvey has a village shop, the Corner Stores, and one public house, the Three Cranes.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are seats in Turvey.

Route

The route directions are shown on the map.

Local History

The name Turvey derives from Torueie or Turueia meaning ‘turf island’, in other words, ‘island with good grass’. The stone bridge spanning the river dates from the 13th century and from then until 1783, most of the Turvey estate was held by the Mordaunt family. The estate was split up in 1786 and one part, including Turvey Abbey, became the property of Charles Higgins, and this was again divided at his death between a nephew and a distant cousin. Descendants of the latter still live at Turvey House by the river.
You can visit the fine parish church of All Saints, dating from Saxon times and containing a beautifully preserved 13th century wall fresco. There is also a map which shows the old enclosures and their names and the network of footpaths – compare this to the network today!
Some of the oldest buildings in Turvey are the cottages around what is now the Central Stores. In days gone by this was a coaching inn called the Tinker of Turvey and dates back to 1150.
Some of the local sayings have also survived but are used less and less. Some of the more unusual include:
I can’t spit sixpence – I’m thirsty
Sloome – neglected appearance
Chelping – talks to much
My young old boy - my brother (as opposed to the old boy (father) or the young old boy who is of course the boyfriend).
Being next to the river, flooding has been an ever present problem for the people of Turvey, and those living in houses closest to the bridge must have a feeling of unease whenever there is a period of prolonged wet weather. The height of a particularly deep flood is marked on the wall of The Three Fyshes pub.
Turvey Abbey is now home to a community of Benedictine nuns, with a community of Benedictine monks next door – both providing retreats and time for rest and reflection. One of the tallest trees in Bedfordshire, a common lime over 36 metres tall, grew here until blown down in a storm in 2002.

Tips for Good Walking

Let a friend know where you are going.
Parts of the walk can be muddy and cross a variety of terrain. Wear clothes/shoes to suit the weather and ground conditions.
Some sections of the trail cross busy roads. Always stop and look both ways to make sure no vehicles are approaching before crossing. Never run across a road and make sure children are guided safely across.
If you have a dog – please make sure it is kept under close control and DOES NOT damage crops or worry livestock. Please take your dog mess away with you.
PLEASE
Keep to the rights of way
Do not leave any litter
Close gates behind you
Do not damage growing crops
Do not pick wild flowers

Think About Your Environment

The notes on the map are a guide to what can be seen when walking in Turvey.
The local rights of way network is the ideal way to explore what the countryside has to offer, and as paths often have hedgerows, streams, woods and ponds next to them, you will be in an ideal position to see and hear your local wildlife.
A notable feature on both walks is the old disused railway line. (Except where indicated this is NOT open to the public). This provides a wildlife corridor through the parish, and is a motorway for all types of animals to move to and from other areas. This can help species to colonise new areas and helps to link important features in the landscape such as woodlands, streams and rivers. The plant life along the railway line provides a place for birds and small mammals to next, and supplies food for this wildlife in the form of berries, nuts and insects.
If you are interested in the natural and local history of your parish, and you live in Bedfordshire, contact Bedfordshire County Council on 01234 228426 for details of the Parish Partnership Scheme. This scheme helps local people to find out about their parish and shows how to make practical improvements to the local environment.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to: Bedfordshire County Council, Rod Petty, Roger Forrester and the late Sister Regina, Brother Herbert and Brother John from the Monastery of Christ Our Saviour for the nature notes. Some of the history information comes from the website www.turvey.homestead.com. This leaflet has been produced by Turvey Parish Paths Partnership (P3) group. Should you have any comments or find any problems please contact the community paths team on 01234 363222.