Walk Around Little Staughton

Walk Around Little Staughton

This walk uses those rights of way with the better surfaces for walking all year round. They are mainly along farm tracks, field-edge paths and quiet roads.

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 National Rail Enquiries website

How to Get There by Car

Little Staughton lies about 8 miles (13km) north of Bedford. Take the B660 out of Bedford until you reach the village of Keysoe, then turn right following the signs to Little Staughton.
There is on road parking in the village. Please park thoughtfully and carefully.

Start/Finish Point

The walk starts and finishes at the Village Hall in the High Street.

Access and General Information

Distance: 4½ miles (7 km)
Time:
Access Information:
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones greater than 5mm in size, to hard but variable surfaces with loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with ruts and/or mud. Please note that the route between Points F and H on the map may become very rutted and muddy after wet weather.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is steeper than 1:6 (for a short distance on either side of the bridge at Point E on the map, and for a short distance at the far side of the wood). Other gradients range from between 1:6 to 1:9, between 1:10-1:13, between 1:14-1:17 and 1:18 or less.
Cross Falls: The greatest cross falls are steeper than 1:9 between Points A and B on the map. Elsewhere, there are cross falls of between 1:10-1:15, between 1:16-1:20, between 1:21-1:25 and of 1:26 or less.
Width Restriction: There is a minimum width restriction of 940mm between the trees on the path between Points F and H.
Steps: The maximum step height is 90mm on the bridge between Points F and H.
Barriers: There is one kissing gate with a restriction of less than 1000mm (you will encounter this only if you wish to use the seats in the churchyard).
Refreshments: There is a pub, the Crown at Green End (Point H). There is also a shop.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are seats in the churchyard and a bench at the junction of Staughton Moor Road and the main road through the village (at Point B).

Route Description

From the Village Hall (V) walk north along the road past the chapel (see (i) overleaf) until the view opens out at the top of Spring Hill, so called because of the numbers of springs along this slope. Turn right along Church Lane to the gate to the churchyard (ii). Take the farm track to the right of the churchyard and walk out along the ridge overlooking Great Staughton until you reach the moated area. Continue straight ahead alongside the moat (iii).

At the far end of the moat (A) turn right and follow the second side of the moat. Continue in the same direction downhill until reaching a young wood on the right (before the farm track bears left). The path turns right along the edge of the young wood and slopes down to meet the brook. Follow the brook to the bridge and cross over. Immediately turn right and follow the left-hand side of the brook along a grassy bank. Do not cross the brook at the farm track.

Follow round the edge of the field until you meet the Staughton Moor road. Turn right along the road (care needed as there is very little verge here) and walk alongside the Chapel Burial Ground (iv) to the junction with the main road through the village (B).
You can shorten the walk here by turning right and walking back along the road to the village hall. Otherwise, turn left and after about 300yds turn right onto an unmetalled lane towards Wickey Farm (C).

A short detour here of about 200yds along the road takes you to the village shop.

After about 350yds along the bridleway (D), a yellow- topped post on the right indicates a bridleway to the left of a ditch. Take this farm track to a small wood called Hall Meadow (E). Continue walking in the same direction through the edge of the wood and out into a large field (v).

Still in the same straight line, the bridleway follows the hedge on your right to the comer of the field. There the path leaves the field over a bridge and out to the road (F).

You can shorten the walk here. Turn right along West End road. This road has a wide grass verge. At the junction with the main road through the village (G), turn right. The village hall is a short distance along the road.

Otherwise cross over the road and take the field-edge path which runs beside the gated lane (vi). The lane can be very wet at this end. At the comer of the field take the lane down the hill. As the ground begins to level out look for the 'pedestrian paths' on the right hand side of the lane as these may avoid the wettest parts.

Where the lane reaches Green End road (H), turn right. This takes you past (or to!) The Crown pub (vii) along to the junction with the main road through the village. Turn right and follow the road up Spring Hill to the village hall.

Points of Historical Interest

(i) Little Staughton Chapel was built in 1957. There used to be a very large chapel in the village but that was in the way of aircraft when Little Staughton Airfield was created in the Second World War. The old chapel had to be demolished, along with houses and two pubs, the Bushel and Strike and the Shoulder of Mutton. Little Staughton was known as the Lost Village because so many buildings were destroyed.

(ii) All Saints Church. There has been a church on this site since at least the 1311 century. In 1900 the steeple was hit by lightning and it had to be replaced. The stone benches in the porch are well worn. Centuries ago the local priests would have sat there offering help and advice to the villagers as well as basic education to the children. As you leave the churchyard behind, you enter Cambridgeshire.

(iii) In 1275 Sir Adam de Creting (one of Edward 1's knights) was granted land to build a motte and bailey castle. Over the centuries this area became a fortified manor house. The moat and earthworks are all that remain today.

(iv) The burial ground for the chapel used to be across the road from the old chapel. In the burial ground is the old Sunday School building.

(v) In the mid-1800s there was a grand mansion in the middle of this field. Halfway along this hedge you would have walked into the grounds of the mansion. A Captain Latour had the mansion built but then went bankrupt a few years later. It is not known why the house was pulled down. It only existed for about 50 years.

(vi) This lane is called Scott Street.

(vii) The Crown is the last of five pubs in the village. Two were demolished to make way for the airfield and the Kangaroo and the Carpenter's Arms are now private houses. The original Crown pub was thatched but that burnt down in 1971.

Acknowledgements

Produced by Little Staughton P3 Group supported by Bedfordshire County Council and Little Staughton Parish Council 2004.