This circular walk from Woburn is waymarked and takes you through the countryside of the seven parishes where you can enjoy all types of flora, woodlands, wild life and see places of interest.
Woburn is situated in south-west Bedfordshire, between the M1 and the A5, just south-east of Milton Keynes.
There is parking in Park Street (opposite St Mary's Church).
The recommended start point is the public car park in Park Street, Woburn, opposite the Parish Church.
Distance: 14 miles (22 km)
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 surface with loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts to farmland.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is steeper than 1:6 at various points all along the route, and especially between points 20 and 22, between points 9 and 10, between points 15 and 16 and between points 3 and 4. Elsewhere, there are gradients between 1:6-1:9, 1:10-1:13 and less.
Cross Falls: There is a cross fall of 1:9 or steeper.
Width Restriction: There is a width restriction of 650mm between wooden posts off of Station Road in Ridgmont.
Steps: The maximum step height is 330mm between points 1 and 2 in Woburn Park.
Barriers: There are 17 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, 3 one-way opening gates with a width of less than 750mm, 3 one-way opening gates with a width of greater than 750mm, two 2-step stiles, one 1-step stile and 1 staggered barrier with a restriction of less than 950mm.
Refreshments: There are public houses, cafes and shops in the villages of Woburn, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Eversholt and Ridgmont.
Public Toilets: In Woburn Park.
Picnic Tables: None recorded.
Seats: There are seats on the path between Segenhoe Church and Ridgmont and at Eversholt Corner off Brook Lane.
Turn left out of the car park into Market Place, left at the war memorial until you come to Ivy Lodge (1). Take the footpath through the kissing gate, follow the path through a second kissing gate into Woburn Deer Park (2). Follow the path that runs to the left at roughly 10 o'clock when standing with your back to the gate. You should follow the short posts across the park that lead to the Abbey public car park (3). Gift shop and café are close by on your right as well as the public conveniences.
Proceed along the public road. At the top of the rise (where the road bears right) continue straight over to the park footpath marked by GRW posts. At the park boundary go through the metal gate, over stile and follow path bearing right through newly planted trees.
At boundary through the kissing gate into a wooded copse. Bear right and emerge into open field. Continue straight down hill. At field boundary go over kissing gate, cross footbridge and over another footbridge. Keep diagonally left to another footbridge. Diagonally left again to sign post (4).
Cross metal gate across bridge with footbridge in middle of field, continue in same direction to marker post where the path curves to wired metal gate on to road. Turn left. After passing Eversholt School House, Parish Church (5) on left and public house on right, continue down road past the churchyard and opposite recreation ground, turn down Brook End Lane.
At Dove Cottage continue on bridleway, turn left over footbridge and stile then right along field edge. Go over stile and walk along edge of next field with brook on right. Over another stile, turn left on to bridleway, The Baulk. Follow The Baulk until you reach a minor road at New Water End. Cross road, through gate and continue up track which rises gently and through a gate, passing a plantation on the right known as Briar Stockings.
Nearing the top of the incline there is a pond on the left and a metal gate which separates the track from the grass field beyond. Pass through the field, walking slightly left towards the fence at the side of the farmhouse. Here there is a metal farm gate.
Climb over the stile and join the bridle path. Proceed along the short length between Wakes Farm and cultivated land, bear right, on the right is a young plantation. The path continues alongside the wood until it meets the road known as Cobblers Lane.
Cross Cobblers Lane and, a little to the left, follow the track uphill. At the top cross a bridleway and follow path with hedge on your left and on past Maltings Spinney (6). At the opening, turn left, leaving GRW at end of woods. Segenhoe Manor and gardens can be seen at this point.
Continue along path, go through opening, through a field of freshly planted trees, over another kissing gate then straight across to the kissing gate into the churchyard (7). The church was built in the early 13th century and was the church for Ridgmont until the 1850s.
Cross the churchyard and go through the wooden gate. Cross road through gap and follow the footpath through a metal gate until you come to Church Street. Continue along Church Street to the High Street of Ridgmont Village turning left past All Saints Ridgmont (8) (9). Just before Ridgmont School turn right down Station Road towards Ridgmont Station.
Walk downhill until you come to the public footpath on the left-hand side, a steep embankment. Cross diagonally, 2 fields to the small footbridge and diagonally to Mill Road. Turn left passing the Woburn Experimental Farm on the right. Continue to the junction with the White Horse Public House on the right. Turn right, School Lane, past Husborne Crawley School (10). Continue until you come to Crow Lane. A little further up the road is St James Church (11). Turn left into Crow Lane and the end of the cul de sac, the footpath continues through a kissing gate into a plantation area. This footpath goes round the extremities of Crawley Park. Go through kissing gate and go straight on. Turn right (about 50 yards further on), Crawley Park and House on the right hand side. Follow the footpath around the edge of the field until it turns left, with houses on the right. Continue until you come to Horsepool Lane, Aspley Guise, through a kissing gate.
Cross Horsepool Lane into Gypsy Lane. Turn right at the public footpath and walk along the back of the allotments. Turn left into Spinney Lane at Aspley Guise Lower School. Pass Glade House (12) thatched cottage on the left. Turn right into Woburn Lane at the end of Spinney Lane and continue to Aspley Guise Village Square. Careful at the bottom of Woburn Lane as it leads straight on to the main Bedford Road which can be difficult to cross. There is a Post Office, General Store and pubs for refreshment in the Square.
Cross over main road, walk past Memorial Hall, Evangelical Free Church, into Church Street. Pass Guise House (13) on the right. One hundred yards further along is Aspley House (14) which can be seen through a wrought iron gate.
At St Botolph's Church (15), some parts of which date back to the 13th century, turn left over the road and follow public footpath which is to the left of the churchyard, up the hill.
Go through gate into field and walk straight across to opposite gate which leads into a lane. After approx. 150 yards, turn right through gate on to the common (recreation ground). Keeping to the right, walk round to the gate leading on to the golf course. There are good viewing points from the common over Milton Keynes (16).
When crossing the golf course, beware of golf balls! Keep to the footpath, you will find a Waymarker post between the fairways showing which direction to take. Walk straight across, turning left at lane (Mill Lane), follow the lane through the golf course, bearing right between buildings.
On leaving the golf course, carry straight on over a little brook and on to a residential road. Turn left at T junction and follow road round a right hand bend to another T junction by Fulbrook Middle School. Cross over and go down the footpath opposite, between houses. On emerging from the footpath, turn left and walk up the main road and on into Woburn Sands High Street (17) with its parade of shops on the left hand side.
You will pass the Institute and Memorial Green in the middle of the High Street on the right. Cross road at zebra crossing, proceed to the mini-roundabouts (18). You need the small road (3rd left for a driver) leading to the Church (sign posted). A short distance up Church Road, fork left along Sandy Lane (19) and walk approx 600 yards, enter Aspley Heath woods left through the kissing gate, bear right for about 25 yards and then up a steep slope (20).
Turn right at top through pine woodland. The trees thin and there is a grassy bank. Proceed up bank, turn right at the top and then directly left. Follow signs across newly planted area.
At 'crossroads' turn left and immediately right down to a sandy bridle way, cross here and bear left down towards woods. After entering woods there is, on the right in the hollow, an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest (21). Follow path down to gate, cross-field over stile into Longslade Lane.
Turn left, cross lane, enter woods by path on right. Proceed uphill about 300 yards, cross main path, take small path straight ahead which curves to the right. After about 50 yards you will reach a gap leading to a large arable field. Turn left along field edge. Continue to field corner leading to a conifer wood. Follow path at edge of wood downhill towards semi derelict farm buildings.
At the bottom of slope at bridleway, turn right following path between buildings. When the bridleway reaches the end of the woods at open pasture, turn left by a waymarked post in hedge, over a small bridge.
Follow path straight over the field to corner of the woods. Turn right as soon as you enter the woods and walk alongside the old fence. Turn left and climb steps and continue to the top of bank. The path bears right, continue past side of old Round House (22) and down a wide farm track, Maryland College (23) on the left.
Turn left when you reach the main road and continue for about 50 yards until you reach the driveway to Marylands. Cross road and go straight through metal gate on GRW. Follow the farm track and through the kissing gate facing you at the top and enter the pasture known as Wayn Close (24). Walk down the left-hand side of the pasture, until you come to the second path to the left with the main road ahead of you. Through kissing gate, through narrow belt of trees, through gap, turn right past the fire station to main road. Turn left along main road back into Woburn Square. Turn right at cross-roads back to the car park.