A 4½ mile circular walk from Upper Sundon through fields, woods and meadows.
Until the beginning of the 20th century the area around Upper Sundon was divided into tofts and crofts. A toft was a piece of land without a building and crofts were land with building. Most of the land was farmed for crops and as well as double pay at harvest time, anyone who helped with the hard work of threshing would get an extra shilling a day for ale (enough for 6 pints!)
During the late 1700s the Sundon Parish Register shows that more than one in five villagers lived to be over 80 when the average life expectancy was 41 years. So, what was their secret?
As you follow the route, especially in the Country Park, look out for the orchids and other meadow flowers which depend on the chalk which the hills are made of.
In the woodland called The Firs keep an eye out for bullet holes in the tree trunks, the area was used as a firing range during the war.
Sundon is situated approximately 5 miles from Luton, and is close to Junction 12 of the M1. From Bedford take the A6 south to Streatley turn right on Streatley Road for Upper Sundon.
The suggested start point is the car park at The Red Lion public house where Common Lane and Church Road meet. Grid Ref TL045277.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time 2.5 hours
Surface Types: This walk will take you across grass or uncultivated earth with ruts and mud in places.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is between 1:6 and 1:9.
Cross Falls: The steepest cross fall is 1:9 and can be very slippery.
Width Restriction: There is a 600mm width restriction on a footbridge.
Steps: You can expect to find steps east of The Firs, max. step height is 400mm - this is quite a long steep climb and can be very slippery where there are no steps in place.
Barriers: There are two kissing gates with a minimum width more than 1500mm, three kissing gates with a minimum restriction less than 1000mm.
Refreshments: There are two public houses in Upper Sundon; The Red Lion and The Crown.
Public Toilets: None on route
Picnic Tables: None on route
Seats: There are seven seats around the walk
There are no route instructions - just follow the red line on the map.
Click here to download the map.
The North Chilterns Trust looks after the natural environment in Luton and South Bedfordshire. The project partners are Central Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Councils, The Wildlife Trust and Three Valleys Water. Also supported by Luton and Dunstable Partnership - funded by SRB