A 3 mile figure-of-eight walk through the village and fields of Eaton Bray.
Two thousand years ago there were Iron Age farmsteads in and around the parish - some of these settlements continued into Roman times. Archeologists have discovered a number of these sites from aerial photos that show up markings in crops.
The Wallace Nursery, the village's biggest employer at the turn of the 20th century, specialized in growing carnations, which were cut, packed and sent to Covent Garden every day. It is said that everywhere King George V travelled, a Wallace carnation went with him. The remains of the last of the nursery's giant greenhouses, built just after the war, still stands.
From the late 19th century Eaton Bray was famous for its extensive damson orchards and for the Aylesbury ducks that grazed beneath the trees. Most of the plums, and sadly even the ducks, were sent to the London markets for food. The plum skins were also used by Luton's hat industry for dyeing felt. Remnants of the old orchards still remain today.
In 1900, WE Wallace built the 'Coffee Tavern', which stands in the High Street close to the church. With sixteen pubs in the village at this time, Wallace's aim was primarily to 'dry out' the local men, thus making them more employable at his ever-expanding nursery.
Eaton Bray is on the B4506 off the A5 nearest to Houghton Regis. The suggested start point is the car park at The Five Bells public house which is between Park Lane and Totternhoe Road.
The suggested start point is the car park at The Five Bells public house which is between Park Lane and Totternhoe Road. Start SP969209
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 2 hours
Surface Types: This walk will take you across many surface types ranging from hard and firm with loose stones; some larger than 10mm to grass or uncultivated earth with ruts and mud in places. Cattle have made part of this walk very muddy.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is between 1:6 and 1:9.
Cross Falls: None recorded.
Width restriction: There is a minimum width restriction of 400mm.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are nine kissing gates with a width restriction less than 1000mm, one staggered barrier with a minimum restriction less than 950mm, one one-way opening gate; width more than 750mm. Two two-step stiles and two one step stiles. There is one rope barrier that can be unhooked, the height from the ground is 750mm.
Refreshments: There are two public houses in Eaton Bray; The White Horse and The Five Bells.
Public Toilets: None on route
Picnic Tables: None on route
Seats: None recorded
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