Pete's Walks - Kensworth and everywhere

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this walk on Monday, 1st June 2009. I was still trying to 'break in' some new boots, so I chose to repeat my 'Kensworth and everywhere' walk ( on this particular day, I chose to follow the route shown as 'Alternative 2' on the map) - the advantage of this 15-mile circular walk is that I'm never more than 2-3 miles from my home, which would be useful if I started to get blisters or other problems caused by the new boots. .

I started walking about 9.25am, heading down Hollicks Lane and the footpath beside it, to reach Church End. I went through the churchyard and took the path through the meadow beyond it, turning left to join the path round Kensworth Quarry as soon as possible (if it is at all wet, I usually go on and follow Beech Road for some way, to avoid an initially boggy section of the Quarry path).

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The path beside Hollicks Lane, between Kensworth and Church End

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The path beside Kensworth Quarry

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The path beside Kensworth Quarry

At one point along the Quarry Path I saw my first ever White Helleborines, a member of the Orchid family, and a bit further on I saw my first Bladder Campion of the year. I eventually left the Quarry Path to go the short distance to Dunstable Downs. I turned right along the top of the Downs. enjoying the spectacular views over the Vale of Aylesbury, which were pretty much at their best on this clear and warm day.

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Looking back along the line of Dunstable Downs, towards Whipsnade Downs

After passing the Five Knolls burial site, I descended the steep grass slope towards Dunstable and then turned sharp left, almost doubling back on myself, and started the lengthy path along the foot of the Downs. I soon spotted some Fairy Flax, something I'd seen the day before at Ivinghoe Beacon but had failed to recognise! After over a mile of this path, I took a steep path up to the top of Bison Hill.

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The path along the foot of the Downs - the flower in the foreground is Wild Mignonette

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The start of the path up Bison Hill

I followed the bridleway from Bison Hill to Whipsnade, and followed a path round part of the huge green there, close to the Zoo. I then turned right along the old lane from Whipsnade towards Holywell, turning right alongside the Zoo fence to follow the same path to Studham church that I'd used on my shorter local walk two days ago.

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Whipsnade

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The path from Whipsnade Zoo towards Studham church (yes, I took the same shot two days ago!)

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Approaching Studham church

I walked through the churchyard (second of the morning!) and continued down Church Lane, turning right at its end into Valley Road. At the bottom of a small valley I took a path on the left, running beside a hedgerow in the valley bottom and passing Studham Infants School to reach Studham Common. I forked right through the first wooded third of the Common, and continued along the path across the top of the next two sections of the Common, which looked wonderful with their array of white and yellow flowers. I stopped at a bench to eat my lunch, a little early at 12.45pm.

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Studham Common

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Studham from Studham Common

From the corner of Studham Common I turned right, soon going left on a path through Great Bradwin's Wood, which continued as a track through Gravelpit Wood. I got just a feeble growl from the dogs in their kennels as I passed Beechwood Home Farm - it was obviously too hot for them to give me their usual fierce barking! I turned left at a track crossroads, and followed a well-surfaced farm drive to the hamlet of Roe End.

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Track through Gravelpit Wood

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Approaching Roe End, from Beechwood Home Farm

I  went a short distance down Roe End Lane, then took the footpath on the left that took me to Markyate.

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Approaching Markyate, from Roe End

I turned left along Buckwood Road, almost immediately leaving Markyate, and after a couple of hundred yards took a footpath on the left. This is the long and very pleasant field path to Dedmansey Wood. I continued past that wood (spotting my first Foxglove of the year) and then took the short path through Byslips Wood to Byslips Road.

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The path from Markyate to Dedmansey Wood and Byslips Road

I took the path on the other side of the road that led through a huge corn field to reach a wood on the edge of Holywell. I then took the very familiar route home - down the path behind the houses of Holywell, up Dovehouse Lane, across two fields to the Whipsnade Road and back to Common Road Kensworth.

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The path from Byslips Road to Holywell

As you can probably tell from the photos, this was another gorgeous day for walking - sunny and warm, though with a stiff breeze to keep the temperatures at a reasonable level. Even so, I felt quite drained at the end of the walk. But I was very pleased with my new boots - no problems at all and they felt very comfortable.