Pete's Walks - Lilley and Barton-le-Clay (page 1 of 3)

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 14.5 mile circular walk on Sunday, 21st March 2010 - it was a repeat of one of my favourite walks, from Lilley to Barton-le-Clay and back. I did the walk in the clockwise direction, and incorporated both the short alternatives shown on the map.

I had hoped to walk on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, but Saturday was rather wet. I actually set out to do a walk from Pitstone Hill, but by the time I reached the car park there it was pouring with rain and I just didn't fancy spending a day getting wet so I returned home. After doing some new walks recently, I fancied returning to an old favourite (well, not so old, I've only done it a few times) - I'd been trying to put off following this route again until the Spring wildflowers are blooming, but couldn't resist it any longer.

The bridleway heading west out of Lilley was initially quite muddy, but soon became a fairly well-surfaced track between hedges. I soon spotted a Yellowhammer in a tree.  I passed Ward's Wood on my right and shortly afterwards turned left onto another bridleway, running through more arable fields and sloping up to reach the edge of Whitehill Wood. There were Skylarks singing over these fields, and I would hear them many more times during the course of the walk.

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The bridleway heading west from Lilley

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View from the bridleway as it passes a corner of Ward's Wood

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The bridleway beyond Ward's Wood

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Bridleway heading south towards Whitehill Wood

At the top of the slope, I reached another path crossroads where I turned right. There were views here over Luton to Blows Downs (which I walked over on this walk), as I followed hedgerow paths towards Warden Hill. I then continued on northwards to Galley Hill, with a golf course below me to the left and views ahead along a broad valley towards Streatley (which I've been through on the Chiltern Way and a couple of other walks).

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View over Luton towards Blows Downs, from near Whitehill Wood

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Looking ahead towards Warden Hill

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View over Luton from Warden Hill

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Galley Hill from Warden Hill

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Looking north towards Streatley

Beyond Galley Hill the path dropped down to cross a small part of the golf course and reach a major path junction. Here I turned right, following part of the Icknield Way for a few hundred yards before turning left on a broad farm track following a hedgerow on my right. After several hundred yards the track ended at a minor road, where I went a short distance left before turning right onto another good track. After another good distance I went through a gate on the right to enter the Barton Hills nature reserve. I followed the path along the southern edge of the reserve, enjoying the splendid views to my left, and then turned left in the corner of the reserve. Again there were good views down the slopes on my left and ahead over the flatter lands northward.

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The short section of the Icknield Way that I followed

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The path to Barton Hills, approaching the minor road

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Approaching Barton Hills

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Barton Hills

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The path along the eastern edge of Barton Hills