Pete's Walks - Kensworth and everywhere (page 1 of 2)

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 15-mile local walk on Saturday 15th May 2009, yet another repeat of my 'Kensworth and everywhere' walk.  I had a few slight back problems over the last couple of days, so chose this route as there are numerous opportunities to shorten it if I have any problems. Today I did the walk in the clockwise direction.

I started walking about 9.05am, setting off up the Whipsnade Road where I saw the first Greater Stitchwort of the day - this is one of my favourite flowers, and it is a joy to see the hedgerows full of it at this time of year. I crossed the fields to Dovehouse Lane and made my way to Holywell, then turned left through a wood and across a huge arable field to Byslips Road.

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Meadow between the Whipsnade Road and Dovehouse Lane

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Approaching Byslips Road from Holywell

Beyond Byslips Wood I turned left, spotting my first Peacock butterfly of the day as I followed the edge of the wood on my left. Beyond the end of Dedmansey Wood I continued on along field boundaries to reach Buckwood Road just outside Markyate. I turned right, just touching the edge of the village before turning right again, on a path following a hedgerow slanting upwards across the hillside. Here I spotted a female Wheatear, obviously pausing on its northward migration. Further on I passed a walker coming the other way - he seemed familiar, and he turned and called back "It's Pete, isn't it?". I realised at once that it was Martin, a chap from Markyate I met a couple of years ago near the windmill at Lacey Green when I was doing Walk 13 of my Chiltern Chain Walk. We had a good chat for about 10 minutes - unfortunately Martin hasn't been able to do much walking recently because of recurring back problems. It was really good to see him again, and I hope we meet up again some time.

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The start of the path beside Byslips Wood and Dedmansey Wood

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The path continuing from Dedmansey Wood towards Markyate

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Looking back along the path from Dedmansey Wood, from just before Buckwood Road

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The path from Markyate to Roe End

I continued on my way, following the path to Roe End and turning right, along Roe End Lane. Where the lane became a public byway, I turned left along a farm track that crossed a small valley to reach Beechwood Home Farm. Here I turned right, soon entering Gravelpit Wood where I saw some Bugle and Cuckooflowers, as well as the almost ubiquitous Bluebells and Greater Stitchwort. I progressed on into Great Bradwin's Wood and then to Studham Common.

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The track to Beechwood Home Farm

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Track through Gravelpit Wood

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Great Bradwin's Wood

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Studham Common and Studham

I walked along the top of the common, then passed the village school. Near the village church I took another short woodland path, continuing on along the bridleway to the edge of Whipsnade Zoo. I then walked along the old lane from Holywell to Whipsnade, where I turned left and followed a short semi-circular path around the edge of the enormous village green to close to the zoo entrance, then took the short bridleway that leads to the car park on Bison Hill.

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Near Studham church

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The path through Mason's Plantation/Church Grove

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The bridleway to Whipsnade Zoo

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Approaching the zoo fence

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The old lane from Holywell to Whipsnade