Pete's Walks - Kensworth and Totternhoe (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 roughly 11-mile circular walk on Monday, 25th June, 2012. This was not like my usual walks, but rather it was my 'flower walk' - an almost annual event now, where I go on a very long nature walk concentrating on seeing how many different types of wildflowers I can see. Consequently the walk took almost six hours when I'd normally cover the distance in a little over four hours.

Starting from my home in Kensworth, I walked down Hollicks Lane and soon joined the path that runs alongside it as it crosses the valley immediately north of Kensworth (or more properly Kensworth Common). Near the top of the opposite slope I rejoined the lane and followed it into Church End (the original centre of Kensworth). I then took the path through the churchyard and across the large meadow behind it (where I spotted some Meadow Brown butterflies). I could have joined the path round Kensworth Quarry by turning left here, but chose to continue straight on along Beech Road (to avoid a particularly muddy section of the quarry path). After about half a mile I left the road by a  metal barrier to join the quarry path, which was still pretty muddy here.

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The footpath beside Hollicks Lane

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The path through the meadow behind Kensworth church

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Beech Road

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The path around Kensworth Quarry, near where I joined it from Beech Road

I followed the path with the huge chalk quarry on my left. I passed through an open area of grassland with Dunstable nearby down to my right. As I approached a barrier and woods on my right, I started looking for White Helleborine but only saw one which was well past its best. I continued onwards beside the quarry, soon seeing both Pyramidal Orchids and Common Spotted Orchids. Further on I came across a mass of Common Broomrape (a parasite).

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The path around Kensworth Quarry - I took this shot to show how muddy the paths were today

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The path around Kensworth Quarry

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The path around Kensworth Quarry

Eventually I turned right, by a yellow-topped post, then after few yards went left at a path T-junction. I now had the Dunstable Downs golf course over the fence on my right. The path soon led me to a road, which I crossed carefully to reach the old car park on Dunstable Downs. Here I turned right, and followed the top of the downs, counting up a few more flower species - the steep slopes were covered in the lovely yellow Common Rock-rose, I've never seen so much of it before. I continued on past the Five Knolls burial mounds, and then descended a broad swathe of grass to reach Tring Road, Dunstable.

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Dunstable Downs

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Ivinghoe Beacon and the Vale of Aylesbury from Dunstable Downs

Rather him (or her) than me! Paraglider on Dunstable Downs (the yellow flower covering the hillside is Common Rock-rose)

Across the road I continued down Green Lane, with tall hedges and trees hiding the houses of Dunstable either side. The old drover's road soon led out of the town and back into the countryside. At a bridleway crossing I turned right to head towards the hamlet or small village of Sewell, The path soon turned left, and further on started dropping downhill between hedgerows.

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Green Lane, Dunstable

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Green Lane, Dunstable

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The path to Sewell

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The path to Sewell