Pete's Walks- Bison Hill 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 8.6 mile circular walk on Saturday, 9th  August 2014. This was basically a version of the Kensworth-Totternhoe walk I do, shortened by starting at Bison Hill in Whipsnade instead.

I started walking just after 11am, taking the path starting at the far end of the car park on Bison Hill (Grid Reference SP999184). This soon led to a metal kissing-gate, through which the path continued across the hillside through an area of chalk downland - the walk got off to a great start when I almost immediately spotted the first Painted Lady butterfly that I've seen for a few years. The path slowly curved right and descended slightly. It steepened just before it reached a crossing drovers' way or 'hollow way', and then continued steadily downhill with views ahead across the Vale of Aylesbury. At the foot of the slope it curved right, but here I took a short path on the left which in a few yards ended at a path running along the foot of Whipsnade and Dunstable Downs. Here I turned right, and followed the path along the foot of the Downs for over a mile. After a while the large grass area of the London Gliding Club was on my left.

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The path on Bison Hill

The first Painted Lady butterfly that I've seen for a few years

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The path on Bison Hill

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The path descending Bison Hill

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The path along the foot of the Downs

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The path along the foot of the  Downs

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The path along the foot of Dunstable Downs

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The path along the foot of Dunstable Downs - this is just before I turned left along the path beside the gliding club

As I reached the end of the gliding club I spotted a tattered Dark-green Fritillary butterfly. I then turned left through a gate, following a hedge-lined track with the gliding club again on my left. This led on to a road junction at the hamlet of Wellhead, where I took Wellhead Road opposite me and followed it for over half a mile to reach the village of Totternhoe. I turned right at the end of Wellhead Road, then when I reached the end of that road I turned left along the main road through the village.

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The path beside the gliding club

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The path beside the gliding club

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Wellhead Road, approaching the village of Totternhoe

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The main road through Totternhoe

After about a third of a mile, I turned right where a brown tourist information sign pointed the way to Totternhoe Knolls. A tarmac drive led to the car park, where I took a path through a kissing-gate opposite the car park entrance. This had trees on the right and a meadow to the left. It soon reached a junction with a wider path where I went more or less straight on, continuing on the main path towards the site of the Motte and Bailey castle at Totternhoe Knolls. 

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The drive to the Totternhoe Knolls car park

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The start of the path from opposite the Totternhoe Knolls car park

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The path to Totternhoe Knolls

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The path to Totternhoe Knolls