Pete's Walks - Greensand Ridge Walk

About the Greensand Ridge Walk

The Greensand Ridge Walk is a 40-mile long route that crosses Bedfordshire. It starts near the county boundary with Buckinghamshire at Leighton Buzzard, passes through Woburn, Ampthill and Sandy, before finishing at Gamlingay on the Bedfordshire-Cambridgeshire border. It follows a ridge of greensand (hence the name!) that is sandwiched between clay vales on either side. Points of interest along the route include Stockgrove Country Park, the magnificent Woburn Abbey and the ruins of Houghton House.

Bedfordshire County Council have produced a series of leaflets for the walk, with strip maps, route descriptions and details of places of interest on the way (most of the factual data in my journal is taken from these leaflets). The route is shown on the OS Explorer maps 192, 193 and 208. The route is very well waymarked (in both directions), usually with waymarks or fingerposts with an image of a Muntjac deer, the symbol for the walk, although in some places it is just indicated by the letters G.R.W.

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Information board about the Greensand Ridge Walk near Maulden Wood (Day 4). Notice the typical waymark for the walk with the symbol of a Muntjac Deer, in the top right corner.

The eight-mile long Two Ridges Link (see my separate journal for details) connects the Leighton Buzzard end of the Greensand Ridge Walk to the start of the Ridgeway path at Ivinghoe Beacon. The Cross Bucks Way (again see my separate journal for details) finishes on the Grand Union Canal almost exactly at the point where the Greensand Ridge Walk leaves the canal (about one and a quarter miles from the start in Leighton Buzzard), so these two routes can be combined into one walk that crosses both Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. In fact, by adding short sections at either end, an unofficial Oxford-Cambridge long-distance path has been created that makes use of these two routes.

Click here to see a very rough map of the Greensand Ridge Walk (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps).

Note: I have numbered each photograph (in red) and inserted the same number in the text to show where in the walk the photo was taken.

One of the seven plaques on stones or posts along the Greensand Ridge Walk, set up in 2002 to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. This one, with a Hare carved on the post, is just east of Home Wood, Northill (Day 5).