Another circular walk from Kensworth

Sorry this entry is a bit late, it describes a walk I did on Monday (4th August 2008).

This was the same local walk as I did a couple of weeks ago, but in the opposite (clockwise) direction. I don’t think I’ve done this walk in that direction before, though I’ve certainly walked each part of it in that direction on different walks.

I took the usual route to Holywell, via the Whipsnade Road and Dovehouse Lane, then turned left through the wood and across a large field (usually a corn field, but a nice crop of beans there this year) to Byslips Road. I continued on alongside a wood to a path junction, where I turned left. Lots of Meadow Brown butterflies here. I now followed the edge of the wood on my left as it curved round to the right – at some point the wood becomes Dedmansey Wood. Beyond the wood I continued on a track then a rather overgrown path through two fields to reach Buckwood Road, Markyate.

I took the path on the right that leads across fields to Roe End, turning right into Roe End Lane. At the end of the lane I turned left and followed the good track up and down a valley (where I heard and saw a pair of Buzzards) to a track crossroads where I turned right, passing Beechwood Home Farm where I again saw some Guinea Fowl. I followed the path through the wood – near the start I saw a Moorhen with two young on a pond. I then continued on the familiar path across the top of Studham Common, continuing on to reach Valley Road. I turned right, then went left at the top of the slight hill to reach Studham Church.

At the path crossroads immediately beyond the churchyard, I went straight on. This field path took me to the old lane between Holywell and Whipsnade, where I turned left, following the lane for half a mile to its end at the green in Whipsnade. I took a curving path on the left, following the edge of the green with the zoo boundary on my left, then crossed the road and started along the bridleway to Bison Hill. I soon took a path going right, which followed a boundary on my left through two fields to arrive at a private drive. I followed this to the left, until it joined another bridleway, where I went left to emerge at the large pasture or meadow on the Downs. I turned left, and followed the top edge of this huge field for almost half a mile to reach Bison Hill (yes, I could have got here quicker by staying on the first bridleway I took from Whipsnade!). Here I had my lunch, sitting on a log I’ve used several times previously.

Soon after setting off again, I photographed what turned out to be a Chalkhill Blue butterfly – these are quite uncommon, being restricted to chalk or limestone downlands I believe, and this was only the second I’d seen. This was a good walk for seeing butterflies – as well as the two I’ve already mentioned, I saw Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Marbled White and a Comma. I took the path going downhill at an angle from the car park on Bison Hill, and at the bottom of the slope turned right and followed the path along the foot of the downs for about a mile and a half, passing the London Gliding Club on my left.

On reaching the outskirts of Dunstable, I took the steeply rising path up to the Five Knolls burial site, and continued along the top of Dunstable Downs. It was suddenly quite windy (well, it usually is here – hence the gliders, paragliders and kite fliers!) . It had been very grey and overcast all day, so the views over the Vale of Aylesbury were not quite at their best. When I reached the old car park, I crossed the road and took the path round Kensworth Quarry, going the long way round the far side. After a mile or so, I left the path and followed the parallel Beech Road, as I knew the next section of path can be very boggy.

I then took a footpath on the right to reach Kensworth Church in Church End. It then just remained to follow Hollicks Lane back to Kensworth, using the parallel path on the other side of the right-hand hedge part of the way. I must have been feeling quite good, as I hardly noticed the steep climb up the far side of the valley.

This was another very enjoyable walk, bringing home to me how fortunate I am to live in this part of the world. I was lucky with the weather – although very grey and overcast, it remained dry and I avoided the predicted showers.

I would like to photograph and report these local walks for my web site, but unfortunately the weather has been so grey and miserable this summer that I’ve not felt like taking photos – I’ll wait until I do the walks again on sunnier days.

Comments are closed.