Totternhoe walk again

Yesterday (Friday, 15.08/08) I repeated my local walk to Totternhoe and back.

When I last did this walk, a month or so ago, I concentrated on the wide variety of wildflowers I saw on the route. This time I just got on with the walk, noticing very few flowers at all on the way. The only wildlife sighting I had was a Red Kite, which I spotted while I had my lunch on Bison Hill.

I followed Hollicks Lane to Church End, then took the path round the far side of the quarry to Dunstable Downs. It was a bright sunny day (though there were a lot of small clouds about) so the view from the Downs was pretty good. After walking along the top of the downs and descending into Dunstable, I followed the green lanes and bridleway towards Sewell, and continued on to Totternhoe. As I followed the bridleway up Totternhoe Knolls, I noticed a lot of the ‘red berries’ of Cuckoo-pint – I don’t know if it’s a good year for this plant, but I’ve certainly seen much more of it this year than last year.

I followed the path from the top of the Knolls into Totternhoe and walked through the village, picking up Wellhead Lane which took me back to the main road at the foot of the Downs. I crossed over and continued on a footpath beside the gliding club, then turned right along the path that follows the bottom of the steep chalk downs. I took a new route to the car park at Bison Hill – immediately beyond a kissing gate, I turned left on a steep path up the hillside, then after a few yards turned half right on a more gently graded path. This took me to the fence at the bottom of the huge meadow on the downs, which I followed to the right. The path descended slightly, then I turned left on a familiar path that took me to the car park, where I stopped for lunch as it was now 12.55pm.

I had planned to extend the walk out to Studham in the afternoon, but my back was a little sore (as a result of my foolish idea to increase the weight in my rucksack on previous walks) so I stuck to my usual route for this walk. I took the bridleway from the car park to Whipsnade, then took the footpath to Holywell and returned to Kensworth via Dovehouse Land and the path to the Whipsnade road.I got home at 2pm, having been walking for about 4.5 hours.

This was the first nice day for sometime, generally sunny, bright and warm (about 22C) despite the many small clouds. The paths were all very wet and muddy though – there was a heavy downpour from about 5-7pm yesterday, complete with thunder and lightning.

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