Kensworth and everywhere (again!)

Today I did a variation on my ‘Kensworth and everywhere’ walk (which is described on my web site – see  I have been feeling unwell with an upset stomach on and off for the last few days, so I thought it wise to do this walk instead of the one I’d originally planned, as if I felt unwell I could cut the walk short at numerous points and would never be more than a few miles from my home.

I did the walk in the opposite direction last Saturday – it was a day or two later that I realised that I’d unintentionally cut it short by missing out a big loop around Dunstable Downs! No wonder it only took me 4 1/2 hours!

Today I followed the anti-clockwise direction, as per the description on my web site. It was a bright and sunny morning as I set off, rather late at 10am. It was very cold, but I was warmly wrapped up in my Paramo gear (no, they don’t pay me to advertise it!). As usual I was puffing and panting a bit as I climbed the steep hill on the way to Church End. Beyond the church, I followed a section of Beech Road  to avoid the very muddy part at the beginning of the path round the quarry.

As I left the quarry path to go to the Downs, I bumped into a neighbour from across the road. He often walks all round the quarry, and I’ve met him along the path before.

Because of the clear blue skies, the views from Dunstable Downs were  near their best. I saw a Kestrel quite close by as I approached Five Knolls. I particularly enjoyed the views from the ancient burial site, not just over the Vale of Aylesbury to the West, but over the lower lands to the north and east across Dunstable and Luton to Warden and Galley Hills which I have crossed on the Chiltern Way and other walks.

The path along the foot of Dunstable Downs was particularly muddy. I saw a Buzzard as I approached Bison Hill. As I climbed the steep path up to the car park on Bison Hill, I saw that there was traffic queueing on the road and that unfortunately there had been an accident. It didin’t look too bad, but I did hear the sirens of police cars and ambulances approaching.

From Whipsnade, I took the path to Studham that starts on the edge of Holywell, rather than the path along the zoo fence which I sometimes take. As usual, I stopped for lunch on one of the benches on Studham Common, admiring the view across the common to the village and across to Dedmansey Wood.

After lunch I continued on through the woods to Beechwood Farm where as usual I saw some Guinea Fowl. As I followed the farm track to Roe End I saw and heard a couple more Buzzards.

I decided to take a different route back from Markyate (simply because I’ve done the route from Byslips Road to Dovehouse Lane and the Whipsnade Road so often recently!). I followed the path parallel to the river Ver and the A5 (as used on Walk1 of the Chiltern Chain Walk), staying on it all the way to Kensworth Lynch. I saw some Long-tailed Tits as I walked through the Lynch and continued on along the lane all the way to Church End. I then turned left along Hollicks Lane to retrace the initial stage of the walk. I got home about 3.15pm.

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