Kensworth and everywhere (in the snow!)

We have just had the heaviest snowfall here for almost 20 years. Today I made the most of the conditions by doing my ‘Kensworth and everywhere’ walk – see  The advantage of this walk is that I can cut it short at numerous points as it is never more than a few miles from my home. I didn’t expect to do the whole walk, as I thought 15 miles through snow would be tiring, but in the end I did do the full walk.

It was very sunny as I set off just before 10am, and remained so until about midday. I took lots of snowy photos as I followed Hollicks Lane to  Church End, then followed the Quarry path round to Dunstable Downs. I got talking to three different people as I walked round the quarry, the conditions making everyone unusually friendly and willing to talk to strangers. There were lots of people sledging on the Downs, the local schools obviously being closed. As I followed the path along the bottom of the Downs, the skies gradually clouded over. I saw a pair of Buzzards just before I reached Bison Hill (I’ve twice before seen one in this vicinity in recent weeks).

I followed the bridleway from Bison Hill to Whipsnade, and went down the old lane towards Hollywell. I varied  slightly from the route shown on my web site, turning along the path behind the zoo fence, but rejoined that route by Studham Church. I saw a Hare and another Buzzard between the zoo and Studham Church. The skies were now grey and overcast. I got a photo of a Kestrel near Studham school, while there was a brief snow shower. I ate my lunch on Studham Common, and carried on, soon experiencing another brief snow shower.

At Roe End, I had my last chance to shorten the walk, but chose to carry on to Markyate – I saw another Buzzard, carrying some prey and being harrassed by several rooks. As always I enjoyed the long path from Markyate that passes Dedmansey Wood, and continued on the usual route across to Holywell and back home via Dovehouse Lane and the Whipsnade Road.

It was just after 4pm when I got home, after almost six hours walking. This was quite slow, but due to the 200 photos I took and the fact that I was ploughing my way through snow for much of the walk.

I might add some of the photos to my web site at some point.

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