Rowney Warren Wood & Chicksands Wood 8 miles circular walk

Start: (OS Landranger Map Sheet 153): TL112418 Map (1:50 000): The walk starts and finishes at the Rowney Warren Wood & Chicsands Bike Park car park. Car park charge, £1. http://www.chicksandsbikepark.co.uk/getting_here/

Distance: 8 miles 
Time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Climbing: 160 metres total ascent / 160 metres total descent
Hazards: A few quite roads to negotiate
Refreshments: No local refreshments on route.

Photo below shows a birds eye view of the route we shall be taking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From leaving the car park, we head across Northwood End Road and straight into Rowney Warren Wood, Rowney Warren Wood sits on the east side of Chicksands Wood and offers a haven for walkers and a woodland bike park of mountain bike courses. The woodland itself is maintained by the forestry Commission and the Southill Estate and is mostly pine, oak and beech plantations crossed by quiet paths.

The bike park is separate from the public areas of the wood, and managed by Chicksands Bike Park.

We walk through Rowney Warren Wood, until we reach the John Bunyan Trail.  Here we turn right, and head NW, until we reach the entrance to Chicksands Wood.

Chicksands Wood is a plantation of pedunculate oak and ash, which is in part owned by the Ministry of Defence. Parts of the perimeter of the wood overlook, with a very limited view, the MOD land.

On entering the wood, we take the wide track that leads up the avenue of trees, known as Long Drive. After about 5-7 minutes walking up this well trodden avenue we will pass a now weathered monument to Lord Halifax.

A good 15 minutes walk further along, the track forks. At the top of the left fork at the end of Long Drive there is a monument to Henry John Osborne. The Osbornes were the family who lived in Chicksands Priory and owned this wood.

However we are taking the right fork, passing on your left the old railway workings, a relic of World War II when ammunition was stored in the wood. Follow the track almost to the farm gates. We then turn right and follow the track down the hill. Go through the kissing gate, and follow the path round to the left. This is part of the Greensand Ridge Walk. We follow this path, keeping the wood to our left.  After 7-10 mins we turn left, following the Greensand Ridge Walk sign, we now have a steady climb up towards Pedley Wood Farm, after passing the farm, we walk for a further 10 mins until we reach Old St. Mary's Clophill Church.

http://www.bedfordshire.gov.uk/CommunityAndLiving/ArchivesAndRecordOffice/CommunityArchives/Clophill/ClophillChurch.aspx

We can stop and look around Old St. Mary's Clophill Church, and depending on weather, and how everyone is feeling, we can take a 10 - 15 minute break here.

After our break, we continue on down the old church path, until we reach the main road thru the village of Clophill.  Turning right would take us on the High Street, but we are turning left on to Shefford Road.  We walk on the pavement for approx 200m and then walk for 400m on this quiet road, walking on the opposite side of the road, facing towards any on coming traffic.  There is a grass verge, and extra caution shall be required on this part of the walk.  Shefford Road takes a sharp turning to the right, it is at this point, we branch off on to an even quieter road to the left, heading towards Speedsdairy Farm and continuing on up towards Chicksands.  We follow the public path around the outer boundary of the MOD - The British Army Intelligence Corp - property.  https://www.army.mod.uk/intelligence/32259.aspx

Goes without saying, it's probably best, that we do not stop to take photos!

After passing Chicksands, we are then given a choice of two public paths, we shall be choosing the path to the left, we will have trees to our left and at the end of the tree line, we will have a small murky pound to our left. From here, we join a more recognisable path heading over towards John Bunyan Trail & Rowney Warren Wood, we turn left on to John Bunyan Trail, with Rowney Warren Wood to our right.  After approx 200m, we turn off John Bunyan Trail and back into Rowney Warren Wood, and approx 600m walk back up towards our start point - Rowney Warren Wood & Chicsands Bike Park car park.



 

 

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  • Krystle

    Although I was tired, there was never a dull moment throughout the hike. I thought it was great that Ian researched into the area. He was like our own personal tour guide and we were able to learn about the area as well as enjoy it :)

    November 4, 2013

  • paula

    It was a wonderful walk trough the wood, with lovely people :)

    1 · November 4, 2013

  • Nick K.

    another great walk, thanks Ian

    November 3, 2013

  • Dawn

    Great walk, lovely to meet you all. Thanks Ian for arrange it. & what more brill weather

    1 · November 3, 2013

  • Jo

    Sorry. Left later than expected and dont think I'll make it on time :(. Look forward to next time

    November 3, 2013

  • Ian

    My mobile[masked]

    November 3, 2013

  • Dawn

    On my way

    November 3, 2013

  • Judy

    85% not able to come today - If I manage to g come I will just show up if that's ok?

    November 3, 2013

  • Krystle

    I look forward to meeting you all! Knew I should've packed my hiking shoes :)

    1 · November 2, 2013

    • Ian

      There's always Go Outdoors for hiking shoes! :)

      November 2, 2013

    • Krystle

      I'm saving up money for when I tour around London, possibly Ireland. Guess I'll just have to use my running shoes.

      November 2, 2013

  • Andy B.

    Really looking forward to getting some fresh air

    1 · November 1, 2013

    • Ian

      Be good to catch up with you again Andy :)

      November 2, 2013

  • Claire E.

    Hi I will try and make it but not very well at the moment, if feeling better by sunday will see you there

    1 · October 31, 2013

    • Ian

      Fresh air might do you the world of good?! :)

      October 31, 2013

  • Judy

    Dependent on the pub and all the staff turning up I really want to come! Hope (fingers crossed) to see you Sunday :)

    1 · October 31, 2013

    • Ian

      Hope you can join us Sarah, fingers crossed for you! :)

      October 31, 2013

  • Nick K.

    Are we stopping for a sandwich break on this one Ian ? ?

    October 31, 2013

    • Ian

      Yes can do, we can stop at Cophill Church for a bite to eat and for those with flasks a hot drink :)

      October 31, 2013

  • Clive H.

    Will try and get to this one. This was the first meetup walk I came on. As I recall the actual distance was more like 8 and half miles according to the GPS gizmo.

    1 · October 28, 2013

    • Ian

      Correct! It was 8 miles...thanks Clive

      October 31, 2013

  • Clive H.

    Just realised I'm up in York on Sunday so sorry unable to join you.

    1 · October 31, 2013

  • Karen S

    Hi, unfortunately I'm away this weekend but will hopefully be along to stretch my legs soon :-)

    1 · October 29, 2013

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