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Bedfordshire Walk
Sandy and Everton Circular

County/Area - Bedfordshire

Author - Donald Morton

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km    Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres

Time - 4 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Ordnance Survey Landranger 153Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 153Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Sandy and Everton Circular
Click image to visit gallery of 5 images.

Sandy is about 10 miles from Bedford and lies just to the east of the A1. This walk as described starts in the RPSB car park (currently 4x £ 1 coins all day for non-members) which is on the B1042 road leaving Sandy for Potton (Grid Ref TL 191 485). (Alternatively parking could be found in Everton probably near the church which lies on the Greensand Ridge Walk allowing an easy connection to the walk in that village; and the church which is open weekends is itself well worth a visit.)

From the RPSB car park return to the B1042. Cross over and continue straight ahead into the Everton Estate. Where the path splits, under an ETL, fork right along a path running between varied plantations and open heathland. This lasts for about 1.5km before reaching a crossing track. Turn left and follow this old green lane to a point about 10 yards short of a gate out to a road. Here turn right on a track through a belt of trees. It is not all that obvious but by way of confirmation it quickly emerges at the start of a fenced path through paddocks. After the paddocks cross a track, go through a hedge gap and cross a second track. Immediately facing you is a lower portion of fence, currently broken to make it even lower, and beyond that a wide arable field. The footpath is apparently not restored after cultivation. If you have to pioneer the route, aim for a telegraph pole slightly to the left of a solitary house. Part way across you see a yellow tipped marker post slightly to the right of your course; veer right to get to this. (There is a bend in the official route but if the path is unrestored you can hardly be expected to get the turn spot on in the middle of a field.) From the post proceed straight ahead along a field break. Before this gets to the road it passes through a section of field still apparently used for market gardening, the traditional use of this land. At the road, cross over and turn left to walk into Everton.

At the Thornton Arms PH the road swings left and here you pick up the Greensand Ridge Walk. The church is to the right but the walk swings left with the road and continues until you pass No 64. Then turn right down a bridleway with wide views over North Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire. After 180metres and a gate this becomes a footpath which descends through meadows, a second gate, and a hedge gap into the flat lands of Bedfordshire. Go straight on along a field edge to a t-junction. Turn left along this track, the line of a Roman road. After crossing a concrete drive (which leads to 18th Century Hazells Hall, former family home the Pyms including one-time Foreign Secretary Francis Pym) the track becomes grassier but still goes straight on. It finishes at a gate, after which you go straight on through a meadow to another gate. The path then bears slightly left over a second meadow as it rises gently to a lane. Here turn right and follow the lane uphill into woods. After passing a track going left, just past the brow of the hill look out for a Greensand Ridge Walk finger post. Here turn left and take the path going up at right angles to the lane. It more or less follows a mesh fence which is round Caesar's Camp earthworks. Where the path on this line becomes unclear, turn right down hill on a much wider path; the right choice is soon confirmed by a waymark post with a GRW logo. Where the Greensand Ridge Walk turns right (with a good view of Sandy church tower with its very short "Hertfordshire" spike) leave it by following the path which swings left.

Follow this out to the B1042. Use the lights to cross and continue down the No Through Road called Stratford Road. Follow this quiet lane for about a mile. Continue to follow it when it becomes a bridle path until it is barred by a metal gate. Here turn left into the RPSB Nature Reserve. A sign points left to the car park 1000m. Follow this broad obvious track uphill through the heathland woods, until it becomes a tarmac drive to the RPSB HQ. Carry straight on to arrive back at the car park. (Paying for the RPSB car park gives you the opportunity to further explore the Reserve before returning; there is a map as you enter.)

Other walks nearby

Walk 2123 Everton & Potton from Sandy moderate12.0 miles
Walk 2714 Between Beeston and Old Wardeneasy/mod11.5 miles
Walk 2305 Gamlingay, Tetworth & Everton from Pottoneasy/mod9.5 miles
Walk 2810 Haynes Circulareasy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 1798 Little Paxton & River Ouse Circulareasy/mod6.4 miles

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Walking in Bedfordshire

The southern end of Bedfordshire includes he Chiltern Hills, which form the highest land in the county. Away from the hills the county is dominated by the wide drainage basin of the River Great Ouse and its tributaries. Most of Bedfordshire's rocks are clays and sandstones with some limestone. Brick making has been an important industry using local clay especially the Marston Vale. The production of sand and gravel has also been important and some of the old workings are now lakes including those at Priory Country Park, Wyboston and Felmersham. Another important feature is the Greensand Ridge, an escarpment across the county from near Leighton Buzzard into neighbouring Cambridgeshire. The key towns are Bedford and Luton.

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