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|Author: Claire, Published: 13 May 2013||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 4 mile circular walk near Dunstable in Bedfordshire taking in a couple of the ancient forts which populate Totternhoe Knolls in this area of grass chalkland. The route gives an option to climb to the top of Castle Hill (the remains of a Norman castle) which gives truly amazing views across the Dunstable Downs. The remainder of the journey descends to join a long section of cycleway before climbing back into the chalk hills alongside Maiden Bower, an iron-age hill fort. |
The route has no stiles or gates and the paths are generally wide and well-made but being chalk they can get quite muddy and slippery when wet. There are several climbs and descents both at the beginning and end but these are balanced with a long flat section along part of the National Cycle Network. There are no toilet or refreshment facilities on route. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.
Totternhoe is just a few miles east of Dunstable in Bedfordshire, close to the M1. The walk starts from the Totternhoe Knolls free car park (with height restriction barrier) which is marked with a brown tourism sign off Castle Hill Road. Approximate post code LU6 1RG.
|Start to Castle Mound|
Start point: 51.8858 lat, -0.5684 long
From the car park, stand with your back to the entrance barrier and take the path on the left passing alongside a small noticeboard. Follow this path up a short flight of steps, pass through a gap in the fence and turn right. At the T-junction turn left, and continue on this main path ignoring any turns to the left and right.
|Castle Mound to Cycleway|
Start point: 51.889 lat, -0.5786 long
When you’ve finished at the castle mound, exit via the same path you entered on, and turn left to continue along the main bridleway. Within 200 yards follow the path as it swings hard right and descends fairly steeply. Take care as the chalk can be quite slippery when wet.
|Cycleway to Crossroads|
Start point: 51.896 lat, -0.58 long
Turn right onto the long straight tarmac cycleway – Sewell Greenway Cycleway – which forms part of the National Cycle Network. The cycleway was built on the old railway line between Stanbridgeford and French’s Avenue in Dunstable. Take care with children and dogs as the banks at the side get fairly steep in places.
|Crossroads to End|
Start point: 51.8885 lat, -0.5506 long
Turn right at this crossroads, leaving the tarmac track to join a wide grass bridleway between hedgerows. A little distance in, look for a section with a wide gap in the hedge on the right with large logs laid across. This is an excellent view point for Maiden Bower.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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