The end of the Chilterns
7 people attending
14 places left
This is a CIRCULAR walk, approximately 16.5 miles in length.
We start from Harlington railway station (Beds). Heading south, we pick up the Icknield Way trail and ascend to the summit of the escarpment that represents the final eastern efforts of the famous Chiltern Hills. Weather depending, there will be some stunning views to the north across the Bedfordshire countryside.
Following the John Bunyan Trail, we then head south towards Luton, but, before we reach the city, we divert along the Chiltern Way in an easterly direction. We travel east along the Chiltern Way and then the Icknield Way before descending to the valley in a northerly direction, passing into neighbouring Hertfordshire and the village of Hexton (where they may be time for a drink at the local pub, progress permitting).
The afternoon is much flatter as we head back in a westerly direction through Barton-le-Clay, returning to Bedfordshire and our final destination of Harlington.
This will be a fairly fast-paced walk since there is a lot of ground to cover. However, with the exception of two short sharp inclines, much of the route is fairly level if not completely flat, so we should be able to pick up a good pace.
(All images are from Google Image Search and are labelled 'Free to share and use'. Credited to Peter O'connor and Robin Hall)
What to bring
Water: bring at least a litre
Medicines: if you have any ailments etc.
Rucksack: or any other bag
Footwear: hiking boots or sturdy trainers.
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally not jeans which become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
You will need a packed lunch, and plenty of water and snacks to see you through the day. We will stop for a short picnic lunch at a suitably scenic spot; for your own comfort you may wish to bring something to sit on.
Time permitting, there will be a pub stop at about the two-thirds way point in the village of Hexton.