Greenfield Gallivant - Sunday 17th February 2013

(Eric Cartwright)

As this was the 3rd walk I've led from Eversholt I decided it might be interesting to walk home from there, & back!
I was hoping for a hard frost so that paths would not be too muddy.
As we walked up the hill from the village the ground was still cold enough for us to walk on the top - but it was a sunny day and it soon warmed up. With 28 people on the walk the going did get slow in places.
The first section followed the route of the Sundon Saunter to Harlington, over what the locals call the 'Toddington Alps' - and we stopped to look at the expansive view - from Ampthill Park to Dunstable Downs.
After the trudge through two muddy fields up to Harlington we had our morning stop sat in the sun around the hollow by the Scout Hut.
We then set off from the green to follow part of the route (passing Bunyan's Oak) that the first 'National' Steeplechase in England took. Promoted by the landlord of the Turf Hotel in St. Albans the riders included Captain Beecher & the eventual owner of Aintree.
Passing by Portobello Farm and into Rushymead nature reserve we desended to Greenfield and lunch at The Compasses.
After lunch we walked along the Flit and part of the Two Moors Heritage Trail to Roxox Moat - a D shaped moat where the monks from Dunstable Priory farmed for the priory & people of Flitwick.
We then walked some 'permissive' paths up the side of Redbourn School farm into Ampthill, and through a new estate to cross the A507. Walking behind the Industral estate we then took the excellent new footbridge across the Railway. As it had only been open a week I assume we were the first group walk to cross it - see photo.
We then went round half of the new Centre Parcs loop to have afternoon break near the western end, sitting on a grassy bank with the sun shining on us and more excellent views. It had been a tough walk and it seemed some of us would have liked to stay longer! But we still had close to 5 miles to go, so chose to miss out the little loop I'd planned to Segenhoe Church, and mainly followed the Greensand ridge Walk back to Eversholt - a village of 13 'Ends'.
David Sedgley