I have walked the 14 mile Millenium Circular Walk in Bedfordshire taking in the parishes of Aspley Guise, Aspley Heath, Eversholt, Husborne Crawley, Ridgmont, Woburn and Woburn Sands several times and never been disappointed and today was not an exception. Although easily accessible from many parts of Bedfordshire and indeed Milton Keynes, the walk is very peaceful and one can walk for a long time without passing a soul. It is only about fifteen minutes away from my usual walks around Harlington.
Overview of the Millenium Circular Walk
Easy parking is available at the start of the walk in Woburn opposite the Parish Church and the path heads out of Woburn and soon enters the grounds of the park. A leaflet is easily downloadable here giving easy to follow route details. For me the Millenium circular walk fulfils all the requirements of a “good walk” taking in varied landscapes and terrains, including woodland, fields, quiet lanes, gentle hills and pretty villages. Several refreshment places are passed along the way and there are various points at which it is easy to find a bench to stop for a break.
Woburn Abbey and Park
I am always thrilled by the deer in the park. I just love how their antlers are growing at this time of year. Some were so furry I just wanted to stroke them. After walking a couple of miles the route leaves the park and crosses fields and follows footpaths until the picturesque village of Eversholt is reached. I always think that the location of the cricket pitch here, with the Church in the background and pub just around the corner must make it one of the prettiest fields in the country. Eversholt also boasts a millennium pond and many pretty cottages.
The Redundant Church at Segenhoe
After following a stream and fieldways for several miles and crossing Cobblers Lane I reached the redundant Church at Segenhoe. Several years ago I spent some time here very early one Spring morning just as the sun was beginning to rise. The feeling of peace and seclusion combined with the power of the sun rising with the Church in the background was truly stunning and a memory which will never leave me.
Just beyond Segenhoe I reached Ridgmont, a convenient stop-off place for a coffee at The Firs Café. Fully refreshed I walked back through the village, skirted around the outskirts and eventually headed towards Husborne Crawley, turning off down the pretty Crows Lane. Close to here there is a yellow ribbon tree and sign remembering fallen service personnel.
From here the path runs around the edge of the impressive looking Crawley Park and house and carries on to the outskirts of Aspley Guise. This village contains three houses of higher architectural interest as well as the Church and was home to several “secret operations” during the Second World War. I loved the pretty cottage I passed on entering the village.
Trudging up the tree-tunnelled pathway opposite St Botolphs Church, crossing a recreation ground and then carefully negotiating the way across the golf course I arrived at Woburn Sands. Time for another coffee and slice of cake! By this time it had started to rain so I spent a pleasant half hour cruising charity shops until the showers finished and I left the town via the aptly named Sandy Lane and up across Aspley Heath. The terrain underfoot here is really like walking along a beach under the shelter of pines, then more mature woodland.
The directions for the walk took me through further woodland until I reached the derelict buildings of Horsemoor Farm. It was spookily quiet here and I wondered how many years it was since this had no doubt once been a hive of activity and agricultural industry. The return into Woburn from here is not long and if you get your timing right – more coffee and cake await!!
What is the Millenium Walk like?
This is such a great day’s walk . Easily accomplished in six hours, leaving as much extra time as is wanted for refreshments along the way! Such a great reminder of how much beautiful countryside and history is just on our doorstep. Maybe I should keep this hidden corner of Bedfordshire a secret.