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How to get there

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Start/finish points

The Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine, MK43 0PR

Explorer Maps 208


13.5 miles


No cross falls recorded.

Surface types – Ranging from hard and firm without stones to uneven cultivated ground.

Linear gradient – Steepest linear gradient is 1:17

Barriers – There are a number of kissing gates.

Steps - At the A6 crossing.

Route description

1 - Following the Timberland Trail discs turn right outside the Forest Centre and pass in front of the cycle hire to the junction of paths & turn right following the made up path to a T-junction, turn left and follow the path between the railway and the lake and exit the park at the Water Sports Club entrance.

2 - Turn right onto Green Lane crossing over the railway line and heading for Stewartby. Continue along Green Lane to roundabout taking third exit onto Stewartby Way and proceed over another roundabout until you reach a railway bridge.  Exit Stewartby Way via footpath & steps adjacent to the bridge and walk alongside the railway to a concrete pad & turn left through the arch under the railway.

3 - At waymark post (WMP) bear right and follow footpath to hedge continuing to follow the Timberland Trail discs. Cross footbridge heading diagonally across the field to WMP to the right of Manor Farm. Cross footbridge and turn right to next WMP. Go through hedge and with the hedgerow on your right continue to next WMP. Turn left diagonally across field to finger post visible in hedge by Ampthill Road.

4 - Turn right walking along road verge for 100 metres. Cross Ampthill Road at footpath sign in hedge opposite. Continue to follow Timberland Trail discs to WMP & pass through 2 kissing gates, exiting onto roadway. Turn right and pass to right of gateway ahead. Follow the drive to WMP on your right. Go through the gate and across field to gate ahead. Turn left onto track and follow keeping the field on your right to the trees in the corner of the field. Note the view of Houghton House on the skyline.

5 - Go through gap and turn left. At corner turn left, cross footbridge then turn right. Follow path round fields keeping the hedgerow on your right. Continue following WMP past bottom of Kings Wood. At second yellow marker post turn left (don’t go into trees and stop following Timberland Trail discs). Continue following WMPs. At corner go through kissing gate then left through next kissing gate. Bear right to gate visible in hedgerow opposite to the left of the church tower. (Information panel for Kings Wood and Glebe Meadows.)

6- Through gate follow path straight ahead to Rectory Lane. Turn left and follow Rectory Lane to roundabout & turn right onto the High Street and then Chapel End Road heading past the Royal Oak Pub and playing field. The entrance to Conquest Wood is opposite the playing field.

7 - After visiting Conquest Wood continue along Chapel End Road and out of the village, turning left down Chapel End Lane past farm buildings then right at finger post. Continue forward passing through hedge to left of the conifers.  Continue following WMP keeping hedge to your right. Where the hedgerow turns right continue straight forward across field to WMP in hedgerow opposite. Cross footbridge and pass through gate. Bear left towards WMP to the left of the telephone mast. Follow WMPs through gap and then to kissing gate onto A6.

8 - Down steps cross the road to WMP to your left. Up the steps go through kissing gate and follow WMP down steps. Follow pavement straight to gap in fence. Continue along path, cross Vicarage Lane and follow finger post into churchyard. Go straight through the churchyard and along Chapel Lane to cross roads.

9 - Cross over into Cotton End Road. Follow road then turn right into Whitworth Way.  At end of playground turn right and go forward onto footpath turning left at T junction. Follow WMPs alongside arable/grass fields ignoring paths leading to left and right. Continue until you have to turn left then right to cross over footbridge with V barriers.  Continue following WMPs through 2 kissing gates. Go through gate into field, turn immediately right and follow edge of field behind farm buildings. Go through gate and turn left down Elms Lane to Cotton End Road.

10 - Turn right and follow Cotton End Road, passing a bridleway to your right and round bend to finger post on left. Follow path and WMPs along the field edge to the A600, crossing with care and turning left along footway. 

11 - Continue along the High Street (A600) passing the Bell pub and cross the A600 opposite the turn for Hermitage Gardens to finger post on left and entrance to Shocott Spring

Shocott Spring to Bedford

1 - After exploring Shocott Wood leave by one of the two exit points and turn left along the A600 footway. Continue following A600 noting the Cardington Sheds to your right and into Shortstown passing ‘Buses Only’ sign. Continue down hill to signpost for Harrowden,  turning left and follow Harrowden Lane past College Farm. At farm turn right down bridle path named Bumpy Lane and use underpass to Abbey Fields. Cross over bridge and turn left down bridleway path that leads straight through houses.

2 - Continue straight crossing Meadowsweet Drive and back over the A600 to access public footpath called Canvin Way that leads to Jubilee Park. Keep to left of park and follow paths and Canvin Way to edge of park and turn left down Oak Road to London Road (A600). Cross London Road and continue for a mile to large roundabout. Cross over roundabout using zebra crossing and turn left up hill onto Ampthill Road for entrance to Bedford St Johns station. If catching the bus continue forward along Kingsway to bus stop at end for number 52 bus back to Marston.

Pit stops/points of interest

There are toilets and benches at the Forest Centre, and shops in Stewatby, Houghton Conquest, Wilstead and Bedford.

The Forest Centre

The Woolpack

The Knife and Cleaver

The Bell


Forest Volunteers

Central Bedfordshire Council

Bedford Borough Council

The British Horse Society

Funded by Natural England as part of the Paths for Communities Project