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How to get there

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Start/finish points

The Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine, MK43 0PR

Explorer Maps 193 and 208


10 miles


Steps - Max height of 310mm.

Crossfalls - Between 1:10 and 1:15.

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

Linear gradient – Steepest linear gradient is 1:6.

Barriers – There is a bridge between points 2 and 3 on the map with a max width of 660mm, a squeeze stile with a max width of 230mm at Church End, Wootton, stiles and kissing gates.

Route description

1 - Leaving the front of the Forest Centre, walk past the cycle hire towards a map information board.  Turn left along the surfaced track, through the trees, following the finger post to Marston Moretaine. At a fork, take the right hand path following the edge of Stewartby Lake and past a yellow waymark post (WMP). At the next fork bear right, sign posted to Stewartby. The path heads to the right where shortly you will reach a wooden footbridge (FB) on the left. Cross the bridge and walk through Allens Court to Bedford Road.

2 - Turn right along Bedford Road, then shortly left onto Lower Shelton Road to the underpass. Emerging at the other end, head left and follow Lower Shelton Road as it winds through Lower Shelton village. Shortly after passing Chequers Close on the left, a public footpath (FP) heads off right. Follow the footpath past a gate, onto a dirt track. Keep to the field boundary on the left where the path soon heads through a gap in the hedge and over a small FB and WMP. Go straight across the next field towards a WMP and over another FB. Continue on the path which emerges onto a driveway. Turn left here then right onto Upper Shelton Road, taking care when walking along the road verge, and turn left at the next junction towards Wootton Green Farm.

3 - Walk through Wootton Green Farm along the bridleway (BW). You will pass under a pylon line, then shortly as you approach a second pylon line you will see a metal gate on the right. Walk through the gate and follow the field boundary with the hedge to your right. Pass another pylon and continue towards Wootton Wood, then continue along the woodland edge BW to a fork in the path and turn right through a gap in the hedge. Here your route descends towards Wootton village. Pass through the metal gate near the large dead oak and immediately turn left following the hedge. At the field corner turn right towards a gate and head through towards Hall End Road.

4 - Turn left along Hall End Road towards Hall End, then after 200m turn right into a lane and look for a FP sign about 50m on the left. Go through a kissing gate here and head across the field towards another gate. Bear slightly to the right and diagonally across this field and through a gap in the hedge, then straight on, passing through another gap. Bear slightly left and diagonally across the next field towards a gate in the far right corner near a row of houses. Cross Keeley Lane. Look for the FP sign and cross the adjacent stile. The path emerges into a long narrow field following a wooden fence. Go through the hedge via a stile and continue on towards the farm buildings and Wood End Lane.

5 - Cross Wood End Lane and head left until you reach Buttons Ramsey plantation. This is the first of a number of new plantations in the Forest of Marston Vale which you will pass through. Enter the plantation and follow the main surfaced track which meanders through the trees. Eventually you will find yourself back at Wood End Lane. Cross here and immediately enter another plantation known as ‘The Kill’.  Again, follow the surfaced track through three metal gates and onto Wootton Road. Cross the road here taking particular care, then head left alongside a row of houses. At the point where the road bends left take the FP to the right and follow the surfaced track into Ridgeway Wood plantation. At the end of the track go through the hedge and turn right. At Bell Farm turn right. Passing through a gate, continue ahead with the hedge to your right. Go through the kissing gate below the oak and into Wiles Wood plantation. Head downhill for a short distance then pick up the surfaced track to the left. Follow this as it meanders through the trees, ending at a five bar gate. Go through, turn right and follow a BW then left at a finger post along a track called Potters Cross towards a row of houses at the edge of Wootton village.

6- Continue along Potters Cross to Bedford Road and turn left where you will pass a village store, then pubs on either side of the road.  After the second pub, the Cock Inn, head right along Church Road. At the Memorial Cross bear left, ignoring Church Row and up the gated track. Just before the gate take the FP to the left which soon emerges onto an open field. Take the path that heads straight on with the field boundary on your right. Go through a kissing gate into a small plantation. The path then crosses a FB onto an open field. Head left along the field boundary, past a white house and cross another FB. Again, follow the field boundary to the left and through a kissing gate and then another, next to a tree lined farm track. Follow the track to the left where you will soon reach Wootton Green Farm, rejoining the outward bound route.

7 - From here on you will be retracing your steps. Head down the road and turn right at the junction. After 150m take the small road to the left then the FP to the right of a wooden fence. The path soon reaches an open field. Head slightly left across the field towards a WMP and FB through a gap in the hedge. Follow the right hand field boundary for a short distance then turn right near some farm buildings and on to Lower Shelton Road. Left here and back through Lower Shelton village to the underpass. Leaving the subway bear left uphill onto the road then turn right into Marston Moretaine. Shortly, cross and turn left into Allen Court then over the FB and back into the Country Park. Turn right and follow the surfaced track back to the Forest Centre. 

Pit stops/points of interest

There are toilets and benches at the Forest Centre.

The Forest Centre

The Cross Keys


Forest Volunteers

Central Bedfordshire Council

Bedford Borough Council

The British Horse Society

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