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How to get there

You can access the route by car but not easily by public transport. 

  • Public transport - the number 42 bus (please check timetables)
  • Car - The village can be reached from the A6 (Bedford – Luton) or from the B530 (Bedford to Ampthill). There is limited parking available at the village hall - otherwise you can park on the street (as long as you park considerately).

Start/finish points

Suggested starting point is Mill Lane, Houghton Conquest or Wilstead.


4 miles


No cross falls or width restriction recorded.

Surface types – Varied, ranging from hard and firm with stones no larger than 5 – 10mm; grass/ uncultivated paths with/without ruts and farmland. This route can become very muddy in wet weather.

Linear gradient – Steepest gradient is between 1:10 – 1:13 for a short stretch.

Steps – At point 3 on the map when crossing the A6 (max height 220mm); steps at the bridges (less than 350mm).

Barriers – Three 2-way opening gates with a width restriction of 750mm, three kissing gates with a restriction of 1000mm, two 2-step stiles and three 1-way opening gates, built into field gates which have a high step-over of more than 300mm.

Route description 

  1. Starting from Mill Lane (1), take the footpath on the right just before the bungalow near the end of the lane. Follow the hedge for a short length then turn left over a small bridge and through the hedge. Continue along behind the gardens and then straight across the field to Chapel End Lane. Turn right into the lane and continue to footpath sign on the left.

    Follow the footpath through a hedge, over a small bridge and across a garden lawn between a bungalow and Chapel End Farm. Continue in the same direction past tall conifers, along a field edge and track and across a field towards the A6. At the far side of the field, cross a bridge and stile and head across the meadow, keeping left of the barns, to a waymark post in a gap in the hedge and then across a smaller meadow to the finger post on the A6. Cross over a stile, and go left, to the start of the layby and you will see the footpath. sign opposite. Take great care when crossing this road.

  2. Planning permission has been granted for development of the next field and the footpath will eventually be surfaced and should be easy to follow. Go over the stile and head diagonally across the meadow towards the church (the top of this can be seen if you look carefully). Cross a stile between a brick barn and an old corrugated iron one and continue along a path (which may be overgrown) between a stone wall and a hedge, to a stile onto the end of Vicarage Lane.

    4. Cross Vicarage Lane and take the footpath to Wilstead Church, following it through the church yard and out of the gate into Church Road, where there are some attractive old cottages. At the end of Church Road turn left into Bedford Road (where you have the choice of The Red Lion or The Woolpack if required). Continue along Bedford Road, past Black Hat Close and The Square to a layby on the left, opposite Duck End Lane.

    5. Part way along the layby, turn left at the footpath sign into a private drive. As the drive bends left, go right through a gap in the conifer hedge, then left along the path between the hedge and a fence and through a small gate into a meadow. In the meadow, go through a gateway a little way on your left and across the next meadow to the hedge opposite, then right following this hedge to a stile onto the A6. Once again, take great care crossing this road.
    6. Go through the kissing gate slightly to the left and follow the path alongside the hedge to the yellow-topped waymark post at the next gateway. Continuing in the same direction, go right, diagonally across the field to a kissing gate and bridge in the corner, then left, diagonally across the next field towards the waymark post about two thirds of the way along the hedge opposite. Cross a second bridge over a ditch and continue over the next field to a point slightly left of a tree in the opposite hedge. Cross a third bridge in this hedge and continue along, keeping the hedgerow on your righ, then straight across the field to small spinney ahead.

    7. Carry on along the left side of the spinney and pond to a waymark post in the field. Thickthorn Farm is a little way away on your right. At the waymark post turn slightly left and head towards a small tree in the hedge to the right of the mill. As you near this tree you will see the next waymark post. From the post, follow the hedgerow along past the old mill, which is on private land on the opposite side of the hedge, and is possibly in a dangerous state. At the end of the hedge turn right onto Mill Lane.

Pit stops/points of interest

Chapel End, Cranfield Mill, The Knife and Cleaver and The Anchor in Houghton Conquest and The Woolpack and the Red Lion in Wilstead. There is a shop in Houghton Conquest, and a shop, post office and takeaway Chinese/Indian restaurant in Wilstead. There are 3 seats along the route but no public toilets or picnic tables.

Wilstead Church -

Historical buildings in Houghton Conquest -


 Houghton Conquest Parish Path Partnership Group

Funding from the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme