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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

Village Hall in Houghton Conquest


4.5 miles


Surface types – Varied, ranging from a hard, firm surface with stones no larger than 5 - 10mm, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts and farmland.

Linear gradient – Steepest gradient is 1:6 as you climb up beside Kings wood (this stretch can be very muddy in winter), elsewhere it’s between 1:10 - 1:13.

Cross falls - Cross falls of 1:26 or less at the bridge over the ford (5 on the map).

Steps – The bridge has steps with a max height of 290mm.

Barriers – Two 2-way opening gates with a width restriction of 750mm, three 1-way opening gates with a width restriction of 730 - 750mm, one staggered barrier with a width restriction of 800mm, restriction of 670mm between a post and the kerb when you join the foot path from Rectory Lane.

Route description 

1 - From the village hall, walk towards the church and turn left into Rectory Lane. About 100 yards before the gate to the Old Rectory, take the foot path signposted on the right at point 1 on the map. Go though the kissing gate at the end, turn left and continue between the fence and hedgerow along the track until you reach the Kings Wood and Glebe Meadows Nature Reserve.

2 - Carry straight on through the rambler stile and across Glebe Meadows to a gate into Kings Wood where you can take the permissive paths for a detour, if you wish. Otherwise turn left on the outside of the wood and go through a kissing gate in the corner of the field. Turn right and follow the wood edge up on the hill, over a stile and along the wood edge to a way marker post at point 3 on the map, where there is a wide track across the field to a large, open barn.

3 - Turn left onto this track towards Brick hill Pastures passing the barn, then onto a concrete farm road, through the farm. Continue on this road until a foot path crosses and turn left, keeping to the hedge. A way marker sign will direct you right across the field to another way marker post at point 4, near the corner of Montague Wood.

4 - Cross the bridge over a deep ditch and take a slightly angle left across the field, heading towards a tree in the far hedgerow. You may be able to see a small gap in the hedge with a way marker post next to this tree and a short line of poplars beside the road in the distance, to the right - hopefully the farmer will have marked the path in some way. When you reach the way marker post, cross the bridge over the ditch and carry straight on across the next field for 250 yards, passing under power lines until the path is crossed by a footpath from Haynes West End to West End Farm where you turn left. At some times of year, there is a lot of guesswork as to where this path is!

5 - Cross over the bridge beside a ‘ford’ and follow the way marker posts into West End Farm yard. Just after the green slurry tank on your right, look for a way marker post beside the hedge and ditch on your left, before you pass the electricity transformer pole. Cross the bridge and follow the path right across the field, passing between the second and third electricity poles from the right, to a track leading to some houses off London Lane.

6 - Turn right and then left into London Lane. Take care of for traffic along this narrow lane, but pause near the top of the hill to look at the view.

Pit stops/points of interest

Kings Wood and Glebe Meadows, The Old Rectory, The Ouse Valley, The Knife and Cleaver and The Anchor in Houghton Conquest and the village shop. There are no public toilets, picnic tables or seats on this route.

Kings Wood and Glebe Meadows 

Historical buildings in Houghton Conquest 


Houghton Conquest Parish Path Partnership Group

Funding from the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme