The Bidwell Walk


by Alan Winter
The brighter sunshine this afternoon beckoned me to venture out to get some much-needed walking exercise this afternoon. The first part of the walk involved walking into Houghton Regis town centre where I had optimistically arranged to meet a friend. As I went out the cold grabbed my back, and I started wishing I had put that extra fleece jacket on.

The first thing that struck me was how open the woodland was in front of my own house. The weeds et cetera normally hide a lot of the dumped rubbish, so, mental note to self to get in there with my litter picking stick later, and also to drag out some of the larger items for our Household Waste Services to hopefully take away later.

Meeting up in town, we went off down Bedford Road. Here I include a photo of the steps to Bidwell Hill, as they seem to hold fond memories for our older generations.

(All pictures can be enlarged by tapping or clicking them.)


After the Old Red Lion, and drawing level with the entrance to the Bauk concreted path, we headed EAST between Bidwell cottages on a path marked public footpath. It's not an obvious walking route, but is marked as FP10 on Central Bedfordshire Council definitive map. At the end of the buildings you are confronted with a very large metal door. It's held back against a wall, and you have to 'know' to unlatch it and swing it out in order to get beyond the wall. Then it's tricky to swing it back into place behind you. I don't even know if it's legal, but it's been like that for many years. I'm surprised our RoW officers at CBC haven't had words with whoever put it there to get it removed. It's clearly meant as a deterrent to people who want to use the path.



From here we headed alongside the Taylor Wimpey site (Aylesbury Drive, etc), currently in construction, on FP45, heading north. Part way down the side of the field beyond the Taylor Wimpey site, I came across the first shopping trolley. One wonders how it is that a shopping trolley gets there! Here it is pictured looking back towards Tithe Farm.




At the end of FP45, we turned east, walking alongside the hedgerow that borders the Ouzel Brook.
The stile pictured along there has seen better days. The two cross pieces could do with being replaced.



Walking north easterly towards the new bridge over the A5, I took this picture looking back to Grove Road in Tithe Farm.



Below the bridge, on the Tithe Farm side, an alternative walk can be had by following a track through the trees bordering the A5.


Heading north over the bridge you get a view of Grove Farm.

From the farm, we headed east down the main track to the farm buildings. There was a rustic scene of two horses being lead towards us, however, the strong low sunlight prevented me from getting a picture. Then there was the sight of a man pushing a wheelbarrow in a strange zig-zag fashion in an adjacent field. It certainly looked like a fine way to keep fit. On enquiry, we learnt that in fact, he was walking the field to collect horse manure. Oh well, someone has to do it, even if it is a Sunday afternoon!

At the end of the Grove Farm track has now been built a Pegasus, or bridleway crossing, across Lord's Hill.





There wasn't a horse available to picture, so instead, Michael pretended to be one!

Heading east alongside the A5 to another bridge, this one is for FP13, we crossed over and tried to see where the markers might take us. The definitive map shows FP13, but the only footpath marker we could see was taking us in an easterly direction on FP58 which then goes into FP40 which would eventually take us to the Thorn Road.

FP58 is the path to the right of the fence, on the southern side of the bridge (FP13)

FP40
The path alongside the field (FP58 and FP40) was extremely claggy underfoot.



FP40 then heads south




We cross Thorn Road onto FP4. The field through which FP4 runs wasn't ploughed, so possibly that's it for growing crops, now. HRN2 construction works probably won't be too far away. Next, we turn onto the Baulk concrete path (FP11). It might be worth noting that FP53 just doesn't exist.

At the end of the path is my second shopping trolley of the day, this time a Sainsbury's model situated in front of the Blue Waters Woodland board.


Michael Murphy is hoping to arrange some casual walks later this year when the weather gets better. If interested Message Michael via Facebook.

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