Friday, 3 May 2013

#27 Barton Le Clay

#27 Barton Le Clay

Distance - 10.0 miles
Ascent - 217 metres

Two walks in two days?  I'm getting extravagate! Todays walk was a planned 8.5 mile wander around Barton Le Clay and the edge of the Chilterns.  The weather again was pretty perfect and warm enough for short sleeves and sunblock!  Nick was visiting from the South so I dragged him along.

The Chilterns

Heading North/east out of Barton Le Clay along the John Bunyan trail the path is wide, flat and easy walking.  The views are across open pleasant farmland with 'big' horizons.  The scarp slope of the Chilterns is obvious to one side and contrasts sharply with the flat farm land we was walking through. 

In Hexton we made a short stop at the Tea rooms so Nick could buy cake.  We had only been walking just shy of 2 miles so we couldn't really justify a full tea break!  The tea rooms are in the old village hall and are a mixture of tea rooms and country knick knacks stall.  The sort of place my mother would love I feel!

At Pegston we had planned to head up into the Pegston hills then back towards Barton Le Clay, however we decided to extend the walk slightly (about 1.5 miles as it turned out) with an idea to have lunch at the top of deacon hill.  The path soon began the head upwards and came out along the edge of the Knocking Hoe nature reserve.  It was here that we saw 2 Red Kites, impressive looking birds, soaring on the thermals.

At the top of the Hoe was a nice bench and it would of been rude to wander past it.  Lunch was taken while watching the Kites doing their thing.  We soon after joined the Icknield Way Trail heading back towards Barton le clay.  There was a short section of road/verge walking along Hitchin Road but despite it being quite busy, the verge was wide and usable.

View from a bench
Along this section of the Icknield Way it reminded me greatly of the Peddars way, which isn't to surprising really being as they are both ancient paths that join together.  The farmland on top of the chalk escarpment is noticeable different to the land below.  I can't quite say how or why, it just looked an felt different, in some ways it was hard to imagine I was still in Bedfordshire.

The Icknield Way

The Icknield Way crossed the John Bunyan Trail and it was at this point we headed north in to the Barton Hills.  The scarp slope is quite sudden and dramatic (for this area!) and gives great views across the Bedfordshire plains. 

The Barton Hills

Good walk and perfect on a day like this.

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