Friday, 18 October 2013

#30 Barton Hills - Hills, Hoo's and Hoe's

12.93 Miles
393 Metres 

Great Day for a walk, not raining, not hot, not cold just a bit grey.  The day didn't start the greatest due to some road range, sign language and a burst of anger.  So relaxing in the hills was the best antidote!  Earlier in the year I did a 10 mile walk from Barton-Le-Clay round Pegsdon and back again along the Ickneild Way.  Needing a few more hills, I decided to follow the same walk with but with a walk up the Pegsdon Hills and back down again.  This side 'loop' had no other reason than to climb a hill, it makes no logical route sense and didn't get me any 'further' away.

Pegsdon Hills
The first 3 miles is along the base of the escarpment (that makes it sound higher!) following the John Bunyan Trail.  It's pretty flat countryside, with the added bonus of the Hexton Tea rooms.  A cross between a tea room, gift shop and bring and buy sale.  As it was only 1.5 miles into the walk I couldn't really stop, plus I'm on a diet, plus it was shut!

From Pegsdon I had to cross Hitchen Road (pretty busy and fairly fast) and head up to Hoo Bit.  The area round here is full of earthworks and prehistoric history which I know nothing about.  Maybe I should learn a bit!  The climb up to Hoo Bit is just shy of 100m, which is pretty respectable for Bedfordshire!

Barton Hills
After a few hundred metres along the Ickneild Way is was back down to Pegsdon and back onto the previous route.  The route soon heads back up along the edge of Knocking Hoe.  Last time I was here I took a few breathers on the way up, this time I powered up to the top.  Ok Powered might be a tad strong... more like wandered up, breathing hard but not stopping. 

This was again a good place for lunch, even with the wind blowing causing a slight chill.  After a swift 20 mins, it was back towards the Ickneild way to head back towards the Barton Hills.  As an extra bonus I climbed Deacon Hill as it had a trig point!  And what a trig point it was in a fetching pink!  Deacon Hill was a whole 173m high but offered great views across the Bedfordshire plains.

The final 3-3.5 miles were a bit of a rush, I had slightly underestimated the length of the walk and as I was working that night (at work right now...) I had to get home, showered and changed!  The path brings you to the edge of the valley.  This steep sided valley cuts into the hills and is pretty picturesque and peaceful despite being on the edge of the town.

In the end the walk was just shy of 13 miles and took about 4 and a half hours including the 20 mins for lunch.  Not a bad day in the end. 

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