OS maps will always be essential to follow the routes described and the relevant sheets are given in the summary section for each walk. There are bound to be errors in the descriptions. They are entirely my responsibility and I would appreciate being made aware of them by anyone who may venture out on one of these walks and encounters bad information.
Similar activities have been enjoyed in other parts and so this section also includes walks from Malta where I was very fortunate to count on the help of local experts in the identification of some of the species encountered.
1. The Icknield Way
Known as the oldest road in Britain, the Icknield Way extends from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk. It pre-dates the Romans and could have been a trade route for the Iceni from their base in East Anglia. The Icknield Way is easily followed with the help of the Icknield Way Association’s Walkers’ Guide and the three Icknield Way Path Leaflets published by Bedfordshire County Council Leisure Services.
Here are my notes:
2. The Ridgeway
The Ridgeway runs from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Overton Hill in Wiltshire. It is a very ancient path which was used for livestock droving along high routes that kept the stock and the drovers clear of the dangers lurking in the wild forest below. The Ridgeway is well supported by guides of many kinds such as this one on the National Trails website.
3. The Greensand Ridge Walk (GRW)
The GRW is Bedfordshire's best known long distance walk, in fact it takes in parts of Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire as well. It runs for 40 miles (64 km) from Gamlingay in the east to Leighton Buzzard in the west and as it does so it follows the Lower Greensand Ridge. The GRW boasts its own website which is a rich source of information on all aspects of the route www.greensandridgewalk.co.uk.
4. The John Bunyan Trail (JBT)
The JBT is a rather neglected Bedfordshire trail which celebrates the life and times of the eponymous Baptist evangelist who lived in the county from 1628 to 1688. The JBT covers a total of 112 km (70 miles) and passes through some of Bedfordshire's most pleasant countryside. Although there is no web site dedicated to the trail, route maps and further information can be downloaded from the links given in the Introduction to Walk 1.
5. The North Bedfordshire Heritage Trail (NBHT)
The NBHT is a 70 mile (112 km) circular route through some of north Bedfordshire's most attractive villages (23 of them) and countryside. The starting point is St Paul's Square in Bedford (TL049496). You will always need the relevant OS Explorer map to follow the route, the way-marking is not very well developed, but an overview can be downloaded at: http://www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk/northbedsheritage.pdf. A narrative description is also available at: http://www.letsgo.org.uk/OldCMS/2805165_17.htm.
6. The Clay Way is an 11.5 mile (18.4 km) linear walk over glacial boulder clays. A route map is available via the link given in the Introduction and Walk 1
7. Three Shires Way (TSW) is a 62 km bridleway starting at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire and ending at Tathall End, Buckinghamshire. Links to route maps are given in the Introduction.
8. Exploring Malta and Gozo
The islands of Gozo, Comino and Malta are full of specifically Mediterranean wildlife and also some important prehistoric sites. An initial foray was made in the June heat of 2013, to be followed by a spring-time return in March 2014. Some of the wildlife encountered on the walks is recorded in the following PowerPoint presentations.
8.2. March & April 2014
9. Costa Rica. A wander through the wildlife of: San José, Tortuguero, Golfito, Sarapiquí, Bajos del Toro and Boca Tapada