Ninth Bedfordshire Walking Festival to include 22-mile Kingfisher Way challenge and one-off tour of Ickwell Bury

Walkers enjoying Southill Park, near Biggleswade. Picture: Barry Ingram

Walkers enjoying Southill Park, near Biggleswade. Picture: Barry Ingram - Credit: Archant

Your boots were made for walking, but is that what they’ll do? The ninth annual Bedfordshire Walking Festival’s coming up, and everyone’s invited to take part.

The nine-day festival starts on September 9, with a variety of walks throughout the county – with an excursion from Jordans Mill near Biggleswade on September 11, and a one-off trip into Ickwell Bury the following day.

For those fancying a longer walk, there’s the 22-mile Kingfisher Way walk along the Ivel from Baldock to Tempsford via Stotfold, Henlow, Langford, Biggleswade, Sandy and Blunham on September 10.

Organiser Barry Ingram said: “The festival offers opportunities for almost all abilities, from health walks to a 40-mile challenge, plus trying out new ways of walking and more besides.

“Our aim is to encourage walkers, non-walkers and people new to the area to join in and explore this lovely county – with a number of informative and interesting walks of around two hours’ duration.

“Regular walkers are not forgotten, with walks from five miles up to the 40-mile Greensand Ridge Challenge.

“Most of the walks are free and do not require booking – but where booking is required it is usually because of a limit on numbers. Where there is a cost for a walk it is because of food, a tour or transport.

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“For example, the five-mile walk from Jordans Mill at Broom includes transport, lunch and a guided tour of the mill.”

The walk from Jordans Mill starts at 10.30am on September 11, and takes in five watermills and a 16th-century church.

Billed as “east walking with uneven surfaces”, it finishes with lunch and a tour of the largest remaining working mill on the Ivel.

Booking is necessary for the Jordans Mill walk, with a cost of £13.50.

The walk from Shuttleworth the next day starts at 10am and takes in the village of Ickwell as well as a one-off tour of Ickwell Bury and a look around Shuttleworth House.

This walk includes some field paths that can be uneven or wet – the organisers have asked walkers to wear suitable footwear and advised that it is not suitable for small children, wheelchairs or buggies.

The walking festival ends with the two-day Greensand Ridge Challenge, centred around Ampthill – 19 miles from Leighton Buzzard on September 16, then 21 miles from Gamlingay Cinques the following day.

To find out more and see the full timetable of events, see bedswalkfest.co.uk.