I walked up to the station and when the train arrived before 11:00, 11 Poly Ramblers alighted, making up a party of 12. There had been a considerable amount of rainfall during the previous week. I thus advised the party of a Claggy field and a Squelchy track, during the final third of the ramble. Setting off beside Tesco’s car park and some residential roads, we continued along a straight tarmacked track, tree lined to the left and grassy on the right, leading off to several other residential areas until we reached an open area with a Motte and Bailey at one end. This led us to Dewpond Road and the Dew Pond itself featuring some aquatic birds.  A left turn and right fork from here led us onto Church Road, being a narrow lane, where we passed the side of the Manor behind trees, and then the Parish Church.  A little further down the lane we reached the main entrance gates to Flitwick Manor, where to one side of its driveway were carpeted in a bright white of snowdrops, Time here for some photoshoots!

We continued into Dunstable Road, being the A5120, then suddenly turned through a gateway into Flitwick Manor Park. This piece of land was purchased in 2009 by the Town Council and yields more views of the Manor and its driveway. Flitwick Manor is a Grade II listed Georgian building; there has been a Manor here since 1632, the site has changed hands several times, and from 1789 came into possession of the Brooks family for 145 years.   Nowadays it is one of the Best Western chain of Hotels.  On reaching the exit of the Park, it was too early for lunch, so I decided we explore the inner area with a lake strewn with weeds, unfortunately this area was waterlogged in places, but we managed to negotiate around the wet grass.

Just down the road was the Nuyard Garden Centre and cafe, our lunch venue where we had hot drinks and food. They served us well.  After lunch, we crossed over the main road outside, to take the footpath via Moor Farm, and down beside Westoning church, into Westoning High Street and a right fork up Greenfield Road. After a quarter mile on reaching the overbridge carrying the Midland Railway, this road became flooded through the arch underneath, and we could see  that when an occasional large vehicle traversed that the water through the arch would be over 2 feet deep. However, 6 days ago it was completely dry! I thus had to abandon this route, and so we returned back to the High Street, and took an alternative route by Sampshill Road, a lane which led us onto higher ground, then petered out into a track. On our left we saw a Solar Farm made up of numerous large dark glass oblong plates tilted at an angle so as to collect maximum light energy.  After 2 miles we reached the aforementioned Squelchy track of about 150 yards, but our diversion saved us from having to cross Claggy field, being like Essex clay, where mud would have stuck to our boots!

We then reached Greenfield hamlet, a ribbon development along a straight lane. From here our route took us across Flitwick Moor, and with the previous diversion from Westoning,  I decided to shorten the rest of the walk by taking the direct path through the Moor woodland and beside the river Flit. Unfortunately this turned out to be quite slimey and slithery but we all made it through to Flitwick Mill in the end. From here it was a half mile of urban street walking to the station where I said goodbye to the party whilst they were in good time for the 4.45 train back to London.

Thank you to the 11 Poly Ramblers who attended with me.

GEOFFREY.  Photos by Geoffrey and Gillian