Explore – walking, cycling and riding routes
Greensand Country is a great place to get outdoors and discover some fascinating history and amazing views. There are fantastic opportunities for exploring the area on foot, bicycle or horseback.
Walking is an ideal way to get to know Greensand Country and experience what it has to offer. When on foot you are closer to nature and able to take in the views, soak up the landscape and smell the fresh air. There is a good network of Public Rights of Way in the area for you to choose from – whether you’re seeking a gentle circular stroll, a brisk walk up to a viewpoint, or a more challenging long-distance footpath. The Greensand Ridge Walk is the area’s most famous route, running for 42 miles from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay. But rest assured you don’t have to tackle it all at once! The walk can very easily be divided into shorter sections and is often best enjoyed as a two-day challenge, for example, during the Bedfordshire Walking Festival. With good public transport links, pubs and accommodation along the way, it’s no wonder that ‘walking the ridge’ is one of Greensand Country’s most favoured outdoor pursuits.
Cycling is popular in Greensand Country, where quiet lanes and ever- changing scenery make for great days out by bike. There are plenty of level stretches for leisurely rides, as well as challenging climbs for seasoned cyclists and a network of off-road routes that remain passable year-round, thanks to the area’s sandy soil. Check out the trails at Rushmere Country Park and Aspley Woods. A Greensand Cycle Pass, which permits access to the trails at these sites can be purchased from www.greensandtrust.org
Accompanying the famous Ridge Walk, the Greensand Cycleway / Cycle Ride route runs the length of the area, covering 42 miles between Leighton Buzzard and Gamlingay. It’s a great ride to enjoy in one go, but you may prefer to split it into shorter sections or ride one of the circular routes that branch off the main Greensand Cycleway.
Horse riding is a fun way to explore the landscape and the sandy soil of Greensand Country makes it the perfect place for hacking along greenways and bridleways – many of which are dry and mud-free even in winter. The British Horse Society has worked with local organisations to create new circular horse-riding trails and there are several B&Bs offering livery and stabling for overnight guests and their horses. Riders wishing to venture ‘off the beaten track’ of public bridleways can purchase a Greensand Horse Riding Pass, which permits access to the Greensand Trust’s dedicated network of riding trails.
Help your visitors to explore the area on foot, bike or horse. Use the areas within this website and others to find information about the best trails and most popular events. Where might someone be able to hire a bike, or go horse riding?
Discover the area yourself – explore your local patch and find a few walks or rides that you would recommend from your front door. Try to include some great views, interesting places or pit stops such as pubs and cafés along your routes. Create a simple route map if you’re able to.
Recommend a variety of grades of walk – gentle ambles for all abilities; challenging hikes for the more active and adventurous; as well as good seasonal experiences (woods in spring and autumn, or views from the ridge in winter).
Provide facilities for your active guests – drying space for boots and waterproofs; secure storage for bikes; hearty food and packed lunches.
Distribute free walking, riding and cycling leaflets.
Make it clear that your business is within Greensand Country and don’t hesitate to tell visitors why you love the area!
Provide maps and guide books (on loan) and tell your visitors where to buy them locally.
Create an information pack for your visitors promoting local routes and attractions. Collect everything together in a folder and try to keep it up-to-date.
Encourage wildlife into your own grounds by providing bird feeders, nesting areas, wildflowers and other plants to attract insects and birds.
Find out about the VisitEngland Welcome Scheme, which provides training and advice for accommodation businesses in welcoming guests with particular requirements (walkers, cyclists, families and people with pets).