Welcome to the Forest of Marston Vale’s Paths 4 Communities page. This is a great way to explore the Forest on foot, by bicycle or on horse back using one of ten routes. Ten routes for walkers and riders have been developed by the Forest of Marston Vale Trust with assistance from Forest Volunteers and the British Horse Society. Many start and end at the Forest Centre at Marston Moretaine (click to find out about opening hours and location), there’s a chance to jump on a train and all give access to lovely countryside in the Marston Vale. Brief introductions to each walk or ride are followed by links to more information about the routes, all of which are published on the Let’s Go! web site.
Route 1 – Forest Centre to Millbrook and Ampthill Park– 7 miles
A very pleasant walk that leads you through the Millennium Country Park and surrounding farmland to the Georgian Market Town of Ampthill and its historical connections with Catherine of Aragon. Then on to the attractive village of Millbrook with its distinctive cottages originally built to house the workers of the Duke of Bedford’s Estate.
Route 2 – Forest Centre to Gateway Woods – 10 miles
Leaving the Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park this route takes you through small villages and hamlets of Kemspton Rural and Wootton parishes and across cultivated farmland to the community woodlands known collectively as Gateway Woods. The walk takes you to Wootton and then back to the Forest Centre for a cup of tea and slice of cake.
Route 3 – Forest Centre to Lidlington and Folly Wood – 7 miles
A pleasant walk that leads you through the Millennium Country Park and surrounding farmland to the village of Lidlington and the Forest of Marston Vale Trust’s Community Woodland called Folly Wood. The return journey provides an option to walk a further mile into the Vale then back to the Forest Centre.
Route 4 – The Jubilee Walk - 6.5 miles
A lovely circular walk from the Millennium Country Park, Marston Moreteyne through the surrounding countryside to Hunger Hill and Rectory Wood returning via the ancient woodland of Marston Thrift.
Route 5 – Forest Centre to Bedford via Shocott Spring – 13.5 miles
A walk through the eastern part of the Vale with views of the Greensand Ridge and the Cardington Sheds with the opportunity to explore King’s Wood, Glebe Meadows, Conquest Wood, and Shocott Spring before catching the train or bus back to the Forest Centre.
Route 6 – The Clay Way: Forest Centre to Bromham Mill – 9.5 miles
For cyclists and pedestrians. Starting from the Millennium Country Park take a trip on the Marston Vale Line from Millbrook to Ridgmont then walk or cycle up onto the clay ridge to enjoy views across the Marston Vale and the Greensand Ridge beyond.
Route 7 – Bedford St Johns Station to the Grange Estate - 6.5 miles
For cyclists & pedestrians. Leaving the Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park take the train from Millbrook to Bedford St Johns Station on the Marston Vale Line, then walk or cycle through Bedford’s flood plain and into the Grange Estate and Willington Village, both of which form part of the Bedford River Valley Park.
Route 8 - Forest Centre to Centre Parcs - 14 miles
This lovely ride takes you from the Millennium Country Park over the beautiful, wooded Greensand Ridge and uses new bridleways between Millbrook and Lidlington and around the perimeter of the new Centreparcs near Flitwick. The route has been designed with horse-riders in mind but is also suitable for walkers and off-road cyclists.
Route 9 – Forest Centre to Cranfield - 10 miles
This route takes you from the Country Park in Marston Moreteyne to the ancient woodlands of Marston Thrift and Hulcot and then on to Cranfield via bridleways which offer superb views and many canter opportunities. The route’s length can be extended by riding the Rectory Wood horse trail or sections of the Bourne End, Wootton extension.
Route 10 – The Timberland Trail - 13 miles
A full day’s circular walk from the Forest Centre, through Marston Moretaine, Lidlington, Millbrook to Ampthill town centre then returning via Houghton Conquest and Stewartby. The walk is one of contrasts, including flat Vale farmland and the wooded slopes of the Greensand Ridge. There are plenty of places to stop for food on the way.