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Dunstable Downs winter walk


Step outside this winter and enjoy the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside on this exhilarating walk across the Dunstable Downs. Along the way, discover diverse wildlife, Iron Age hill forts and burial mounds.

While you're here

Don’t forget to pop into the Chilterns Gateway Centre for some delicious food and a browse round our gift shop.

A frosty day on Dunstable Downs
Tony Margiocchi


Route map for Dunstable Downs winter walk
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Visitor Centre car park, grid ref: TL008195


From the car park walk slightly downhill over the grass area, then turn right at the wind catcher following the path along the top of the slope, past the site of the medieval warren, as far as the Five Knolls tumuli.

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Continue downhill to West Street, which runs along the line of the Icknield Way.


Cross West Street on to Green Lane opposite, known also as Drovers' Way.

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Continue as far as the crossroads. In the field diagonally to the right, the line of trees mark the rampart of Maiden Bower, an Iron Age hill fort. At the second crossroads, turn left along the Houghton Green Highway into Totternhoe village.


Cross Dunstable Road and follow Furlong Lane, turn left onto Church Road and left again on to Well Head Road. Follow this as far as the Icknield Way near Well Head.

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Cross the road and follow the bridleway opposite as far as the base of the Downs.


Turn right at the end of the bridleway. Follow the footpath at the bottom of the slope, through the fence, until a track is reached on the left. NOTE: for a shorter walk, follow this track uphill and back to the starting point along an ancient hollow way.


Pass through a gate, turn left uphill for 49yd (45m), then turn right onto a sunken way. This path is an old cut way, which would have offered travellers an easier way up the slope. Follow this path as it climbs up the Downs and then back to the bottom.


Join the footpath that follows the bottom of the Downs.


Just before the road, join the bridleway which climbs uphill, looking back views of the Vale of Aylesbury and Ivinghoe Beacon appear.


With the car park on your right, carry on uphill and turn left into a large grass field. Please keep your dogs on a lead in this field as there may be sheep grazing.


Follow the hedge line at the top of the field, with more views of the Vale of Aylesbury on your left. You're following the Ridgeway Link which joins Dunstable Downs to Ivinghoe Beacon. After walking under a number of Beech trees and passing through a bridlegate, the Chilterns Gateway Centre soon appears on the right.

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Visitor Centre car park, grid ref: TL008195

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Dunstable Downs winter walk


Parts of the walk can become muddy and slippery after wet weather, sturdy footwear is advisable. Some stiles and gates. Dogs welcome - under close control please.

Dunstable Downs winter walk

How to get here

Dunstable Downs visitor car park, Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 2GY
By train

Luton, 7 miles (11km). From here, take 61 bus (see By bus)

By road

On B4541 between Dunstable and Whipsnade

By foot

Footpaths from West Street and Tring Road, Dunstable

By bus

Arriva 61, Luton station to Aylesbury, alight West Street, Dunstable. Daily, except Sundays. From here, join walk at point 2 on map

By bicycle

Public bridleway from West Street in Dunstable and Whipsnade. Cycle parking at Gateway Centre

Dunstable Downs winter walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking : National Trust car park - closes 6pm in summer and dusk in winter
  • WCs, café & gift shop open daily 10am - 5pm (10am - 4pm in winter), closed on 24 & 25 Dec)