Dunstable Downs Jewelled trail, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Walking trail

Follow the coloured jewelled way-markers with the National Trust on this pleasant route, which forms a loop at the top of Dunstable Downs, and takes in woodland; grassland, and, as you return to the Chilterns Gateway Centre, open pasture with views of Aylesbury Vale. Walk sections of the Icknield Way.


Dunstable Downs is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Suitable for families. Look out for orchids.


Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Chilterns Gateway Centre visitor car park, grid ref: TL008195


From the Chilterns Gateway Centre car park look for the first jewel marker. With your back to the Gateway Centre, follow the footpath away from the car park and towards the road which leads to Chute Wood.

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Discs on Jewelled trail at Dunstable Downs


Following the jewel markers, continue down the road until you come to the start of the wood. At this point you can opt to do a shorter route. If so, turn right and pass through the kissing gate, after which turn right again and walk back towards the Chilterns Gateway Centre, admiring the views across the Vale of Aylesbury.

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View of Vale of Aylesbury from top of Ivenhoe Beacon-


For the full jewel walk, turn left at the woods and walk along the marked footpath which takes you around the edge of the woodland, passing some residential dwellings on your left.


Walking away from the woodland, look out for the kissing gate on your right. Go through this and follow the path across the field, spotting the jewel marker as you go.


Continue through the next kissing gate and cross the field until you reach the bridleway. Turn right along this ancient sunken pathway with hedgerows on either side, looking out for the jewel markers along the way.


At the end of the bridleway, and as Ivinghoe Beacon comes into view, turn right and pick up the footpath that goes through the kissing gate. Follow this footpath, which is part of the Icknield Way, as it leads you back towards the Chiltern Gateway Centre.

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View of Ivinghoe Beacons


Continue on the footpath, admiring the views from the Downs, keeping an eye out for the jewel markers which lead you along the edge of the grazing meadow. Follow the footpath ahead as you go through a gate and onwards through a kissing gate at the corner of the field.

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A view of a skylark in flight


Follow the path up through an area of elder and hawthorn and up towards the Windcatcher, where you bear right and return to the Chilterns Gateway Centre.

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A view of the Dunstable Downs Visitor Centre


Chilterns Gateway Centre visitor car park, grid ref: TL008195

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Dunstable Downs Jewelled trail, Dunstable, Bedfordshire


Parts of the walk can become muddy after wet weather; sturdy footwear is advisable. There's an optional shortcut to this route. Dogs welcome, please keep under close control, particularly around livestock.

Dunstable Downs Jewelled trail, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Contact us

Dunstable Downs Jewelled trail, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

How to get here

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire LU6 2GY
By train

Luton station 7 miles, from here take Arriva 61 bus service (see By bus above)

By road
On B4541 west of Dunstable and Whipsnade. Post code for Sat Nav: LU6 2GY, or LU6 2TA for older equipment.
By foot

Footpaths from West Street and Tring Road, Dunstable

By bus
Arriva 61, Luton station to Aylesbury (daily except Sundays), alight West Street, Dunstable. From here, you can join the walk at the Chilterns Gateway Centre
By bicycle
Public bridleway from West Street in Dunstable and Whipsnade. Cycle parking available at the Gateway Centre.
Dunstable Downs Jewelled trail, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Facilities and access

  • Parking at Dunstable Downs off B451 (£2.50); Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, B4540 (off the village green); Bison Hill off B4540; Whipsnade crossroads, junction of B4541 and B4540
  • Dogs welcome under close control, on leads near livestock
  • Cycling - public bridleway giving cyclists shared access. Route is part of Icknield Way Trail
  • Baby-changing rooms available at the Chilterns Gateway Centre during opening hours
  • Mobility parking in main car park, 20 yards
  • Grounds partly accessible on multi-user route
  • Level access to Chilterns Gateway Centre