Stockgrove Park is near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire just outside the village of Heath & Reach. It is between Heath & Reach and Great Brickhill. It is part of Rushmere Country Park which is made up of Rushmere, Stockgrove, Oak Wood, Rammamere and parts of King’s Wood. To say the least, there is a plethora of walking options around the parks. Our walk will comprise Stockgrove, Rammamere, and Oak Wood.
This area holds a special place in my heart as it was Leighton Buzzard that was my first home in the U.K. All of my children were born while I lived there and Stockgrove Park was one of our favourite places to take the kids for walks. If you enjoy history, like myself, you should follow the links and learn more about these places. I personally find walks more enjoyable when I find out about the places I walk.
We started from a lay-by parking area on the left hand side of Brickhill Road coming from Great Brickhill (on the right after the Stockgrove main parking area if coming from Heath & Reach). It holds about ten cars depending on the sensibility of the drivers. From the car park head straight down the path.
Just keep straight until you come to the junction shown below. The sign you can see is a map of Rammamere SSSI. This is important because that map is how we chose the first half of this little walk. We will be following the perimeter of Rammamere as outlined on the map. I would give you the up close picture but between fade and graffiti the picture is too hard to see.
At this next junction (see below) you again want to go straight ignoring the turning. We will be walking the extent of this path until we reach a gate. Just by the gate is a right turn which is our path. It is a lovely path lined with ferns on both sides and beautiful views over the fields beyond.
Along the way we found a fabulous tree that just screamed out to be climbed. As I have injured my hip (why this is a short walk), it was my husband that got to climb up the tree.
At the next junction we turned left. With Rammamere on our right the entire time we approach another junction. This one is a 4 -way option. You can see a green sign on the path to the left which is another map of Rammamere. This is just important for recognising where you are. At the junction you cross straight over walking on a sandy path. This leads into Stockgrove proper. You will happen across another smaller fork in the path that goes off to the left and slightly uphill (pic below). Pass by this and continue straight ahead.
Not long after you have passed the left path you will come upon a kissing gate which you will go through. This path will continue until you reach a field with a fence and a path on the far side of that fence. Turn left and head for Stockgrove Park on the other side of the road.
Once inside Stockgrove proper you will walk through the carpark with the building in front of you. Keep an eye out for entrance to the path on your left between parking spots. Go to the path and turn right. Follow this path straight forward. You will see a pond on your right with an the remains of an old boat house, and a bridge and you will continue past these. You will also see paths into Baker’s Wood on your left during this time. Save that for another day as well. As you come to another fork in the road after ignoring the bridge you will see a tree in the middle of a triangle like junction. Here we turn right.
Along this path you will come to a gate. Continue through. This path has several paths off of it as well as a rather awesome sculpture of a beetle on the left. You will need to watch for an intersection of paths in Oak Woods. At that intersection you will see a direction sign saying Brickhill Road on the right and another green sign. Turn right here.
This path will take you past some cottages on your left and an old converted Clock Tower on your right. As you reach the road you will find gates and house. There is a sign saying North Lodge on one of the houses. If you came in to park from Great Brickhill you should recognise these houses are close to your carpark. At the road we turned right and walked along the road to the car. It was only a short bit of road path but do be careful.
The total distance of this walk was only 5k (3.1 miles) but it was still a challenge for me. My hip had been sore when I started out but in the last hundred metres I turned my ankle and jarred it even further so I am out of commission for at least a few days. But as I did this walk on a bad hip and it is so short it is definitely not difficult.
There are a couple gates. Narrow paths with nettle at the beginning and a sandy path near the middle make this problematic for those using push chairs or wheelchairs. Not impossible but I would not recommend this in a wheelchair at all. With a pushchair I would keep to an offfroad variety and maybe have a rain cover for the nettle section to protect baby.