Icknield Way Warden Hill to Letchworth

Eager not to repeat the mistakes of our last day’s walking, this time I was well prepared with maps for the whole of the walk, written directions, mid-morning snack, water and a hot breakfast. Hot breakfast? Ah well, it was an early morning start involving dropping off a passenger for an early work shift. So, we found ourselves at 6.30 am sitting in a car park just outside Luton. In the dark. Eating Amish Baked Oatmeal that I’d lovingly cooked overnight and transported in an insulated bag.

Suitably breakfasted and with just enough light to read the directions, if not the map, we set off across a golf course and up Warden Hill, where we looked down across the lights of Luton as the town woke up for the day. Descending from Galley Hill we crossed the golf course again (still no golfers) and then along a stretch of brick paved track and up Telegraph Hill. We walked through Pirton and out along a straight track that was originally a medieval loop of the Icknield Way before turning down Mill Way and through the charmingly restored buildings of Westmill down to the River Oughton. After a short detour around some school playing fields where we couldn’t find the waymarkers, we skirted around Ickleford via grassland and a bridge over the River Hiz and then crossed the railway line using the high bridge. We passed a jogger dancing backwards and forwards, which we thought was part of her exercise regime until a large, puffing man lumbered into view. Very unfairly (I thought) she let him almost catch up and then turned and sped off while he sighed and followed.

A bench half way up the hill was a good place for our mid morning snack though it had a disgraceful amount of litter around it and then we crossed the road and found ourselves on the pavements of Letchworth for a fairly unexciting walk to the railway station. We had a wander around the town looking at the buildings and visited the museum to find out more about the first Garden City, ate an early lunch and returned home.

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