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    Dunstable Downs Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    10.3 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    265 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Dunstable Downs Circular Walk

    The Dunstable Downs Circular Walk immerses you in the vast outdoors for 3-4 hours, taking you through open spaces with lovely views of the scenic countryside past the Five Knolls, an ancient burial site, and across The Icknield Way, Britain’s oldest road. This is a fun family-friendly walk!

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    Route Description for Dunstable Downs Circular Walk

    The Dunstable Downs Circular Walk in the Chilterns is a well-liked, family-friendly walk. However, the parking lot at Chilterns Gateway Centre requires a £2 fee. Do note that a section of this walk takes you along the road, but the scenery painting the rest of the hike makes up for the road part. There are bouts of steep climbs, so don’t expect the whole journey to be a leisurely walk. You’ll also cross a kissing gate and two bridle gates.

    While the pretty scenery spanning the green open spaces will keep you entertained, you’ll also pass by some historical remnants, including a meet up with the famous Icknield Way and the Five Knolls. If you feel like stopping mid-way for a drink, you’re in luck! There’s nothing like stopping for a pint (and water) at the Old Farm Inn in Totternhoe before continuing on.

    From the Chilterns Gateway Centre, you’ll start your loop in a counterclockwise direction. Head towards the Windcatcher sculpture and take a right. Continue along this path, passing by the Five Knolls! After looking around at the Five Knolls, you’ll continue along the track, leaving the greenery for town views.

    You’ll start to follow West Street, which runs adjacent to The Icknield Way. Eventually, you’ll cross West Street and join up with Drovers Way (or Green Lane), a web of green lanes. You’ll follow this path until you reach Houghton Green Highway, directing you into Totternhoe village.

    From here, you’ll cross Dunstable Road to go along Furlong Lane before taking a left onto Church Road and another left onto Well Head Road. Continue along this road, noticing the collection of springs. The path will then force you to the crossroad, leading you to a bridleway. On your right, you’ll pass by the London Gliding Club.

    When the bridleway ends, take a right to follow the footpath that goes through a stock fence. Continue to follow the waymarks stretching across the bottom of the hill. At the kissing gate, you have the option of taking the bridleway on your right-hand side, which is an easier path or going through the kissing gate. This route guide details where to go if you go through the kissing gate!

    Following the lower path, you’ll take a left before you reach the road, embarking on an ascent adjacent to the road. At the top of the hill, located near Bison Hill car park, you’ll take on the bridleway to your left, passing through a bridle gate to meander along a pasture. Admire the views here, especially of the Vale of Aylesbury. Go through another gate and follow the path until you arrive back at the Chilterns Gateway Centre.

    Trail Highlights

    The Five Knolls Barrow Cemetery

    Come across burial mounds harking back to the Bronze Age! During the Roman period, this area was re-used as a burial ground. This area is well-preserved to help keep the chances high of finding more archaeological discoveries.

    The Icknield Way

    The Icknield Way claims to be England’s oldest road. It was frequented even before Roman times! It runs from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk, stretching across 166-km. You’ll find archaeological remnants peppered across this road!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I have to pay for parking?

    Yes! It only costs £2 to park at Chilterns Gateway Centre.

    What facilities are offered here?

    You’ll find public toilets and refreshments offered at Chilterns Gateway Centre when it’s opened.

    Other amazing walks in Chiltern Hills

    Check out our guides to Wendover Loop, Wendover Woods, Hurley Loop or The Rose and Crown Ivinghoe Beacon Walk. Or see all of our Chiltern Hills walks on 10Adventures.

    Insider Hints for Dunstable Downs Circular Walk

    • Don’t forget that you’ll have to pay for parking!
    • This path can get quite muddy after rain, so check the weather forecast before you plan on going.
    • This walk is not meant for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
    • Stop at the Old Farm Inn in Totternhoe midway through the walk!

    Getting to the Dunstable Downs Circular Walk Trailhead

    To get to the start of the Dunstable Downs Circular Walk from Dunstable, head to the Chilterns Gateway Centre and look for the car park. Expect to pay £2 for parking.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      April - October

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


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    Dunstable Downs Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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