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The quiet, pastoral, rolling landscape of the Wolds provides a haven of peace from the rush of everyday life. .’

The Bedford to Kimbolton road climbs slowly until it reaches the top of Cleat Hill to view the panorama of Bedford below.  Then plunging down to the cross roads at Ravensden, it climbs steeply to the water tower that jealously guards northeast Bedfordshire. Set alongside woods that glow yellow in the autumn sunshine, in the distance past rolling hills, the high plateau of Thurleigh can be seen.

Down Shrubbery Lane, the village of Wilden nestles in the valley and a little further along the winding road, the tall spire of Colmworth church pierces the sky.

Bordered by the River Ouse, the North Bedfordshire Wolds offer an undulating rural landscape, simply perfect for pleasant walks and with many hidden attractions, you can experience many for yourself by following the self guided walking routes

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North Bedfordshire Wold's Villages

7 miles to the north east of Bedford lies the village of Colmworth.  Its name derives from "calm" meaning clay. Colmworth has always been a peaceful and agricultural village. Due to its heavy clay soil, small-holdings were sited along the roadsides and in the fields, thus developing into the many "Ends" - for example Chapel End, where you will find Colmworth Mission, originally built by Primitive Methodists 130 years ago.

The church of St Denys stands with its tall spire overlooking the Ouse Valley. Originally of Norman design, the present church was erected in 1426. One of its clergymen, Rev Timothy Matthews, was famous for summoning his congregation with a trumpet!

On the edge of Bedford, Ravensden retains its rural character with hedgelaying and hedge planting to be seen particularly along roadsides. Putnoe Woods, on the edge of the Parish is open to the public. Ravensden brook runs through the valley and is an important wildlife corridor. Animals move from one part of the countryside to another along the brook and the larger trees, grasses and shrubs provide places to nest, food for birds and a home to many insects.Just as in Colmworth, there are many "Ends", Tilwick is one, and Struttle End Farm, once the home of the Wagstaff family, denotes another. The name Wagstaff indicates a minor official such as the Bailiff of a medieval estate.

Thurleigh Manor, formerly called Whitwick Manor, was built in 1833 within the moated site of Thurleigh Hall, which had previously been destroyed by fire. St Peter’s Church is the oldest surviving building in the parish. The oldest remaining part of the church is the bottom of the central Norman Tower with its Adam and Eve doorway built about 1150AD.

Thurleigh’s former Airfield was once used by Polish airmen flying Wellington Bombers. In 1969 it was shortlisted as a site for London’s Third Airport. Standing out against the skyline in the distance is the remains of Thurleigh WIndmill. This five floor, 60ft high tower mill was created in about 1890 and originally supported four double shutter sails. A base house with a steam engine was later added to provide steam power. The mill was last worked in 1917, and has been a private dwelling since 2000.

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