A taste of things to come?

Today was a much more challenging day route-wise than yesterday, as I was mostly in the countryside. I had predicted a 22 mile walk, which with good access should have taken between 6 and 7 hours. As it was I covered 24 miles, taking nearly 9 hours.

Instead of laying out my own route, this was my first experience of following a slowways route. Slowways is a new initiave, launched this year to connect every settlement in Great Britain with walking routes. I used it for the overall planning of my walk, from settlement to settlement, aiming for a roughly straight line. For example yesterday covering Enfield-Potters Bar-Hatfield(-Flamstead). However, I’ve mostly used the actual routes Slowways gives as guidance, and optimised them myself – primarily to reduce the overall distance (and I’m generally happy walking on roads so long as they’re not too busy).

But today I followed Winlei one, between Leighton Buzzard and Winslow in Buckinghamshire. It wasn’t a great success – follow the link and see my review for more details.

I got here eventually though, and am now safely ensconsed in the quaint Bell Hotel, Winslow. Their specaility is pies, so given I didn’t manage to find one last night, I’m expecting great things tonight.

Things I have learnt today:

  • Do not wear shorts when trying out new footpaths for the first time in summer. Stinging nettles are legion.
  • Listening to music when walking not only runs your headphone batteries down faster than audiobooks but also means you can’t hear a car screaming towards you with its horn blaring.
  • England has better 4G coverage than Wales. In fact, so far it seems to have 100% coverage.
  • Haribo are the densest and tastiest form of carbohydrate.
  • I’m not looking forward to the thunderstorms forecast tomorrow.


  • Sleep last night: 7hr 41min (unconvinced)
  • Miles covered: 24.3/49 (today/total)
  • Miles to go: 160 (estimate)
  • Steps: 52,007/103,373 (today/total)
  • Calories expended walking: 4,280
  • Walking speed (kph): 3.2-6.4
  • Arrival at hotel: 13:44


  • Premier Inn Luton South (Flemstead)
  • Markyate
  • Dunstable
  • Leighton Buzzard
  • Stewkely
  • Winslow
A cleared path through a field of wheat
It all started so well
A footbridge over a stream, with (wobbly) guardrails on each side
Notice the rotting far end of this bridge
An overgrown path
The camera here is at my head height, but at least there’s still a path
A dodgy footbridge consisting of 2 rolling sleepers badly fastened together
This was genuinely unsafe – I was ready to leap off if it gave way
A dual carriageway with signs warning of pedestrians crossing
Fortunately I didn’t need to make the suicide dash across this road the signposts warned of
A large, imposing building on the in Winslow
Clearly haunted, this house (in Winslow)

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