Short Walks in Bedfordshire

The Forest of Marston Vale

Description and Walk

The Millennium Country Park is part of the Forest of Marston Vale, and is best accessed via the official Visitor Centre at Marston Moretaine.

The Forest of Marston vale is not yet the forest that it one day will be, as millions more trees are yet to be planted. The area concerned was once the huge Stewartby brickworks, and the chimneys that served the kilns still stand today. Parts of the site were also landfills, which have since been covered over and set aside for the forest project.

The Forest Centre offers car parking as well as a cafe which serves hot and cold food, and which has pleasant indoor and outdoor seating. The car parking was £2 for three hours when we went, but you can pay more or less, according to how long you plan to stay.

We don't suggest any particular walking route, just turn-up and do your own thing. The area of the entire Marston Vale Forest is reckoned to be around 61 square miles, but from the Visitor Centre the walking areas seem to be a lot more localised than that. You won't get lost. On the last occasion that we visited we arrived quite early and glimpsed muntjac deer, rabbits, and various waterbirds. The plant life is also very varied and plentiful.

See our short video at the bottom of this page.

Parking

Parking addresses: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford MK43 0PR. Or, if you really want to avoid parking charges: Green Lane, Stewartby, Bedford, MK43 9LY.

We recommend parking at The Forest Centre as this supplies a fair contribution to the costs of maintaining and developing the Millennium Country Park. However, you may legitimately avoid parking charges by parking in a layby in Green Lane, about 100 metres past the Kimberley Sixth Form College. In that case you would head for the entrance of the adjacent Stewartby Water Sports Club, and then pick up the path near the club gates. The walk from Green Lane to the Marston Millennium Country park is around 1.3 Km.

Google Map (opens in a new tab)

Paid parking at the Forest Centre

Free parking in Green Lane

Free parking in Green Lane

Place/s to Eat

The onsite cafe is perfectly fine for meals and the surrounds are pleasant. However, service can be a bit slow, mainly because of the time it takes to make people fancy coffees and the like.

Forest Centre Cafe at Marston Vale

Short Video of The Forest of Marston Vale

Note: The video is best viewed by clicking on the 'full screen' symbol that appears at the bottom-right of the video box once the video is playing. To exit full-screen hit your escape key or click on the symbol at the bottom-right again.

Further Information

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Forest of Marston Vale site here.

Bike Hire details here.

Google map here.

PDF with details

The pdf, below, contains address and parking location details similar to the ones on this page. Print out the pdf file if you want something to carry with you. Pdf opens in a new tab.