Short Walks in Bedfordshire

Rushmere Country Park

Description and Walk

Rushmere Country Park is 400 acres of woodland, heathland and meadows. The main impression you'll most likely come away with is of a heavily wooded area that breaks out into some quite large grassy areas here and there.

Once inside the park go to the visitor centre and pick up a free map of the park. There are suggested walking trails, but probably the best one takes you from the Rushmere park entrance to the Stockgrove entrance, via the lake. It takes 30 minutes or less to walk between the two.

The Visitor Centre is also home to the Tree Tops Cafe, which has an outdoor deck overlooking a lake.

If you are not a particularly robust walker, bear in mind that this a wooded area, so there are plenty of tree roots to stumble on in places. It can also be very hilly, depending on the route you take. Ask for advice in the Visitor Centre if climbs are something you want to avoid.

There is open, grassy ground at both ends of the park should you wish to take a picnic. Barbeques are allowed in designated areas. You can read more about this on the official website (opens in new tab), as well as checking-up on seasonal opening/closing times - link supplied below.

If you park in Thrift Road there is a fairly steep descent and ascent involved in the woods. That route into the park is generally harder work initially, and on a first visit the approved parking areas offer gentler trails and better navigation once inside the park.

See our short video at the bottom of this page.

Parking

Parking is Pay at exit Barrier.

Parking addresses: Rushmere Country Park, Herons’ View Visitor Centre, Linslade Road, Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire LU7 0EB.

Stockgrove Entrance: Brickhill Road, Heath And Reach, LU7 0BA.

Thrift Road Entrance: Thrift Road, Heath and Reach, LU7 0AX.

There are three places to park that we know of. The Rushmere Country Park main entrance has by far the biggest car parking area, plus overspill facility. The older Stockgrove Park entrance has a considerably smaller car park, and a little roadside parking available.

Both official car parks charge £3 per visit at the time of writing. Although these two places were named Rushmere and Stockgrove Country Parks, they are just two entrances to the same park these days - Rushmere Country Park. At peak periods the Stockgrove entrance rapidly fills up, and even the Rushmere car parks can reach capacity on the busiest of days.

Then there is the aptly named Thrift Road, which is a small road that terminates at another entrance to the park. You can park there for free, although local authorities would prefer that you did not, as it disappoints the neighbours. There is also plenty of free parking in Linslade road, which is at the foot of Thrift Road. That said, we recommend the officially designated parking area; the Rushmere Country Park main entrance.

Google Map (opens in a new tab)

Entrance to Rushmere Country Park

Rushmere Country Park main entrance.

Less parking at the stockgrove entrance

The Stockgrove car park is much smaller.

Thrift Road parking area

Thrift Road parking really intended for children's play area on the left, not shown.

Parking areas at Rushmere Country Park

Rushmere main entrance has plenty of parking.

Less parking at the stockgrove entrance

A very few cars can park on the road at Stockgrove.

Thrift Road parking at Rushmere Country Park

View back down Thrift Road.

Place/s to Eat

The are two cafes, one at each entrance, and both offer hot food and snacks. The cafe at the main Rushmere entrance in Linslade Road, The Tree Tops Cafe, has a decked outdoor area that sits atop a large hill in the park and looks down onto a lake. In the spring there are Herons nesting in nearby trees, and there is a telescope setup to provide free viewing of the birds. At the time of writing they also have a live nest cam that sends images of nesting Herons back to the visitor centre where they are displayed on a screen.

Tree Tops Cafe at Rushmere Country Park

Tree Tops Cafe at Rushmere Country Park.

Short Video of Rushmere Country Park

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

All links open in a new browser tab.

Rushmere Country Park website 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.