This circular walk begins at the large Dovecote built by John Gostwick at Willington in the 16th century.
Dovecotes are used to house pigeons, either for sporting reasons, or else in preparation for the table. In John Gostwick’s case: a merchant, a judge, and a member of Parliament, the purpose of the dovecote would have been the latter.
The route shown in our video, below, circumnavigates a part of the Grange estate, an area previously dominated by poplar trees, which were used by Bryant and May for matchstick production. The trees were felled in the 1980s to make way for sand and gravel extraction.
The Grange estate is now at the heart of the Bedford River Valley Park, an area now set aside for wildlife habitation, walking, bicycle riding and waterborne recreation.
On our walk, we more or less just followed the circular route mapped out on the signs that have been put up for visitors.
If you feel that you want to go exactly the same way you could download the MapMyWalk app (by Under Armour) to your smartphone and track your progress along the route that we took. You would find this walk by searching for the name we gave it, '4.88Km Walk From Willington Dovecote.'
Short Video of a circular walk from the Willington Dovecote by the River Great Ouse
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.