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Written by Richard Tearle - 02 May 2006
last update by Mark Bearton - 11 Mar 2009
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Location notes
Old Farm Park bridleway is located on the Bedford-Bletchley line, between the stations of Bow Brickhill and Woburn Sands, on the southern outskirts of Milton Keynes. It is a small bridleway way, with modern gates across the line - although it looks little used.
Railway type and traffic
The Bedford Bletchley line is operated by London Midland trains that run a mostly hourly service between the two stations, with all trains stopping at all of the stations on route, Monday to Saturday. Trains stop by request at Kempston Hardwick. There are no scheduled passenger trains on Sunday. These are operated by a small fleet of sprinter 150/1 units.
There are a number of freight workings, the most numerous being DB Schenker departmental workings to and from Forders Virtual Quarry (just to the east of Stewartby station). These workings serve locations on both the WCML and MML.
There is also a Tuesday and Friday, at the time of writing, morning Bletchley to Peak Forest stone empties, which leaves Bletchley between 10:20 and 10:40 - although earlier and later timings have been noted.
Environment
This small crossing is on the very southern outskirts of Milton Keynes, with most of the housing and light industry hidden behind trees to the north, and tree lined fields to the south. There is a tarmac path right up to the gates which extends several feet on the southern part of the line.
Few people use the crossing, even with the local dog walkers usually turning back at the gates. There is nowhere to shelter should the weather turn nasty. Old Farm Park is one of the nicer parts of Milton Keynes.
Road directions
On the A5, take the exit sign posted for Denbigh North and Caldecotte, also signed posted for the A4146. Take the 3rd exit on the roundabout, from the south, or 1st from the north, and continue eastwards along the H10 "Bletcham Way". At the first roundabout, named "Walton Park", head straight across. At the second roundabout, head straight across again (this has V11, "Tongwell Street", heading north from it). At the end of H10 is another roundabout, take the 2nd exit, south, along Britten Grove. Take the 3rd right, along Boyce Crescent and follow this road round, until Davenport Lea.
Park somewhere near Davenport Lea, although not in the road itself, and walk the length of Davenport road. At the end of this road is a cycle way (or Red Route), turn right/south along this clearly marked path and within minutes you will reach the gates across the line.

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Old Farm Park Bridleway map co-ordinates
Parking
There is no official parking in the area, but free on-street parking is available, although it's probably best to stick to the bigger roads, Boyce Crescent for example, rather than the little side roads.
Public transport
The nearest station is Woburn Sands which is served by hourly tains from Bedford and Bletchley. Due to the roundabout route by road needed to reach the location this walk will take about 25 minutes. MK Metro service 8 operates every 30 minutes from Milton Keynes station to Bletchley via Bittern Grove in Old Farm Park. You can then walk via Bittern Grove to access the footpath. Note you need the service 8 that goes to Bletchley: alternate journeys serve Woburn Sands and do not serve Old Farm Park.

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Amenities
There is a local centre in Old Farm Pack, along Britten Grove, which includes a Tesco Metro. There are many varied shops in the centre of Milton Keynes, and both Bletchley and Milton Keynes stations have several shops.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Old Farm Park Bridleway

Googly map
Streetmap links
Old Farm Park Bridleway general view map
Old Farm Park Bridleway close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Old Farm Park Bridleway



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Photographic notes
The Bedford Bletchley line is running mainly east-west, but slightly south-east to north-west at this point. Photography is probably best in the morning for east bound traffic, and best in the afternoon for west bound traffic. The trees to the north can make a nice backdrop, but the trees to the south block the weak winter light - so this location is probably better in the summer months. The line is very straight here in towards the east, with a sharp curve to the west.
Standing behind the gate to the south of the line affords views in either direction, but you are slightly below the line, which suits some people's style of photography, others may wish to either bring steps, or carefully balance on the gates.


General views - All photographs © Richard Tearle unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east


Fig 1 - Looking east

This is the east facing view from the southern side of the line, showing the well placed signal, and the sharp curve in the near distance.
This was taken in late December at 09:30 with a 70mm lens.

Fig 2 - Looking west


Fig 2 - Looking west

This is the west facing view from the southern side of the line, showing the straight part of the line.
This was taken in late December at 09:30 with a 60mm lens.

Fig 3 - Looking east


Fig 3 - Looking east

Another view east showing how the signal and local unit can make a nice composition.

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