Greensand Country


The Old School, Cardington, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44 3SX

Add Greensand Country to your Itinerary

Close window

Call direct on:

Tel(01234) 838774


Book Tickets Online


Greensand Country is an area of countryside, rich in distinctive landscapes including heathland, woodland, rivers, villages and town. It stretches from Gamlingay to Leighton Buzzard and the 40 miles of scenic landscape follows the Greensand Ridge and reaches three neighbouring counties, from Cambridgeshire in the east, across Bedfordshire to Buckinghamshire in the west.

With a history that spans millions of years of evolution, Greensand Country is rich in wildlife and cultural heritage and is the ideal location for a weekend walk, a rural run, an exhilarating cycle or a gentle trot on horseback. Its scenic historic parks and open spaces are perfect for family days out, from sculpture trails in Rushmere Country Park and bug hunts at Ampthill Great Park to the beautiful Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth and the majestic Woburn estate, there’s so much variety to explore.

In January 2013, a National Lottery Heritage Funded Programme was established to deliver more than 90 projects across Greensand Country, helping to raise awareness of the heritage value of the landscape and to reverse the gradual decline in the distinct landscape character. The vision was for Greensand Country to be a living and working landscape that is cherished by present and future generations.

The area is vitally important to the surrounding environment. The high number of woodland habitats across Greensand Country support important wildlife, such as badgers and a wide range of bat species. Maulden Wood is a dormouse re-introduction site and in some of the ancient woods, rare species of butterfly, including the purple emperor and white admiral, can be found.

The wetland sites, including the Flit Valley, contain rare plants such as marsh fern, marsh violet and star sedge and the rivers support native black poplar trees and ancient pollard willows. The number of otters is continuing to increase across the landscape. The area contains the last sections of remaining heathland in Bedfordshire which support Slow Worms, Sand Wasps, Digger Wasps and Green Tiger Beetles. At Stockgrove and Rushmere, key species such as the Adder and Common Lizards are supported on the dry heathland areas.

Greensand Country has a rich cultural heritage, a number of notable manor houses still remain including Woburn Abbey, Shuttleworth House, Flitwick Manor and the ruin of Houghton House in Ampthill. The estate villages, such as Woburn and Old Warden contain distinctive styles of architecture. You can view brick buildings, with gables and lattice windows, or discover a more elaborate ‘English Garden’ style with thatched roofs, dormer windows and timber porches.

Did you know the quintessential British afternoon tea was invented in Greensand Country, by the Duchess of Bedford back in 1840 to impress her upper-class circle of friends and to fill that gap between lunch and dinner. And to this day there is no shortage of amazing produce across the area. From gourmet butchery to fine wines produced at a community vineyard through to bakeries, a flour mill, local breweries and more. Plus, you can sample many of the products at traditional pubs, fine dining restaurants, bars, cafés, tearooms and delicatessens throughout Greensand Country.

The best way to discover what Greensand Country has to offer is to get outside and explore. You can walk, run, horse-ride or take a train – the area is very accessible to all and provides spectacular views and breath-taking scenery. Don’t forget your camera!

Every year in May/June the Greensand Country Festival takes place with well-established groups such as The Ramblers and Walk4Health and new businesses like Kelchner Brewery and Higher Adventure Land Rover Hire putting on over 70 events catering for a variety of ages, abilities and interests.  

Individuals can get involved with caring for this beautiful area by volunteering to help secure the future of many habitats and species and making wildlife and green spaces more accessible for all.


The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership is led by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and The Greensand Trust. Visit our interactive map here.

Map & Directions


  • Video

What's Nearby

  1. Herrings Green Activity Farm

    The Farm is home to over 200 beautiful Birds of Prey and farm animals including owls,…

    1.89 miles away
  1. The Shuttleworth Collection

    A unique historical collection of aircraft from a 1909 Bleriot to a 1942 Spitfire in…

    4.23 miles away
  2. Forest of Marston Vale

    The Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park is a perfect day out for the family. 18km of…

    6.26 miles away
  3. Kathy Brown's Garden at the Manor House

    Kathy Brown’s Manor House Gardens at Stevington, just north of Bedford provides a garden…

    7.06 miles away
Previous Next