This is the trackbed explorer's guide to the Bedford-Sandy route, based on the LNWR's old 'Varsity Line' from Oxford to Cambridge.
  • Eastbound, the route starts at the A603, about 0.6 miles from the town centre at grid reference TL 058491 because, further west,  the land is occupied by parking for a bus garage and other uses.  It then proceeds for about 0.4 miles alongside the old railway before it joins the actual former trackbed at TL 063492, contrary to what is shown on OS Explorer map 208.
  • The next ‘diversion’ is over a bridge across the A421 dual carriageway at TL 089499 as the new road severed the former railway line when it was constructed (in spite of much local protest).
  • There is another diversion at Willington Gravel Pits from TL 098500 to TL 104501.  Here, the signposted route passes through the wood to the north of the old trackbed for about 0.4 mile, again contrary to what is shown on the OS map: for this stretch the actual original trackbed is overgrown.
  • Next comes a deviation of about 400 yds round three sides of a rectangle at Willington Lock, as the adjacent Mill Farm bought a length of the original trackbed which is now private land.
  • Lastly, the former station at Blunham has been developed for housing and the signposted route is through the housing estate and down to Station Road, along the road between the abutments of the former railway bridge and up the other side before regaining the original route.

Report by Michael Brooks
13th June 2017