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ABOUT YOUR RUN LEADER

Run Leaders for the Maverick Run Project are the people who make our social runs possible. They know their local area better than we do so they go out and find routes that they think you'll enjoy. Below is the information about the Run Leader for this particular social run.

James Mackeddie

As likely to be found on a trail with a camera as with a race number, James has run 5kms up to ultras and sky races, as well as shot the likes of UMTB. He's raced, marshalled, course marked, course stripped, taken snaps & helped you sign in at Maverick races. A local resident, he also builds the mountain bike trails, picks up litter and well, you guessed it, spends a lot of time on these trails. Be warned, he likes to chat!

RUN INFORMATION

 

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Location Information

Park Street, Woburn, Milton Keynes, MK17 9PG (the main car park - free parking)

 

Routes

The Deer Park - 10km

The Fields and Woods of Woburn - 10km

Mini Tour de Woburn

 

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Route Descriptions

Set in the idyllic surroundings of Woburn, which dates back to 969 as a Saxon Hamlet, it is a village with early Georgian flavour at face value, and medieval foundations, due to the remodelling of the houses in 1724, following a huge fire which saw the Duke of Bedford aid in their restoration. 

The Abbey was created in 1145 and following the abolition of monasteries in 1538 by Henry VIII, the estate was given to John Russell of Chenies who became the first Earl of Bedford, from 1694 onwards, the title of Duke was given, which stands to this day.

This market town, with 3 markets per week in 1300, was once the main stopover point between London and the North, Oxford and Cambridge with some 27 inns in use in the 1800s.

Full of history and character, there is no better location to act as a starting point for all routes.

Woburn has a huge free car park, corner shop, cafe and multiple pubs
 

The Deer Park 10km

Starting at the car park on Park Street (free!!) this 10km takes in some of the best parts of the Woburn Estate, with multiple opportunities to see the several breeds of deer, the stately home and stables. Running past a small pond once past the gatehouse, we’ll meander along a firm path, before entering the open grounds, contouring the stud farm and up the steepest hill of the day. 

For those concerned by the prospect of a hill, it’s short and sharp, but the vast majority of the landscape is rolling or flat. We’ll need to travel to the Chilterns stand a chance of any form of real ascent. 

Running past the gardens of the Abbey and through a small woodland, outside of the perimeter wall and long singletrack until getting to the famous Paris House restaurant - sorry, no taster menus are included. In winter, this can be a slog in a bog, in summer it remains pretty dry, but you never know till you’re ankle-deep.

Re-entering the park, its a 1.3 miles of steady running and a final chance to see some furry four-legged friends. Be sure to keep an eye on the sky as the park is also a hot spot for red kites. 

For anyone worried about the deer, they run away on approach. I run through the park regularly, at day and nighttime.

On exiting the park, we’ll head over the road, to follow some farm tracks for a final sting in the tail end of the run, followed by some final views of the abbey, before making our way back on the main road. 

Terrain: predominately grassy open field and/or soft ground
Footwear: wear some trail shoes with plenty of grip for the winter months

 

The Fields and Woods of Woburn 10km

Starting at the car park on Park Street (free!!) this 10km takes you away from the estate and on to the surrounding trails. This is the hilly route.

Our first trail allows the opportunity to wave goodbye to the abbey, as we leave it behind us, running on lesser travelled routes. A road crossing draws us into woodland abundant with bluebells in the spring months, as you descend the staircase and traverse the stream before crossing open land and into the first proper hill of the day. 

Fear not, all are short, with a little punch. Remember, we’re on the edge of Milton Keynes and not in the Alps or Dolomites.

Reaching our first summit, a breather, we’re met by the champion tee of the 15th hole on Woburn Golf Club’s Marque course, where we’ll bear a right enter a tight and twisty section of single track before we cross the road into Aspley Heath Woods. Home of permissive mountain bike routes (which I co-organise), this is home to big trees, wide sandy paths and dog walkers, horse riders and families. I’ll lead you through a variety of trails before we cross onto footpaths through arable fields on our return to Woburn.

Terrain: A real mix - sand, mud, hardpack, tarmac
Footwear: A shoe you’re comfortable with on mixed terrain

 

Mini Tour de Woburn

If you’ve been on either of the weekday runs, you’re going to recognise parts of the route, however, the Mini Tour makes up for something the other two lack. Hills!

Now, before anyone sulks, they are short, runnable and for the most part, spread out. We won’t be achieving any Everesting desires, nor will we be killing our legs. This is proof you can get elevation if you go hunting. 

Starting at the car park on Park Street (free!!) we’ll be running past a small pond once past the gatehouse, we’ll meander along a firm path, before entering the open grounds, contouring the stud farm.

Running past the gardens of the Abbey and through a small woodland, outside of the perimeter wall and long singletrack until getting to the famous Paris House restaurant - sorry, no taster menus are included. In winter, this can be a slog in a bog, in summer it remains pretty dry, but you never know till you’re ankle-deep.

Re-entering the park, its a 1.3 miles of steady running and a final chance to see some furry four-legged friends. Be sure to keep an eye on the sky as the park is also a hot spot for red kites. 

On exiting the park, we’ll head over the road, to follow some farm tracks till we reach woodland abundant with Bluebells in spring and with a staircase to descend. Open land and ducking under the canopy of trees once more, we begin the first of two hill ascents, with a descent thrown in the middle. You have to create and earn them here. 

Crossing to Aspley Heath Woods, we’ll traverse an SSSI site containing birch in a commercial pine and oak forest, before heading up a series of trails which will lead to (time of year dependant) a small gully full of purple heather. 

The search for sand continues, as we make our way to the old fullers earth site, the area famous for mining and onto our final challenge of the day, a staircase leading to the final ridge, before running back to Woburn across well-trodden footpaths.

There are no opportunities to fill bottles or pick up snacks on this route, make sure you have what you may need with you.

Terrain: A real mix - sand, mud, hardpack, tarmac
Footwear: A shoe you’re comfortable with on mixed terrain

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