Area Guide: Kensworth
- Credit: Archant
Nestled in the central Bedfordshire district on the edge of Dunstable Downs is the quaint village of Kensworth. It includes the hamlets of California and Kensworth Lynch.
It was originally located in Herfordshire but was transferred to Bedfordshire in 1897.
Kensworth chalk pit is a working quarry and the biggest employer in the parish. It’s owned by Cemex and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England.
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The Church of St Mary is in the village. Kensworth Parish Council administers a handful of local services and facilities, such as a recreation ground and provision of allotments. The council’s nine members are elected every four years. There’s also a village hall, a pub and local shop. Kensworth Village Stores in Common Road sells general groceries and everyday essentials.
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As you would expect for a semi-rural village, you need to be a driver to make life easier. Most households in Kensworth have at least one car and as a commuter you would rely on your vehicle to get around.
There are United Counties single-decker buses every two hours (one hour at peak times) running between Hemel Hempstead and Luton.
The closest train stations are Luton and Hemel Hempstead, local roads carry traffic at peak commuter times between Dunstable, Hemel Hempstead, Luton and St Albans, and the local authority provides coaches, which ferry children to surrounding schools.
Air travel is easy from Luton Airport, which is nearby and a village taxi service is in operation.
Although it was rated by Ofsted in 2014 as ‘requires improvement’ the local school was acknowledged to Kensworth Church of England have strengths which include good support and progress for disabled children and those with special educational needs and well behaved pupils who feel safe. Inspectors acknowledged that staff create a caring respectful atmosphere in and around school which pupils respond positively to. It also has a preschool.
The Farmer’s Boy in Common Road describes itself as selling some of the best beer and food in Dunstable and reckons it makes the perfect pub for all seasons. Patrons report a warm welcome and great meals. With a log fire in winter and a glorious garden to enjoy in summer, which has a play area for children, it sounds ideal for families.
Nearby historic pub, The Packhorse Inn in Watling Street, is reportedly haunted. It has excellent staff, fabulous food and a friendly service.
There’s also The Bell in Dunstable Road, close by which offers a gastro-pub menu and local real ales in a rustic-chic countryside inn with patio tablets.
Coffee shops and cafés
There is no coffee shop in the village but there are many lovely coffee shops and cafes within about a two-mile radius, including two Costas, Café Latte, Amici and The Priory House Team Rooms in Dunstable.
Farm shops and locally sourced food
Incredible Edible in Dunstable is a group of volunteers who grow their own fruit and vegetables in their garden and in the local community.
Harpers Farm Shop in Pepperstock, near Slip End, has regular tasting events and sells homemade meals, pastry products and sausage rolls, wine, cheese, pate, biscuits and preserves all made from local produce.
Other places selling local food are: Woodside Animal Farm shop in Slip End, Munns Eggs and Potatoes in Berkhamsted, Marbled Meats of Northall and farmers markets at Tring and Harpenden.