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Exploring the local countryside

A footpath scene from walk eight

When did you last get out for a walk in the local countryside?

This is a great time of the year for exploring the local area and the siteís 12 walks are an excellent introduction.

You could be walking through a secluded valley after two hours wandering along footpaths without seeing another soul, or wandering alongside a local woodland river, crossing footbridges and following ancient byways.

There are a dozen short walks on this site, all featuring local pubs. This is a good time of the year for anyone interested in berries and seeds. Click here to see some collected this time last year.

Walk one starts and finishes in Water End and runs south along an old coaching road, along a bridleway through woodland and across a rural valley surrounded by rolling wooded hills.

Walk two starts and finishes at Wild Hill and circles Camfield Place, the country estate of the late Barbara Cartland. It takes you through five woods, down tree-lined footpaths, across a footbridge, and down quiet country lanes.

Walk three starts and finishes in Brookmans Park and is for those who want to enjoy an attractive ramble, with a choice of two pubs, without having to rely on the car (if you live in Brookmans Park that is).

Walk four starts and finishes in Little Berkhamsted and is a gentle stroll through undulating countryside and twisting woodland paths and takes the walker through a shaded dell and along a path through a small secluded valley.

Walk five is a fairly stretching walk down from West End through bridleways and country lanes to the banks of the River Lea and back up the hill again to West End. It offers marvellous open views north across the Hertfordshire.

Walk six starts and finishes in Wild Hill and has a fair amount of up and down and is a pleasant mix of fields and bridleways. It starts across fields used for grazing horses and which can be muddy. The route includes a stretch along a wooded bridleway overlooking rolling hills with good views south.

Walk seven starts and finishes in Little Berkhamsted and includes a spectacular stretch of bridleway, a sandy path edged in gorse, and rich woodland. A quiet lane leads to a 'Conservation Walks Area' where you are free to roam over an open field which is an, 'Environmentally Sensitive Areas', with views of the surrounding countryside. You follow a picturesque path with oak trees that must be hundreds of years old.

Walk eight is a circular walk around the west, north, and east side of Newgate Street, and takes in lanes, footpaths, and a bridleway through woodland rich in rhododendron. It begins down a quiet lane, before heading across a valley with views to the west towards Brookmans Park. Much of the way is through deep woodland. The walk ends with the choice of two pubs.

Walk nine starts and finishes in Essendon and offers a good downhill stretch for striding out, a steady climb and, halfway round, a visit to the quiet hamlet of Howe Green. You cross the golf course twice and pass a quarry, but don't be put off, the views are spectacular, and the flora, particularly near the quarry, is rich.

Walk ten is another one for Brookmans Park residents who donít want to use the car. There is a fair amount of lane walking, although most are quiet. There are footpaths too, one with good views to the north-east of the village. The route takes you through Gobions Wood.

Walk eleven is an undulating walk along footpaths, byways, and country lanes, starts and finishes at a pub, and has a pub and shops at the halfway point (via a short detour). The route takes the walker through woodland and alongside streams. There is a fair amount of up and down.

Walk twelve is the North Mymms Quiz walk and was written up under the Parish Environmental Action Plan (PEAP) by a team of volunteers working with the Countryside Commission and Herts Co Co. It includes a number of questions and answers about the local environment and local history.

You can discuss local walks in a thread running in this siteís forum.

14 September 2007

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