Hertfordshire Chain Walk 4:
Little Berkhamsted & Letty Green
3 August 2008
Today I returned to the Hertfordshire Chain Walk, last
visited in June. The route is a series of 15 circular walks which link
together to create a chain, running from the northern edges of Enfield to
Cambridgeshire. With the walks being
circular they can be started from any point and walked in either direction. I
started the fourth walk from next to the church in Little Berkhamstead.
After a cross-field walk and then a short distance down Robins Nest Hill, we
turned right into Stockings Lane. The tarmac lane gradually deteriorated, then
turned into a shingle drive, and I was briefly unsure if this was the public
footpath marked on the map, not least as I couldn't find the sign stating that
it was such, which was mentioned in the guidebook.
It was the right way, and led to some attractive brick buildings.
A signpost points the way to Water Hall farm; the swan logo suggests that
perhaps this used to be part of the
Lea Valley Walk.
The bridleway continues downhill along a sunken and very dark route.
It emerges here at the meeting of dry stream beds, the largest of which is
crossed by the bridge
At the bottom of the hill, the path emerges onto the B158, where a house sports
these impressive chimneys.
Crossing the B158 we enter a gravel quarry over a bridge across the River Lea
The gravel quarry and aggregates landfill site.
The route skirts around the outside of the landfill site; it started to rain.
Although the forecast had predicted the risk of an isolated shower, there was
continuous rain for the next 90 minutes, albeit not particularly heavy most of
the time. When we reached the trackbed of the Hertford to Welwyn railway, and
the current route of the Lea
Valley Walk, the possibility of continuing straight across and doing stage 5
of the Chain Walk presented itself. On a nice day this would have been
attractive, but today we turned left and walked along the trackbed.
Just before the road crossing at Letty Green we turn away from the railway and
walk through the village.
A damp George
Passing through Letty Green
There then followed a damp trudge along the road south towards Howe Green and
the B158 again, crossing the Lea on the way.
The bridleway on the other side of the road was protected by big black gates.
We turned left off the tarmac bridleway and through a field of sheep belonging
to a colleague of Stephen - they followed us through the field, which apparently
is quite normal, though it is remarkable how most sheep are unfazed by George.
We then pass a sign saying "Dogs must be kept on lead" which we ignore, risking
scaring the two large trees in the first field and the hay in the second.
Zoom in for more detail, or see map in larger window: Ordnance Survey |
Open Street Map |
A pleasant walk, though it would have been better without the rain.
Total distance 9.8 km with 142 metres of ascent in
2 hours 15 minutes.
On to Hertfordshire Chain Walk 5,
Hertingfordbury to Marden Hill...