Hertfordshire Chain Walk 5:
Hertingfordbury to Marden Hill
30 August 2008
After much indecision about whether to do a longer or a shorter walk today, I
decided to do a shorter walk - George and Ellie were with Lucy at a companion
dog show, and a longer walk would mean I was dog-less, so Henry accompanied me
on another visit to the Hertfordshire Chain Walk. 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 fifth walk from near the A414 roundabout on the north edge of
Cottages in Hertingfordbury
The White Horse in Hertingfordbury
St Mary's church in Hertingfordbury
The entrance lodge to Hertingfordbury Park, now the site of St Joseph's In The
Henry on the Cole Green Way, a route opened in 1978 largely along the route of
the railway from Hertford to Welwyn
Stephen has been here before a couple of times, walking the Lea Valley Walk in
Sheep from the old railway line
Here we turn off the railway line opposite the point where stage 4 of the
Hertfordshire Chain Walk joins route, as we make our way to the houses of Birch
Attractive old houses in Birch Green
Here the route of the public footpath crosses what is effectively an extended
garden - an odd feeling.
Henry on the footbridge over the A414 dual carriageway
The map shows the next section of the route running alongside "disused workings"
but they have now been filled in and look ready for some topsoil and to become
farmland once more.
We then continue alongside woodland on a very pleasant section
Though overhead was a constant stream of light aircraft taking off from
Henry started to wilt around here, despite a break of almost ten minutes at the
top of the hill, and I began to worry that this was going to be too much for
However, here he went for a paddle in the River Mimram, and perked up greatly,
regained his energy and didn't struggle at all for the rest of the walk. To be
sure we stopped for another rest in the shade under the trees.
It was a lovely spot - perhaps somewhere to come back for a picnic and for
humans to have a paddle too.
Looking downstream from our third resting point of the walk.
Marden Hill, built in 1790-94 as a plain block of yellow brick, with the
four-colour porch added in 1819 by Sir John Soane.
Stables and cottage by Marden Hill
Crossing Poplars Green we finally emerge from the predominant pattern of the
Hertforshire Chain Walk so far, namely a fuzzy combination of pseudo-suburbia
and hidden industry (notably gravel extraction and landfill), into true
Bacon's Farm, where we followed the prominent track around the farm rather than
the public footpath across this field and between the farm buildings.
Heading south-east along a pleasant bridleway towards Selebroom Wood
Henry at our fifth rest-stop, on the eastern edge of Selebroom Wood
Henry in Blakemore Wood
Farmland on reclaimed gravel workings, with more extraction going on in the
Zoom in for more detail, or see map in larger window: Ordnance Survey |
Open Street Map |
A very pleasant walk, from familiar territory into new ground for us, and some
decent weather at last after a largely grotty August.
Total distance 10.3 km with 126 metres of ascent in a longer than usual 2 hours
45 minutes, due to five stops and deliberately slower walking.
On to Hertfordshire Chain Walk 6,
Bramfield Woods south...