Hertfordshire Chain Walk 1:
Silver Street, Crews Hill, Clay Hill & Whitewebbs

1 March 2008

With a visit to the Watercress Line planned for the afternoon with lunch en route, there was just time for a shorter walk in the morning, and I decided to do one of the Hertfordshire Chain walks. This is a series of 15 circular walks which link together to create a chain, running from the northern edges of Enfield to Cambridgeshire. There may be an "official" start, but with the walks being circular they can be started from any point and walked in either direction. I started the southernmost walk on Whitewebbs Lane and headed north thus doing the walk anticlockwise.

Ellie pauses on a damp field as we make our way across some of the northernmost part of Greater London among the equestrian fields of Whitewebbs Farm

The footbridge bridge takes us safely across the M25 and into Hertfordshire

Leaving behind the equestrian centres we walk around the edges of a series of arable fields

Looking into Home Wood

As we turn west for the first time, away from Broadfield Farm, there are extensive rural scenes across the valley of Theobalds Brook

After a mile or so along the rural road of Silver Street, we turn south and pass the house and telephone box at Woodgreen Farm

Horses at Woodgreen Farm

Looking south - the mast of Alexandra Palace could be seen on the horizon

Skirting the edge of Cattlins wood.

The chocolate-box Burnt Farm Cottage as the route runs almost due south in a straight line for a mile along Burntfarm Ride.

We emerged at Sander's Corner by Jollye's pet food store - we are in familiar territory again. A gradual climb up Crews Hill between the many garden centres that line this road takes us under the railway bridge before we turn off by the golf club clubhouse.

Walking through the golf course

We then descend to the railway line (the Hertford Loop line from Kings Cross to Stevenage) which we cross with care

Shortly afterwards we join the route of the London Loop for a little while.

Heading towards Clay Hill along the London Loop

The church at Clay Hill is a familiar sight from driving along the road here and visits to the Fallow Buck pub behind the photographer

We then descend along Flash Lane into Wildwood where we find a ditch which is one of the old courses of the New River.

Here we find the excavated remains of Flash Lane Aqueduct which carried the New River across Cuffley Brook. The aqueduct was built in 1820 to shorten the route of the New River here which previously ran further west before crossing the brook and running back east again. It was made absolete in the 1850s when further improvements led to the complete abandonment of the Whitewebbs loop. The cast iron trough was cast by Hunter and English of Bow at a cost of 252 2s.

The aqueduct from beside Cuffley Brook. The aqueduct was excavated in 1968 with major restoration in 1998. From here we followed the horse rides through Whitewebbs Park back to the car.

Zoom in for more detail, or see map in larger window: Ordnance Survey | Open Street Map | Google Maps

Total distance 12.1km in 2 hours 20 minutes with 175 metres of ascent.

On to Hertfordshire Chain Walk 2, through Cuffley, Newgate Street and Goff's Oak...


Back Up Next

Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson