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 | Google Maps

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...


Back Up Next

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