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Walk 17: Hornbeam Lane Loop

An old track, quiet lane and woodland paths

4.1 miles (6.4 km)

Image for Walk 17: Hornbeam Lane Loop taken by Hertfordshire Walker and released under Creative Commons

A pleasant circular walk taking in old lanes, footpaths and woodland. Parts can be muddy at certain times of the year, and there are nettles to deal with on some of the narrow paths. Starts and finishes as The Woodman, Wildhill (Grid ref: TL 26362 06777).


Map for Walk 17: Hornbeam Lane Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors Note: There is a larger, more-detailed map embedded at the end of these directions
Map for Walk 17: Hornbeam Lane Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
There is an interactive map embedded at the end of these directions
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk

1: Take the footpath south of the beer garden on the east side of the car park. This is Hatfield footpath 85. Walk uphill and diagonally SE across the field and go through a gate in the hedgerow. Head SSE until you reach another gate at the edge of woodland. With the woodland on your left, head SE until the path crosses a field and goes through a gap in the hedgerow to the B158. (540m)

2: Cross the road and turn left, walking NE along the east side of the B158 towards the right-hand bend in the road at the point where Wild Hill goes off to the left. (315m)

The gate mentioned in point 3 below - continue for 70m to Hornbeam Lane
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

3: Turn right along a footpath, Essendon footpath 19, which follows a private road heading SE. After 140m the footpath veers left to reach a wooden footbridge and a gate. Go through the gate and head NE along Essendon footpath 20 with the woodland on your right and the field on your left. After 120m you will reach the end of the woodland where you drop down slightly to the right to go through a wooden gate by an outbuilding (see image above). Go through the gate and continue heading NE, now with the house and gardens on your right and the hedge on your left for 70m until you cross a footbridge and reach Hornbeam Lane.

4: Turn right on Hornbeam Lane, Essendon bridleway 18, and head SW, past stables on your left following the lane as it becomes a track. (1.3km)

5: When you reach Cucumber Lane, turn left and walk along the lane until Berkhamsted Lane joins from the right. (1.3km)

6: At this point take the footpath on the left, Essendon footpath 16, just beyond a house and follow it as it drops down to the B158. (360m)

7: Cross the road and take the footpath opposite, still Essendon footpath 16, leading down wooden steps into Panther’s Wood. Cross the footbridge over Essendon Brook, turn right and head NW along the footpath with the brook on your right. Cross a footbridge, climb the hill with the field on your left and the hedgerow on your right until you come to a gate leading to Essendon BOAT 14 (byway open to all traffic). (880m)

8: Turn left and head SE to West End Lane. (630m)

9: Turn left on West End Lane and follow this lane back down to Wildhill, where you turn left and return to The Woodman. (750m)

Interactive Map