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Walk 20: The Essendon Loop

3.6 miles (5.8 km) with 103m total ascent

Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 mentioned at point 8 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 mentioned at point 8 below
This walk has some hilly parts and crosses a golf course, but all the paths are easy and well laid out and it’s a great circular walk if you want a bit of up and down. And there are some good views across the rolling Hertfordshire countryside.

Emmie Murphy's village store at point 9 in the walk serves hot drinks and snacks.


Note: This walk crosses over a golf course

Map for Walk 20: The Essendon Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map at the foot of this page
Map for Walk 20: The Essendon Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
There is an interactive map at the foot of this page
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words references for those who use that system. If you print these walks you might want to use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of these directions to delete elements such as photographs.

1: Park either by St Mary Church in Essendon village (location - https://w3w.co/moss.police.loss) or on School Lane (location - https://w3w.co/token.comet.sends), but do check whether parking restrictions have been introduced since these directions were written. Walk W down West End Lane for 120m with the church on your left.

2: As you pass the last house on the right, you will spot a footpath sign and a gate on your right (location - https://w3w.co/funded.memo.awards). Go through the gate and follow the footpath, Essendon footpath 5, NE across the field for 340m to the B158.

3: Cross the road and continue on Essendon footpath 5 directly opposite. Go down that path heading ENE for 230m through a couple of gates eventually emerging on the edge of the golf course. Here you will see a post with a right of way (ROW) yellow arrow pointing across the golf course to a track. Walk NE in the direction the sign is pointing for 180m until the path splits (location - https://w3w.co/rinse.beats.themes),  see image below. Here Essendon footpath 5 turns to the left, but your path, Essendon footpath 2, heads E for 400m to reach a footbridge at the edge of the golf course.

The junction mentioned in point 3
The junction mentioned in point 3
4: Cross the footbridge and turn left on Bedwell Avenue. This is Little Berkhamsted bridleway 26. Continue heading N for 90m looking out for a footpath signpost on the right.

5: Take this footpath, Little Berkhamsted footpath 1, cross a bridge and head E for 140m as you climb the hill. On the other side of the field you reach a gate. Go through the gate and turn left on the lane. This is Little Berkhamsted bridleway 18. Follow the lane/bridleway for 180m as it heads ENE and then E until it reaches a house on the right. 

6: Immediately after the house you will see a footpath sign pointing to your right (location - https://w3w.co/define.cups.origin). This is Little Berkhamsted footpath 4. Take this footpath for 650m and head SSE, cross three fields, and eventually emerge at the top of a lane (location - https://w3w.co/dash.joined.still).

7: Continue straight, still heading SSE, now on Little Berkhamsted bridleway 18, and climb the hill for 440m until you reach a footbridge.

8: Immediately after the footbridge, where the path forks, take the left fork along Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 and continue climbing SE for 300m until you reach Breach Lane. Here you turn right and head S for 300m until you meet Robins Nest Hill in Little Berkhamsted.
* At this point you have the option of popping through the churchyard into Little Berkhamsted for refreshments where you will find a village shop and The Five Horseshoes pub.
9: Turn right on Little Berkhamsted Lane and head WSW for 460m until you reach a bridleway on your right just before the road bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/mugs.third.formal).

10: Take this bridleway, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 17, and head NW for 290m until you come to a farm. Continue through a gate and along a bridleway for 650m heading NW with fields on either side. This track drops down through woodland until it reaches the golf course.

11: At this point you will be in an area that looks a bit like a building site. Head W up the hill following the footpath, Essendon bridleway 4, through the golf course for 180m and up to the club house.

12: When you reach the club house follow the signs and turn right and then left keeping the buildings on your left. Climb the hill and follow the bridleway for 410m heading NW across another fairway and into the woodland. Continue on Essendon bridleway 4 through the woodland for 100m until you reach School Lane.

13: Turn left on School Lane and head W for 190m until you reach the B158. Turn right. On your left you will see the fork that takes you back to the church.

Interactive Map


  1. Excellent instructions.
    Thanks very much. First time ever I’ve not got lost trying to follow online guidance! The compass headings really helped.

    1. Wonderful. So glad the directions helped. Thanks for the feedback. David

  2. Are there several styles on this route?

    1. Yes, there are three or four stiles between points 5 &7.

  3. Absolutely loved this walk. The clear instructions made it fun and enjoyable and scenery was stunning. Any more similar walks?

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. There are lots of walks in the same area. Go to our list of pubs on the site and click on Five Horseshoes, Little Berkhamstead, and 11 walks will pop up in the area. Do the same with The Woodman, Wildhill, and another 21 walks will be listed which are close by. Same with entering the Rose & Crown, Essendon which has 11 walks passing by.
      And if you haven't already joined you might want to join our members-only Facebook Group where you can share pictures and reports of your walks with fellow walkers.


Comments and feedback
If you try any of the walks on this site, please let us know what you thought of them. You can either comment here, or on our members-only Facebook Group where walkers are sharing photographs of their walks and walking tips. Comments on our Facebook Group go live immediately, as they do on our Facebook Page. Comments here on our website are moderated, so there will be a slight delay before what you write goes live.

Facebook group rules

Facebook group rules
We have set 10 rules for our Hertfordshire Walker Facebook group which are designed to help keep the group focused on walking in the Hertfordshire countryside

Promoted charity: The Trussell Trust

Promoted charity: The Trussell Trust
Supporting those locked in poverty

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