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Walk 28: Brickendon Loop

6.25 miles (10 km) with 109m total ascent
Detour option 4.2 miles (6.6 km)

Photograph along Walk 28 - Brickendon Loop
This walk follows secluded footpaths, through deep, ancient woodland, and along a Roman road. This ramble through the Hertfordshire countryside takes you past two nature reserves, Balls Wood, and Danemead. The route also goes through Broxbourne Nature Reserve.


Map for Walk 28: Brickendon 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 28: Brickendon Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is a larger, more detailed map embedded at the end of these directions
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words location 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.
Update January 2021: We have added a short detour along quiet country lanes to avoid the stretches of the route that can become muddy in the winter months. It's a 1.5 km stretch, marked in orange on the map above. The detour does not show on the interactive map below. If you want to take this detour head S at point 6 for 750m until you reach a lane on your right signposted Monk's Green. Take this lane and head SSW for 730m until you reach Monk's Green where you can pick up the directions at point 12. The length of the walk if you take the detour will be 4.2 miles (6.6 km). There is still a short muddy stretch between points 12 and 13.
1: From Brickendon and head N along Fanshaws Lane (location - https://w3w.co/chop.words.juror), which is also Brickendon Liberty BOAT 7 (byway open to all traffic). Fanshaws Lane is to the west of The Farmer's Boy pub.

Keep heading N for 290m until the lane veers left. You continue heading straight ahead and N along a track also known as Back Lane. Continue straight heading N for 1km, through Sweeting's Wood then between fields until you reach cottages on your right and emerge on Brickendon Lane (location - https://w3w.co/intro.kinds.usual).

2: Turn right and head SE along Brickendon Lane for 320m until you reach a farm on your left. Take care along this road because there is no footpath for pedestrians.

3: Just after the farm, take the byway on your left, Brickendon Liberty BOAT 8 (location - https://w3w.co/prove.reason.combining) and continue SE. Along the way you will come to a 'Private Road' sign. Here a path (with a red sign) runs slightly to the right and parallel to the road. Take this parallel path keeping the road on your left. Ignore the first path off to your right and continue.

4: After 480m look out for a track going off to your left (location - https://w3w.co/second.humans.chained). This is Brickendon Liberty BOAT 9. Take this byway and head NE for 1.4km. This is a wonderful sheltered path between the fields which continues to Mangrove Road, (also known, locally, as Mangrove Lane).

5: Turn right on Mangrove Road/Lane (location - https://w3w.co/dream.rushed.spark) and continue until the road turns sharp right after 320m.

6: At this point you take the footpath on your left (location - https://w3w.co/human.else.wires). Soon after taking this path turn right and continue along Brickendon Liberty footpath 5 for 220m with the field on your left and hedge on your right.

7: When you reach the woodland (location - https://w3w.co/gasp.curving.trip) veer right, now on Hertford Heath footpath 7. At this point you will see a sign for the entrance to Balls Wood, a Herts and Middlesex nature reserve.
* You can walk through the woods if you like because there is a path that runs parallel to the one you are on and emerges from the wood at the end of the field.
Almost immediately after the sign to Balls Wood the path turns left (location - https://w3w.co/swear.gross.hits) and follows the line of the wood heading E. You continue along this path for 780m. The wood should be on your left and the field on your right. Carry on heading E until the path passes through a small part of the wood and emerges between open fields (location - https://w3w.co/land.filer.trick). Here you will see another entrance to Balls Wood which you ignore. Continue heading E, still on Hertford Heath footpath 7, for 330m, cross a track, and emerge on Ermine Street, a Roman road (location - https://w3w.co/origin.labels.video).

8: Turn right and follow Ermine Street, also known at this point as Hertford Heath restricted byway 8 S for 1km. At the point where the track becomes a path through the woods you will be on Brickendon Liberty restricted byway 24. Continue until you reach a lane (location - https://w3w.co/punchy.tides.memo).

9: Cross the lane and head into Broxbourne National Nature Reserve. Keep going S still on Brickendon Liberty restricted byway 24. Do not stray from this path. The land to the right is private and not accessible to the public.

10: After 680m you reach Spital Brook (location - https://w3w.co/pumps.credit.honey). Here you turn right, keeping the sign to the Danemead Nature reserve on your left and Spital Brook on your right.

Continue to head W through the woods for 490m before emerging at a gate and a path T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/lanes.weeks.boom). (Note: There used to be an elevated boardwalk along this stretch but it's been removed by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.)

11: Turn right and head NW on Brickendon Liberty bridleway 14 for 950m. You will cross a forestry road as you continue to climb. Keep heading NW until your path emerges on the lane at Monks Green (location - https://w3w.co/pumps.scan.woof).

12: Turn left through Monks Green. At the end of the village take the left-hand path marked with the green sign and a picture of a white admiral butterfly (location - https://w3w.co/trace.onion.chat). This is Brickendon Liberty footpath 10. Follow this path through several fields for 780m until you reach Brickendon Lane (location - https://w3w.co/photo.meant.claim).

13: Turn left on the lane and head SW for 470m back to the start of the walk.

Interactive Map


  1. Hello looks a great walk, how long does it take to complete?

    1. Hi,
      The route is 6.25 miles long, and there is a 4.2 mile detour, so it all depends which you take and how fast you walk. We walk about 3mph, so the main route would take us a little more than two hours. But if you are a slower walker, and want to linger and perhaps take pictures, I would allow three hours.
      Hope you enjoy it.

  2. Our group walked this on 13 July. Owing to shortage of time, we took the lane and footpath from points 9 to 12 which turned out to be a very pleasant diversion and a partial break from the many wooded areas on this walk. It was about 1 mile less than the full walk and required a bit of gardening on the footpath off the lane after point 9.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Overgrown paths are a bit of a problem this time of the years. We always carry secateurs and a stick. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. My dog and I walked this route yesterday morning. It is such a quiet secluded walk, with plenty of shade which was appreciated in yesterdays hot sun. It took us 2 1/2 hours which included a couple of stops for a drink of water for us both.

    1. So glad you and your dog enjoyed it. It's a lovely walk. Thanks for the feedback. David


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