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Walk 28: Brickendon Loop

Roman road, deep woodland, secluded paths

6.25 miles (10 km) - detour option 4.2 miles (6.6 km)

Photograph along Walk 28 - Brickendon Loop

A magnificent walk via 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, which are both well worth a visit. 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
Note: 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

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 maps above and 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: Park in Brickendon and head N along Fanshaws Lane, which is also Brickendon Liberty BOAT 7 (byway open to all traffic), which runs to the west of The Farmer's Boy pub. Keep going straight until the lane veers left and, straight ahead, becomes a track. Continue straight heading N, through Sweeting's Wood then between fields until you reach cottages on your right and emerge on Brickendon Lane.

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 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. 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 and continue until it turns sharp right after 320m.

6: At this point you take the footpath on your left. Soon after taking this path you will see an option to turn right and continue along the path, Brickendon Liberty footpath 5 for 220m with the field on your left and hedge on your right.

7: When you reach the woodland you 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 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. Here you will see another entrance to Balls Wood. Head along this path, across a track until you emerge on Ermine Street, a Roman road.

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.

9: When you reach Mangrove Road/Lane at the point where it becomes Lord Street. Cross the road and head into Broxbourne National Nature Reserve. Keep going S still on Brickendon Liberty restricted byway 24

10: After 680m you reach Spital Brook. Here you turn right, and 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. The path eventually becomes an elevated boardwalk before emerging at a gate and a path T-junction.

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.

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. This is Brickendon Liberty footpath 10. Follow this path through several fields for 780m until you reach Brickendon.

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

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