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Walk 30: Colney Heath South Loop

3.8 miles (6.1 km) with 31m total ascent

Photograph taken on Walk 30: Colney Heath South Loop
This is a pleasant circular heading S from the village of Colney Heath and looping around Willow Lakes, a great spot for bird watchers. The walk starts and finishes on Colney Heath where there is a pub and shops selling refreshments. The route passes by Willows Activity Farm on public rights of way.


Map for Walk 30: Colney Heath South Loop
Click here or on image for larger version
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map at the bottom of this page
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.

Please keep to the public rights of way on this walk. We have included a map at the foot of this page showing the public rights of way around Willows Lakes in green and the paths reserved for those fishing the lakes in red.

1: Park in the lane adjacent to Colney Heath Common (location - https://w3w.co/cove.dimes.front) which is just off Coursers Road (Grid Reference: TL 20496 05654. Take the footpath which heads left and SW across the common (location - https://w3w.co/makes.mull.risks). This is Colney Heath footpath 36. Follow the path SW then W for 280m until you come to a stile on your left with a footpath heading S (location - https://w3w.co/care.quarrel.search).

2: Head SW across the field, still on Colney Heath footpath 36 and cross a footbridge with a gate either side. At this point the path becomes Ridge footpath 4 and continues across the next field heading for the gap in the hedge (https://w3w.co/awards.dome.taker).

3: Turn right once through the hedge and ignore the footpath straight ahead but instead head NW, the SW and then SSE skirting the field and stables on your left until you reach the end of the field (location - https://w3w.co/notes.brass.rang).

4: Turn right on Ridge footpath 4 and follow the path SW for 250m walking between two lakes until you come to a bridleway T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/mats.helps.palace).

5: Cross Ridge bridleway 6 and continue SW, still on Ridge footpath 4, through the woods for 560m until you reach a track (location - https://w3w.co/gift.share.noble).

6: Cross the track and go into the field directly opposite heading SW for 360m heading to the right of the car park on the far side (location - https://w3w.co/chop.panic.choice). This is Willows Farm Village, an open farm which has an admission charge for those visiting the farm but walkers using the right of ways across the property don't have to pay.

7: Continue until you reach a right turn (location - https://w3w.co/relate.woven.habit) where you head and head WNW for 200m to a gate (location - https://w3w.co/marked.beside.bucks) where you turn left just before the lake then head SW for 190m until you reach a track (location - https://w3w.co/issued.closed.verbs). Turn right here and head NW, NNW, then NW for 90m looking out for a path on your right (location - https://w3w.co/moth.sticky.enhancement).

8: Turn right on this path, Ridge footpath 1, then follow it NNE, NE, for 660m ignoring the first footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/towns.expect.faced) and continuing until you reach a second footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/smooth.vase.sulk).

Keep left at the fork on Ridge footpath 1
Keep left at the fork on Ridge footpath 1
9: Turn right here, still on Ridge footpath 1, then head NE for 35m to a fork (location - https://w3w.co/fails.pills.cover). Keep left at the fork, still on Ridge footpath 1, see orange arrow on image above. The other path leads to the lake and is for people fishing and is not an official public right of way. Continue for 365m to a small car park on the left (location - https://w3w.co/ears.soup.transfers). Continue, now heading NNE through woodland, still on Ridge footpath 1, for 175m until the footpath reaches a travel track (location - https://w3w.co/cove.soils.income). Turn right then head ENE along the gravel track for 300m until you reach a car park (location - https://w3w.co/usage.stews.bond).

10: Keep walking past the offices of the Willow Lakes Fishery, look out for a bridleway straight ahead (location - https://w3w.co/part.name.best). Take this path, which is Ridge bridleway 6, and follow it SE for 80m crossing a wooden footbridge before reaching Ridge bridleway 2 on the left (location - https://w3w.co/shack.truly.tooth). Turn left on Ridge bridleway 2 then follow it NE for 730m to Church Lane. Along the way you will pass a model railway on the right run by the North London Society of Model Engineers (location - https://w3w.co/ruler.hips.loving). When you reach Church Lane turn left and head N for 90m until you cross the River Colne again.

11: Turn right after the river (location - https://w3w.co/pint.speeds.unrealistic), and follow Colney Heath footpath 35 for 840m E and SE across the common and back to your car.

There are a few refreshments options in Colney Heath where you will find local shops and a pub, The Crooked Billet (location - https://w3w.co/exit.humble.soaks).

Rights of way and private paths

Public rights of way in green, private fishing paths in red
The green markers show two land-bridge across the lakes

Click here or on image for larger version
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

Interactive Map


  1. Am planning to do this on Friday but the link to the pub doesn't work - should be https://www.thecrookedbilletpub.com/ ;)

    1. Great, thanks for letting me know. I have fixed the link. Enjoy the walk.

  2. Did it!! Lovely walk - a friend and I did it - we started at point 7 and enjoyed reminiscing about taking our children to willows farm when they were small at the end! Thank you.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk. We often revisit this route and also have memories of taking our children to the farm.


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