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Walk 36: Lea Valley Long Loop

4.4 miles (7 km) with 104m total ascent

The bridleway between points 3 and 4
The bridleway between points 3 and 4
A pleasant circular that includes parts of several other walks on this site. It starts and ends at The Candlestick, West End, and includes a stretch of a bridleway along the Lea Valley before returning via the outskirts of Essendon.


Map for Walk 36: Lea Valley Long 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 36: Lea Valley Long 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 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.

1: Turn right out of The Candlestick car park and take the lane on your left heading WSW for 370m. Continue along this lane until you reach the end (location - https://w3w.co/little.flips.leaves).

2: After the last cottage on the right you turn right on Essendon footpath 11 and head NW for 990m until you reach a gate with a step stile (location - https://w3w.co/trim.bath.fixed). Continue N down the road, which is still Essendon footpath 11 and later becoming Hatfield footpath 96, for another 990m until you reach the point where the road bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/tame.sober.trail).

The River Lea between points 3 and 4
The River Lea between points 3 and 4
3: Here you turn right and head E along Hatfield bridleway 75 for 100m at which point the path becomes Essendon bridleway 6. This bridleway runs along the S side of the River Lea for 2.2km until you come out at a bend on the B158 (location - https://w3w.co/rising.stir.cool).

4: Turn right, cross the road and walk up the pavement heading S alongside the B158, Essendon Hill, for 660m until you reach the 30 mph speed limit sign on the outskirts of Essendon.

5: Here you take the footpath on your right, Essendon footpath 5 (location - https://w3w.co/live.lamp.raft), which heads diagonally SW for 350m across the field. Head for a point to the right of the last house and you will emerge on West End Lane (location - https://w3w.co/look.tennis.cover).

6: Turn left on West End Lane and walk SE for 30m looking out for a footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/filer.really.torn). Turn right on this footpath, Essendon footpath 17, and follow for 370m it as it goes SW past the church, through a gate, then SE and SW below Essendon Cricket Club to the woodland (location - https://w3w.co/flight.dogs.poem).

7: When you reach the woodland turn right and follow Essendon footpath 13 SW for 400m through the woodland and down the hill to a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/price.fight.sizes).

8: Cross the bridge and climb the hill for 240m until you reach a T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/sums.holds.ranch).

9: Turn left on Essendon BOAT 14 (byway open to all traffic0, and head S for 20m before turning right on Essendon footpath 13 (location - https://w3w.co/storm.monday.season) and following it SSW then NW for 430m back to The Candlestick.

Interactive Map


  1. Thank you so much for this. Just right for a slow Sunday afternoon walk. Loved the views from the start and then watching the fish in the River Lea. Well sign-posted walk. No diffculties. One downside might be the roar of the traffic on the A414 but it became easy to ignore after a while. Thanks again

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the A414 noise is annoying for a section of the walk but, like you, I am able to blank it out. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Did this walk today and it was very muddy in places but still very enjoyable and we met very few people. I think we've done it before in the summer without the mud. Yesterday we used Walk no 45 Tewin W-E Loop and that had great paths for muddy days. Any other walks you recommend that have good paths in the winter?

    1. You could try the latest walk we added last week, Walk 165: Amwell Loop. 3.6 miles with 150ft of ascent. Fairly good underfoot.

  4. Hi,
    That is a tricky one. So many paths that are dry in the summer are difficult in the winter. The four walks that feature Heartwood Forest at Sandridge might be okay. We walked in wellies today on a walk round Gobions Wood which was mud all the way.

  5. Haha we've been on the Gobions Wood walk when its thick with mud and very slippery, but I suppose its good fun. Yes Heartwood is probably ok. We just love all your walks so thank you for listing them all.


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