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Walk 43: Datchworth Loop

5.8 miles (9.3 km) with 37m total ascent

Photograph of footpath along Walk 43: Datchworth Loop
This is a pleasant walk across rolling Hertfordshire countryside along good tracks with good views. The route follows byways, bridleways and avoids roads apart from one short section of a quiet country lane at the end. 

Fly through preview of walk

If you want to check what sort of landscape you will be crossing before you set off on this walk you can view a short 3D video of the route below. It's created using the free version of Relive.


Walk 43: Datchworth Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map embedded at the end of these directions
Walk 43: Datchworth Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
There is an interactive 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.

We have rerouted this walk (25 April 2021) because of the difficulty parking in Bulls Green at what used to be the start and finish of the walk near The Horns pub. Now the walk starts and finishes at a layby off Winding Shott (location - https://w3w.co/linked.wants.lives) where there is space for about six vehicles. At the time of writing there were no parking restrictions in place, but do check when you get there in case that has changed.

Walk round the gates and continue heading NE
Walk round the gates and continue heading NE (point 2)
1: From Winding Shott take the permitted path (location - https://w3w.co/foods.voices.elite) that runs through the Woodhall Estate. Head NE for 600m ignoring a track to the right, a track that crosses your route, and continuing until you reach a set of gates, see image above (location - https://w3w.co/bonus.menu.universally).

2: Walk round the gate to the left and continue heading NE, now on Watton-at-Stone BOAT 29, for 1.5km until you pass Perrywood Farm on your right. After passing the farm look out for a footpath on your left (location - https://w3w.co/rent.legal.rails).

3: Turn left here on Watton-at-Stone bridleway 35 and follow it NNW for 240m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/dreams.search.often).

4: Turn right on Watton-at-Stone bridleway 22 and head NE for 910m until you reach Church Lane (location - https://w3w.co/notion.tulip.purely). * At this point you have the option of taking a 720m detour into Watton-at-Stone for refreshments at either The George and Dragon or The Bull.

5: Turn left on Church Lane and head NNW for 250m until you reach a T-junction with Watton Road (location - https://w3w.co/lace.glad.roses).

6: When you get to Watton Road (location - https://w3w.co/truck.leader.rivers) there is an option of turning left and walking along the road heading WSW for 210m looking out for a track on your right, or following a path the other side of the hedge in order to avoid the road - both end up in the same place.

7: Turn right on Watton-at-Stone bridleway 14 (location - https://w3w.co/buck.truck.unrealistic) and head NW for 920m until you reach Brook Hall Farm on the right. Follow the track past the farm and round to the right to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/works.stiff.scouts).

8: Turn left on Watton-at-Stone bridleway 16 (which is metalled at this point) and head W for 540m until you reach woodland and a junction (location - https://w3w.co/necks.boil.that).

9: Turn left and head SE on Watton-at-Stone bridleway 15 for 300m until you leave the woodland. At this point your path becomes Aston bridleway 6 and continues for 700m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/paying.tricky.strict).

10: Turn left and head SSW on Datchworth BOAT 25 for 640m until you reach Watton Road (location - https://w3w.co/goods.cargo.ankle).

11: Cross Watton Road and take Datchworth restricted byway 25 heading SSW for 250m to a junction in the track (location - https://w3w.co/breed.motion.gallons).

12: Turn right on Watton-at-Stone footpath 26 and head W for 90m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/wants.orders.thus). * Here you have the option of a detour for refreshments at either The Plough or The Tilbury in Datchworth.

Turn left on Watton-at-Stone BOAT 30 and head SSE for 400m until you reach a footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/freed.pits.clash). * When you reach the footpath, Watton-at-Stone footpath 27, you have the option of turning right and taking a 530m detour for refreshments at The Horns in Burns Green.

13: If you don’t take the detour for refreshments continue heading SSE then SE on Watton-at-Stone BOAT 30 until you come to a junction where Bramfield bridleway 1 goes off to your right (location - https://w3w.co/leaps.purple.city).

Bramfield bridleway 1 on the final leg of the walk (point 14)
Bramfield bridleway 1 on the final leg of the walk (point 14)
14: Turn right on this bridleway and head SSW for 460m until you reach the road. Turn left on the road and head uphill and SE for 200m back to the layby.

Interactive map


  1. Did this walk today and enjoyed it very much. Very open which we like and as it was so dry there was no mud. Very quiet all the way round and so much birdsong in the woods. Stopped at Datchworth for tea and cake at Datchworth Coffee which is next to the Plough. Saw the last of the bluebells in the woods and many more wildflowers. The birdsong app I saw you mention on your twitter page is very useful although sometimes it just identifies "a human" if my husband happens to talk when Im recording! Thanks again for plotting all these walks and all for no charge.

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the walk, and the free BirdNet app is wonderful, as long as nobody is nattering as you try to record the birdsong. :-)

    2. Parking in the layby was perfect as well - we were the only car there when we started and on our return.

  2. Great walk last Sunday. Really easy to follow the route and a slight detour to the Horns for some food. We waked alongside a path in a private meadow with a beautifully intricate gate with snails and mice to get there

    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk. We have a couple more planned for that area. David


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