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Walk 5: The River Lea Loop

3 miles (4.9 km) with 63m total ascent


The bridleway heading E between points 4 & 5
The bridleway heading E between points 4 & 5
This is a fairly short walk along bridleways, footpaths, and country lanes down to the banks of the River Lea and back up to West End near Essendon. It offers open views north across the Hertfordshire countryside and has the benefit of beginning and ending at The Candlestick pub/restaurant. The starting point is three miles NE from Welham Green station by road.

We have created a short video preview of this walk on YouTube. And below that you can watch a short 3D flythough of the route created on Relive.

Video preview



Flythrough preview



Directions


Map for Walk 5: The River Lea 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 5: The River Lea Loop
Click here or on the map above for a larger version
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

We have 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 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.

The Candlestick, West End
The Candlestick, West End
Staff at The Candlestick at West End say walkers who intend to purchase refreshments at the pub/restaurant before or after their walk are welcome to use the pub car park. But please check in case the policy has changed since these directions were published. There are also a few parking spots on West End Lane outside the pub (location - https://w3w.co/switch.farmer.calms).

With your back to The Candlestick turn right
With your back to The Candlestick turn right
1: With your back to The Candlestick turn right then head N for 30m until you reach a lane on the left (location - https://w3w.co/cloak.brand.stick), see image above. Turn left then head W for 360m until you reach the last cottage on the right (location - https://w3w.co/tribal.bets.files). Immediately after you will find Essendon footpath 11.

The southern end of Essendon footpath 11 - point 1
The southern end of Essendon footpath 11
2: Turn right on Essendon footpath 11 the head N and downhill. After 400m and soon after the first right-hand bend, you will find some wonderful blackthorn bushes which were heavily laden with sloe berries when we passed that way in late August 2022. The spot is (location - https://w3w.co/discrepancy.rooms.knee). The sloes were hanging off the branches like bunches of grapes, see images below. But take care. Getting pricked by the bushes is dangerous and can lead to poisoning.

Sloes between points 2 & 3 on Walk 5: The River Lea Loop
Sloes between points 2 & 3 on Walk 5: The River Lea Loop

Sloes between points 2 & 3 on Walk 5: The River Lea Loop
Sloes between points 2 & 3 on Walk 5: The River Lea Loop
Continue on Essendon footpath 11 for another 600m until you reach a stile (location - https://w3w.co/struck.tops.nearly). Cross the stile.

Essendon footpath 11 heading N and downhill - point 2
Essendon footpath 11 heading N and downhill - point 2
3: Join the lane and walk N downhill for 900m. Despite being a lane, this is also still Essendon footpath 11 until you reach a lane on your right leading to a farm (location - https://w3w.co/desire.stone.excuse) where, soon after, the lane becomes Hatfield footpath 96. Continue heading N until you reach a left-hand bend in the road (location - https://w3w.co/clocks.join.ties) with a bridleway on the right.

Turn right on Hatfield bridleway 75 and head E
Turn right on Hatfield bridleway 75 and head E
4: Turn right and head E along Hatfield bridleway 75 which becomes Essendon bridleway 6 after 100m. Continue with the river on your left (see image at the top of these directions). The path bends slightly left, then right and continues for 830m until you reach Essendon bridleway 10 joining from the right (location - https://w3w.co/skips.ankle.author).

Turn right on Essendon bridleway 10 - point 5
Turn right on Essendon bridleway 10 - point 5
5: Turn right and follow Essendon bridleway 10 as it climbs uphill for 1.5km heading S out of the valley and back up to West End (location - https://w3w.co/amused.slug.fact).

6: When you reach West End Lane, turn right and follow the lane round back to The Candlestick.

Interactive map




2 comments:

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this walk today..So many beautiful butterflies and dragonflies. Very close to where I live so know the area and used to frequent Hatfield Park grounds alot as a teenager so always fond memories..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lorraine and Neil, so glad you enjoyed it. It's one of the earliest walks on Hertfordshire Walker and one we updated recently. We often walk this loop because it is so close to where we live.

      Delete

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