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A growing collection of free walks suitable for all ages, from an hour-long potter to half-day hikes. We have walking tips for those new to rambling and a comment box beneath every walk for your feedback - you may need to disable any ad blocker to add comments.

Walk 5: The River Lea Loop

Rolling hills, open vistas and a secluded pub

3 miles (5 km) - 60m of ascent

Image for walk 13, The Candlestick Loop, created by The Hertfordshire Walker and released under Creative Commons

This is a fairly short walk along bridleways, footpaths, and country lanes to the banks of the River Lea and back up to West End. It offers open views north across the Hertfordshire countryside and has the benefit of beginning and ending at The Candlestick pub/restaurant.


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
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
Click on the interactive map below to download KML or GPX files

1: Park in the lane outside The Candlestick at West End (grid ref: TL 26263 08341). Almost directly opposite the pub is a lane heading WSW and uphill for 370m until you reach the last cottage on the right.

2: Immediately after the last cottage you will see Essendon footpath 11, heading N. Turn right here and follow the path downhill for 1km until you reach Hillend Cottages.

3: Join the lane and walk N downhill for 900m. This is still Essendon footpath 11 until you reach the farm where it becomes Hatfield footpath 96. Continue until you reach a left-hand bend in the road.

4: Here you turn right and head E along Hatfield bridleway 75 which becomes Essendon bridleway 6 after 100m, Continue with the river on your left. The path bends slightly left, then right, but continues for 830m until you reach Essendon bridleway 10 joining from the right.

5: Take this path and begin a steady climb uphill for 1.5km heading S out of the valley and back up to West End.

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

Interactive map