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Walk 54: Symondshyde Loop

Shaded and deep byways, open views

5.6 miles (9.7 km) - 310 ft of ascent


One of the old byways along the route
One of the old byways along the route

This walk follows old deep and shaded byways which weave their way through fields and woodland.

The walk was rerouted in May 2021 because parking at the old start point was discouraged. The walk used to be a 3.5 mile loop from Coleman Green. Now it’s a 5.9 mile loop from the car park on Nomansland Common south of Wheathampstead. We think the new route is a much better walk. 

There is one pub along the way, the John Bunyan at Coleman Green, and another, the Elephant & Castle at Amwell, which is 900m from the start/finish point (location - https://w3w.co/answer.shock.season). You pass close to two Hertfordshire breweries along the way.

Directions


Walk 54: Symondshyde 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 54: Symondshyde 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.

Park in the car park south of Ferres Lane along Nomansland Common (location - https://w3w.co/tests.staple.scars). 

Because the first 500m of the walk is following tracks through woodland that is part of the common and which have no signposts, we have set out more detailed stages than usual for this short section at the start of the walk. 

1: Take the path E out of the car park (location - https://w3w.co/friend.monks.music), cross Ferres Lane, and take the footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/shout.slam.limes) and head ENE for 40m until you reach a path going off to your left (see image below).

Head N between the two trees
Head N between the two trees

Turn left on this path (location - https://w3w.co/spared.swan.pays) and head N for 20m walking between two trees (see image above). After passing between the two trees follow the path to your left for 30m until you reach a fork in the path (see image below)

Take the right fork and head N through the woods
Take the right fork and head N through the woods

Take the right fork following the direction of the yellow arrow (location - https://w3w.co/wage.being.comet) and continue heading N and NE through the woodland, see image below.

The woodland leading to Dow Green Lane
The woodland leading to Dow Green Lane

Continue heading N and NNE for 190m until you reach Dow Green Lane (location - https://w3w.co/noon.motor.farms).

Head N along the lane, with the houses on your left, for 130m until you reach a footpath leading into the woods (location - https://w3w.co/bright.passes.fires).

The right-hand turn mentioned below
The right-hand turn mentioned below

Head N for 50m until you reach a fork. Take the right-hand turn (location - https://w3w.co/cuts.motor.dimes), see image above. 

The left-hand turn mentioned below
The left-hand turn mentioned below

Head ENE for 70m until you reach a path going off to your left (location - https://w3w.co/rubble.noting.puzzle), see image above. Take this path and head N for 50m until you reach the end of the woodland (location - https://w3w.co/remark.town.holds).

At this point you will reach Wheathampstead footpath 82 which you follow N for 230m with the hedgerow on your left and the field on your right until you reach woodland.

Here you turn right (location - https://w3w.co/adjust.settle.minute) walking E for 260m with the woods on your left and the field on your right until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/jeeps.sleepy.kicks).

Turn left and follow Wheathampstead footpath 48A NNE for 220m with the woods on your left and the road on your right and continue until you reach Hill Dyke Road on your right.

2: Turn right and cross The B651 looking out for Wheathampstead footpath 74 on the right at the junction of Hill Dyke Road and the B651 (location - https://w3w.co/sizes.toast.trying). Take this footpath and head ESE for 540m at first with the hedgerow on your left and the field on your right until you reach Dyke Lane (location - https://w3w.co/chins.firm.flash).

Cross Dyke Lane and take Wheathampstead footpath 22 ESE for 100m at which point the path becomes Sandridge footpath 16 which you follow ESE for 290m until you reach a lane. Turn right and take the footpath on your left as the lane bend to the right (location - https://w3w.co/chins.firm.flash), see image below.

Go round the metal gate then through the wooden gate
Go round the metal gate then through the wooden gate

This is Sandridge footpath 13 which you follow SE.

* As you walk this path look to your left and you will see some farm buildings 500m to the NE. This is the Farr Brewery (location - https://w3w.co/values.cried.leave) which organises tours and tastings. We went on one before lockdown and it was great. The brewery is open every Friday and Saturday 11-5 to collect.

Continue on Sandridge footpath 13 until you arrive at the John Bunyan pub/restaurant on Coleman Green Lane (location - https://w3w.co/upset.worker.reader).

3: From the John Bunyan pub turn left and walk NE for 60m looking out for a byway sign across the lane on your right by John Bunyan's Chimney (location - https://w3w.co/call.cure.nails). The monument is all that is left of the cottage where Bunyan is said to have stayed and preached.

This track is a BOAT (byway open to all traffic). And for the length you will walk it is is both Wheathampsted BOAT 3 and Hatfield BOAT 57, suggesting that this old byway follows a parish boundary.

Head along this byway, which is an excellent example of a Hertfordshire holloway, also known as a sunken lane. Continue heading NE for 600m, until you reach a set of steps on your right leading to a footpath (location - https://w3w.co/melt.risk.dishes), see image below.

The steps leading to Hatfield footpath 53
The steps leading to Hatfield footpath 53

4: Take this path, Hatfield footpath 53 and head SE uphill for 760m across the fields. As with a lot of this walk you can enjoy excellent views across the open Hertfordshire countryside from all sides.

Head SE along this path for 590m ignoring a track to your right and continuing until you reach a house on the left at the point where the path becomes a metalled track. Continue heading SE for 170m until you reach a five-way junction (location - https://w3w.co/park.treat.sake).

5: Take the second bridleway on your right, Hatfield bridleway 49, see image below, and continue with the hedge on your right and the field on your left.

Take Hatfield bridleway 49 to the left of the hedge
Take Hatfield bridleway 49 to the left of the hedge

After 210m the bridleway enters woodland (location - https://w3w.co/pulse.bolts.leaves) and becomes another deep holloway with some spectacular bluebells on either side in late April, early May.

The bluebells between points 5 and 6
The bluebells between points 5 and 6

Follow this bridleway for 1.2km until it reaches Hammond's Lane just past Symondshyde Farm (location - https://w3w.co/sports.grab.taxi).

* At this junction you might notice the entrance to the Three Brewers brewery on your left. They have a collection service for lovers of real ale who want to pick up their beer direct from the brewery.

6: Turn right on Hammonds Lane and head NW for 40m looking out for a bridleway sign on your left (location - https://w3w.co/meals.fired.calculating).

Take this track, Hatfield bridleway 47, see image below, and head WSW for 460m through Symondshyde Great Wood until you reach a bridleway T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/lion.trucks.card).

Bridleway 47 heading into Symondshyde Great Wood
Bridleway 47 heading into Symondshyde Great Wood

7: Turn right on Sandridge restricted byway 1 (see image below) and head NW for 560m until you reach Hammonds Lane again (location - https://w3w.co/limp.slim.junior).

Sandridge restricted byway 1 on the western edge of Symondshyde Great Wood
Sandridge restricted byway 1 on the western edge of Symondshyde Great Wood

8: Turn left and head SE along Hammonds Lane for 150m looking out for a bridleway sign on your right (location - https://w3w.co/much.discouraged.moving), see image below.

Sandridge bridleway 7 heading NNW off Hammonds Lane
Sandridge bridleway 7 heading NNW off Hammonds Lane

This is Sandridge bridleway 7. Follow it NNW for 690m until you reach Coleman Green Lane (location - https://w3w.co/unless.cubes.lung).

9: Cross Coleman Green Lane and head NW then WNW, then W, still on Sandridge bridleway 7, for 1km until you reach the B651 (location - https://w3w.co/remedy.friend.elbow).

10: Cross the road and head W along the northern edge of Ferrers Lane for 320m until you reach the path back to the car park.

Interactive map