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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 54: Symondshyde Loop

Shaded and deep byways, open views

3.6 miles (5.7 km)

Photograph of a deep, shaded byway along Walk 54: Symondshyde Loop

A four-mile walk along old deep and shaded byways which weave their way through fields and woodland, some of which - according to a local pressure group Save Symondshyde - are threatened by development. This is one of the most attractive walks in our collection, so try it soon in case proposed building plans are given the green light.


Walk 54: Symondshyde 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
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

Unfortunately, parking for this walk is a problem now because many of the the lay-bys along Coleman Green Lane have been blocked off. The pub's car park is for patrons only and there are not many other options. 

1: From the John Bunyan pub walk NE for 60m looking out for a byway sign on your right by John Bunyan's Chimney - all that's left of the cottage where he is said to have stayed and preached. Take this byway, Wheathampsted BOAT 3 (byway open to all traffic) as it continues NE for 600m, ignoring the first path on the right and looking out for a second path signposted to the right.

2: Take this path, Hatfield footpath 53 and head SE uphill for 760m with the hedgerow on the right and fields on the left. As with a lot of this walk you can enjoy excellent views across the open Hertfordshire countryside.

3: When you reach the top, you go through a gate and cross fields emerging at a five-point footpath/bridleway/byway crossroad. Care is needed here to ensure you take the right path. Having an Ordnance Survey map will help. You take the bridleway heading S, Hatfield bridleway 49, and continue with the hedge on your right and the field on your left. This path enters woodland and becomes another deep byway. Follow this byway for 1.2km until it reaches Hammond's Lane just past Symondshyde Farm.

4: Turn right on Hammond's Lane and head NW for 40m looking out for a bridleway sign on your left. take this track, Hatfield bridleway 47 and head WSW for 460m through Symondshyde Great Wood until you reach a bridleway T-junction

5: Turn right on Sandridge restricted byway 1 and head NW for 560m until you reach Hammond's Lane again.

6: Turn right and head NE along Hammond's Lane for 150m looking out for a footpath sign on your left just before the drive to a house. Take this footpath, Sandridge footpath 30, and head NE for 630m with the fields on your left until you reach a footpath sign pointing NNW through the crop.

7: Take this path, Hatfield footpath 48, and NW for 840m along this path as it cuts through the crops until you reach a gap in the hedge. Go through into the next field keeping the hedge on your left and the field on your right until you reach Coleman Green Lane and your starting point.

Interactive map