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Walk 7: The Little Berkhamsted Loop

A hill walk that passes an ‘environmentally sensitive’ area

3 miles (5 km)


Little Berkhamsted bridleway 17 mentioned at point 4 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Little Berkhamsted bridleway 17 mentioned at point 4 below
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

This is an excellent walk which includes a spectacular stretch of bridleway, a sandy path edged in gorse, and rich woodland. Don't be put off by the golf course and quarry along the way, you are soon past them.

You then climb to a quiet lane leading to a 'Conservation Walks Area' where Little Berkhamsted footpath 3 goes over an open field which is one of the country's, 'Environmentally Sensitive Areas'. This spot has 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.

You also follow a picturesque and well-worn path linking Howe Green and Little Berkhamsted, with oak trees that must be hundreds of years old. You can park at the side of the road by the Little Berkhamsted Cricket Club and opposite the Five Horseshoes pub.

Directions

Map for Walk 7: The Little Berkhamsted Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors An interactive map with KML and GPX data is embedded at foot of page
Map for Walk 7: The Little Berkhamsted Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
An interactive map with KML and GPX data is embedded at foot of page

1: Enter the cricket field by the gate near the shops at the north end of the ground. Follow the footpath, Little Berkhamsted footpath 8, for 170m heading SW keeping the hedge on your right and the cricket field on your left, until you reach a gate in the corner of the field.

2: Turn right here on the bridleway, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 22, and head NW for 70m until you meet the lane where you turn left and head SW for 90m.

3: Just before the lane bends take the bridleway on your right, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 17), and head NW. After 290m you reach Danes Farmhouse. At this point it becomes a track.

4: Continue heading NW along this sandy bridleway for 430m with good views to the left across to Bedwell Park. There are gorse bushes on the left and right along with views north across the Lea Valley. The bridleway then drops down through woodland. At this point it can be quite muddy after rain.

5: At the bottom of this hill you pass a cottage on your left and an outbuilding on your right as the bridleway veers slightly to the left before reaching a gate leading to Bedwell Park Farm. Turn right here on Essendon bridleway 25 before the conifer trees, and walk N for 340m with firs on your left and hawthorn on your right.

6: When you reach a junction. The path to the left passes over the golf course. Your way is to the right on Little Berkhamsted bridleway 2, across a small stream (this is marked as a ford on some maps). Keeping the quarry on your left, climb NE up the sandy bridleway for 250m to the top of the hill.

7: Here you will come to a fork in the path, with a step stile to your left. You can go either way as both meet again soon after at a gate leading into a lane.

8: When you reach the lane, turn right and follow the lane SSE round past Ashfield House on the left and Ashfield Cottage on the right, until the lane turns right and into Ashfield Farm.

9: Take the track on your right at the end of the lane, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 18, and head slightly uphill keeping the farm on your right.
Here you have an option. Shortly after starting up this bridleway, you will notice another path on the left Little Berkhamsted footpath 3. A sign describes the spot as 'A Conservation Walks Area'. This is an 'Environmentally Sensitive Area', which is part of a scheme, introduced in 1987, offering incentives to encourage farmers to adopt agricultural practices aimed at safeguarding and enhancing parts of the country of particularly high landscape, wildlife or historic value. It is well worth following the path that leads across the field down to Culver Woods. This path offers a wonderful 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside. 
Otherwise, continue on the main route heading uphill following the bridleway SSE for 400m.

10: When you reach a concrete footbridge across a stream turn left up the hill on Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 heading SE for 300m until you reach the lane.

11: This is Breach Lane. Turn right and follow the lane S for 300m back to the village. You will reach Robins Nest Hill where you cross the road and take the path through the churchyard back to Little Berkhamsted village centre.

Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 mentioned at point 10 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 mentioned at point 10 above
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 meets Breach Lane, mentioned at point 11 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Little Berkhamsted bridleway 19 meets Breach Lane, mentioned at point 11 above
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


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