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Walk 9: The Howe Green Loop

A steady drop, a steep climb and a hidden hamlet

3.2 miles (5.2 km)


A lake on the edge of the golf course just before point 5 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
A lake on the edge of the golf course just before point 5Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
This walk is rich in variety, with a good downhill stretch for striding out, a steady climb back up to Essendon and, halfway round, the quiet hamlet of Howe Green. You cross the golf course twice and pass a quarry, but don't be put off, the views are spectacular and the flora, particularly near the quarry, is rich.

Directions


Map for Walk 9: The Howe Green 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 9: The Howe Green Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
See the interactive map below the directions for KML and GPX details
Park in the village of Essendon. A good place is near the church where the walk begins grid ref: TL 27396 08742.

1: Head SE along High Street until you reach School Lane on your left. There is a signpost to 'School and Village Hall'.

2: Turn left down School Lane and head E until you reach the school on your right and East View on your left. After 280m you will reach a footpath.

3: This is Essendon footpath 3 which heads E across the golf course for 310m until you reach a track in the middle of the golf course.

4: Continue heading E for 230m in the direction of the quarry on the E side of the golf course.

5: Leave the golf course and cross a footpath junction and then a ford (usually dry) and take the track ahead heading E, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 2, for 330m. The bridleway climbs the hill with the quarry on the left. Continue until you reach a footpath on the left. This is Little Berkhamsted footpath 2. You can take this path or continue heading straight, now on Little Berkhamsted bridleway 27, because they both end up in the same place, which is point 6 below.

6: When you reach the lane, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 18, turn right and follow the lane for 210m round past Ashfield House on the left and Ashfield Cottage on the right, until the lane turns right and into Ashfield Farm.

7: Here you will see a footpath on you left to Howe Green. This is Little Berkhamsted footpath 4. Cross the stile and follow this path NNW for 620m, keeping the hedge on your right. When the hedge ends, look diagonally ahead and slightly to your left, and you will see a large new house. To the right of the house is a wooden bridge. Head in this direction. Cross the bridge and go straight, keeping the house on your left, until you emerge into a country lane.

8: Turn left here and follow the lane, Little Berkhamsted bridleway 18, for 170m as it heads W until you reach a footpath on your right soon, after a left bend, some white stone markers, and an old oak tree.

9: Cross the stile and take the footpath, Little Berkhamsted footpath 1, W for 150m across a field and down the hill to another stile.

10: You now cross a bridge made of old railway sleepers and emerge on Bedwell Avenue (Little Berkhamsted bridleway 26). Turn right and follow the lane NNW for 450m it meets Low Road the B158.

11: Turn left, taking care here because the traffic can be busy. After 50m, you will see a footpath sign and stile on your left. Cross the stile and enter the golf course again. This is Essendon footpath 5, which climbs steadily up over the golf course for 1km heading SW towards Essendon church. You will see the church tower and steeple in the distance. After 310m you reach a fork on the left. Ignore this turn and continue on paved path on the right still heading SW with the woodland on your left and the fairway on your right. The paved path crosses a brick footbridge and over the fairway and continues SW for 290m until you reach the point where the path skirts the left hand side of a green and reaches a fork. Take the left hand track and after 15m you will reach a wooden footpath marker on your right. Turn right here, still on Essendon footpath 5 and follow these markers across the fairway and through the trees until the path emerges in a field. Cross the field, keeping the house on your left, until you come to the B158.

12: Cross the road and take the footpath, still Essendon footpath 5, heading SW for 350m and skirting the village. When you enter this field, you will notice two houses on the far side. Head for the right of the house on the right and exit the field through a gate, emerging on West End Lane.

13: Turn left and walk along the lane for 30m looking out for a footpath on the right. This footpath, Essendon footpath 7, has several gates as it twists its way round the village for 380m before opening up into a meadow. You will see the cricket ground buildings on your left as the path heads diagonally SW and downhill into woodland.

14: When you reach the woods turn left on Essendon footpath 13 and head ENE for 220m back to the village, skirting the right hand side of the cricket ground.

15: This path leads to the main road, where you turn left and head back to wherever you parked the car.

Interactive map