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Walk 75: Hitchwood Loop

Old woodland, rolling hills, quiet lanes, and secluded paths


3.39 miles (5.46 km)


Photograph of signpost on Walk 75.Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


This is a pleasant walk taking in three trails: the Hitchwood Trail, parts of the Hertfordshire Way, and the North Chiltern Trail. It leads down shady footpaths and over fields with open views. Two-thirds of the way round there is the possibility of a short detour to visit The Strathmore Arms, famous for its real ale. The walk can be enjoyed in about an hour an a half taken at a leisurely pace. Allow three if you are going to stop for refreshments along the way.

Directions

Map for Walk 75: Hitchwood 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 75: Hitchwood 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

There is a small car park (grid reference: TL 19659 23899) with limited spaces at the north of the junction between Whitwell Road (B651) and Hitchwood Lane. If this is full, consider joining the walk at point seven, where you can park in the car park at The Strathmore Arms (grid reference: TL 19363 22210) if you intend to pop in for refreshments at the end of the walk.


Photograph of Hitchwood Trail. Follow the Hitchwood Trail eastwards Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Follow the Hitchwood Trail E
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
1: Cross Hitchwood Lane, enter the Hitchwood (labelled as Hitch Wood on the OS map), turn right, and follow the Hitchwood Trail for 720m as it continues east alongside Hitchwood Lane. Keep following the way-marked signs, ignoring the first path off to the left. Continue until you reach the point where the path swings to your left and heads south.


photograph of Hitchwood Trail. Take the left turn on the Hitchwood Trail and head south Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the left turn on the Hitchwood Trail and head S
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

2: Continue through Hitchwood heading SW and S until you reach the public footpath cutting through the woodland. This is Langley footpath 19.

Photograph of footpath. The public footpath runing south through the western edge of Hitchwood Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The public footpath runing south through the western edge of Hitchwood
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

3: Turn left here and continue heading S along the public footpath for 200m until you reach the southern boundary of Hitchwood and an open field.


Photograph of path through field. Follow the path through the crops as it heads south-west Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Follow the path through the crops as it heads SW
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Your path now becomes St Paul’s Walden footpath 35 and continues straight ahead, heading SW along a path cut through the crops that eventually reaches Pinfold Wood. Continue heading S along the western edge of the wood until you reach farm buildings and a track, this is St Paul’s Walden footpath 12. Here you turn left for 45m before your footpath turns right and heads SW.


Photograph of footpath along the way. Take the path on your right just after the farm buildings Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path on your right just after the farm buildings
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
4: Take this path and continue W along the eastern edge of Foxholes Wood and then goes through the wood for a short distance.

Photograph of the path as it follows the eastern edge of Foxholes Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path as it follows the eastern edge of Foxholes Wood
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
5: Look out for a sign showing a footpath on your left. This is St Paul’s Walden footpath 9. Take this path and head SE and then E for 280m.

Photograph of the path  Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path on the left and head south-east then east
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
6: Continue heading E with Stagehoe and Garden Wood on your right. Follow the track for 850m until you reach All Saints Church, St Paul's Walden on your left.


Photograph of When you reach All Saints Church turn left through the churchyard, or continue to the pub Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.
When you reach All Saints Church turn left through the churchyard, or continue to the pub
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

7: When you reach All Saints Church you have the option of continuing down the lane a short distance to The Strathmore Arms...


Photograph of The Strathmore Arms Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The Strathmore Arms
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

... or continuing with the walk by turning left through the churchyard on St Paul’s Walden footpath 3.


Photograph of the path that goes through All Saints Churchyard. Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path that goes through All Saints Churchyard.
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

8: Once through the churchyard turn left and, after 70m, look out for a footpath on your right. This is St Paul’s Walden footpath 7. Follow this path, which is an extension of the Chiltern Way, as it heads NE until it reaches Whitwell Road.

9: A path has been cut to the west of Whitwell Road that avoids having to walk along the road. This emerges on a lane close to a lodge where you turn right to reach Whitwell Road. You turn left on Whitwell Road, cross with care, and look out for a footpath on your right heading NE. This is Langley footpath 3.


Photograph of the right-hand path as it heads north-east through woodland and then across fields Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the right-hand path as it heads NE through woodland and then across fields
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

10: Continue heading NE along a path cut through the crops until you meet a quiet lane.


Follow the path NE across the fields until you reach the lane
Image by Hertfordshire Walker, released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

11: At the lane take the bridleway opposite,  Langley bridleway 16, and follow it round as it heads N and then NW.

12: After 530 m you will come to a footpath junction. Take the left fork and head E down to the B651 and the car park at the start of the walk.

Interactive map


Those with smartphones or tablets can use the interactive map below.