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Walk 79: Panshanger Park Short Loop

3 miles (4.77 km)


Photograph taken along walk 79: Panshanger Park Short Loop Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
 
A great amount of effort has been put into the development of Panshanger Park, once a series of quarries but now a beautiful nature reserve with the River Mimram, which is one of only 180 chalk rivers in the world, running through the site.

There are several picturesque lakes, well sign-posted woodland trails, and an area for picnics.

Update July 2021: Tarmac has announced that parking charges will be introduced at Panshanger Park's Thieves Lane car park from 15 July 2021. According to the park's website, the day rate for parking will be £2.50 and will initially be charged from Thursday to Monday between 8:30am and 5:30pm. The company says assistant park rangers will be equipped with card machines and payment will be by card only. Payment by cash will not be accepted.

The reserve is popular with dog walkers, especially at the weekend. The majority are responsible and clear up after their pets, but the area close to the car park can be a bit of a dog mess minefield at times.


Directions


Map for Walk 79: Panshanger Park Short Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors See the interactive map below the directions for KML and GPX details
Map for Walk 79: Panshanger Park Short Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below 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.

1: Park in the car park (location - https://w3w.co/focal.sides.area) and head NW into the woodland, ignoring the gate on your left and, instead, taking the path that heads N.

This is Hertingfordbury footpath 32. Follow this path for 70m until you reach a Hertingfordbury bridleway 12 where you turn left for 20m until you reach a path going off to the right (location - https://w3w.co/suffice.wipes.crowds).

Photograph along the walk. Take the path to the right of the metal gate and climb the hill into the woodland Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path to the right of the metal gate
2: Turn right on this path and head NNE on Hertingfordbury footpath 29 through Blakemore Wood.

Photograph along the walk. Take the path to the right of the metal gate and climb the hill into the woodland Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the path to the right and continue N into the woodland
Follow the path on the eastern edge of the wood until you reach the northern edge where the path turns left and heads E.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Continue N along the eastern edge of Blakemore Wood
3: Walk to the right of a clump of trees (see image below), and take the sandy path heading N as it leaves the wood and weaves its way through long grass and flowers until you reach the northern exit of the reserve.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Look to the right of the clump of trees and take the sandy path

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Continue N along the sandy path until
Turn left and, staying in the reserve, walk W along a permissive path that runs to the left of the hedgerow. Continue along this path as it bends left and heads S to follow the edge of Evergreen Wood.

Still following the edge of the wood, the path then turns left again to head ESE before turning right to head S. It then turns right and heads W, now following the southern edge of Evergreen Wood.

4: When you arrive at a footpath T-junction turn left (location - https://w3w.co/deeply.slug.gangs) and head S to another footpath T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/studio.just.ballots). Here you have a good view over to Osprey Lake to the south.

5: Turn right at this footpath T-junction and continue W. Look out for an amazing old oak tree on your right.

This is point 16 in our longer Panshanger walk, Walk 80: Panshanger Park Long Loop 4.75 miles.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Turn right and head W looking out for a metal gate and footpath on your left
6: When you reach a metal gate on your left (location - https://w3w.co/ripe.flip.stages) go through and head S until you reach another gate on your right (location - https://w3w.co/scale.ankle.avoid) taking you through to Riverside Lake and the Oak Trail.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Go through the metal gate towards Riverside Lake
7: Turn left before you get to Riverside Lake and, keeping the lake on your right and the cottage on your left, follow the path as it drops down to a view point and bench by Kings Lake.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The view from the bench overlooking Kings Lake
It's worth stopping here to observe the butterflies and dragonflies and damselflies that frequent this area.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Damselflies close to Kings Lake
8: Turn left after Kings Lake and follow the path that is closest to the southern edge of Kings Lake. Head E along this path looking out for a pebble beach on your left where you can paddle in the water of the River Mimram.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path running E along the southern edge of Kings Lake

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The shallow beach on the River Mimram east of Kings Lake

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Notice about the River Mimram
9: When you reach a metal gate, go through and continue along the path until you reach an underpass on your right (location - https://w3w.co/shadow.clubs.money).

Here you turn left on Hertingfordbury footpath 33, cross a bridge (you might see crayfish below), and then turn right heading NE. The path now becomes Hertford footpath 103. After the second footbridge look out for a metal gate on your left (location - https://w3w.co/olive.dark.bronze).

10: Go through this gate and take Hertingfordbury footpath 32 diagonally NE across the field until you reach the car park.

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The gate leading to the path back to the car park
If you liked this walk you might enjoy a longer loop in the same park. If so, try Walk 80: Panshanger Park Long Loop, which is just short of five miles.

Panshanger Park is a 1,000 acre site owned by Tarmac and managed by Herts County Council and the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for the benefit of both people and wildlife.


Interactive map




A brief history of Panshanger Park


(Text from the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust website).
"Owned by the Cowper family from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, the Panshanger Estate was shaped around the Mimram Valley following advice from Humphry Repton and Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Panshanger Park is registered as a Grade: II* park and garden by Historic England.

More recently since the 1980s, the park has been owned by Tarmac and parts have been quarried for sand and gravel. Much of the site has now been restored to arable farming and a range of valuable wildlife habitats including a new section of chalk river and a number of lakes. The park opened to the public on 31 March 2014 and comprises a country park and nature reserve. More of the site will be opened up in a series of carefully managed phases as the remaining extraction processes on site come to an end."



1 comment:

  1. We all really enjoy this walk. Second time around now as my wife missed it the first time. We spent a long time exploding the Himalayan Balsam. It may be considered invasive, but it's a lot of fun. We also bought binoculars this time for views out across Osprey Lake at point 9. Thanks for all your hard work. Daniel, Iwona, Sara & Casper.

    ReplyDelete

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