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Walk 79: Panshanger Park Short Loop

Lakes, woodland, rare chalk river, quiet paths

2.97 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 - one of only 180 chalk rivers in the world - running through the site. There are several picturesque lakes, well sign-posted woodland trails, a free car park, and an area for picnics. 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 mine field 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
See the interactive map below the directions for KML and GPX details
1: Park in the car park 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.

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 and climb the hill into the woodland
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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 north into the woodland
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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 that leaves the woodland
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Continue N along the sandy path until you reach the northern edge of Panshanger Park
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

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 and head S to another footpath T-junction. Here you have a good view over to Osprey Lake to the south.

5: Turn right at this footpath T-junction and continue east. 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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
6: When you reach a metal gate on your left go through and head S until you reach another gate on your right 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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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
Stop and enjoy the view from the bench overlooking Kings Lake
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

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

Photograph along the walk. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Turn left and cross the bridge over the River Mimram
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
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.

Note: 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



"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."