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Walk 95: Ware West Loop

4 miles (6.4 km)


The stretch of the Hertfordshire Way between points 8 & 9 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The stretch of the Hertfordshire Way between points 8 & 9 below
This walk starts and finishes in Ware. It follows the River Lea (also known as Lee) Navigation tow path west to Hartham Common in Hertford, then loops back along the Hertfordshire Way. If you are interested in bird watching, you might want to take your binoculars because you pass King’s Meads, which, according to the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust is one of the largest water meadows in Hertfordshire, with 119 bird species recorded as well as 265 different species of wildflowers. The return route passes the site of the former Coleman-Theobald Mill.

Directions


Map for Walk 95: Ware West Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below the directions
Map for Walk 95: Ware West Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below the 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.

If you are travelling by car, you can use the pay-and-display car park, known as the Library Car Park, off Burgage Lane (location - https://w3w.co/poems.chains.phones). We parked for four hours to allow for a lunch stop in a nearby restaurant after our walk. The car park is ideally situated for many eating places and pubs.

1: Take the footbridge in the SE corner of the car park (location - https://w3w.co/upset.points.slope) and cross the River Lea Navigation, turning right on the south side. You turn right and head SW, W, NW, and SW again along the southern bank of the waterway on Ware Town footpath 18. After 1.3km you will reach the A10, which passes overhead (location - https://w3w.co/lamps.refuse.voted).

A narrowboat on the River Lea Navigation   Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
A narrowboat on the River Lea Navigation
2: Go under the A10 and continue heading NW then SW for 550m, now on Hertford footpath 99, until you reach New Gauge (location - https://w3w.co/tracks.loves.snack), the pump house at the start of the New River - an artificial waterway opened in 1613 to supply drinking water to London.

The River Lea Navigation at the junction with the New River, mentioned in point 2 above  Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The River Lea Navigation at the junction with the New River - point 2

New Gauge at the start of the New River  Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Stephen Dawson released via Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0
New Gauge at the start of the New River 
3: Continue heading W and SW and follow the track for 770m, now Hertford footpath 33, to Hertford Lock (location - https://w3w.co/ever.trash.motor).

The path leading from New Gauge to Hertford Lock   Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path leading from New Gauge to Hertford Lock

The approach to Hertford Lock - you cross the bridge at this point  Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The approach to Hertford Lock - you cross the bridge at this point

Cross Hertford Lock to reach Hartham Common, see point 4 below  Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Cross Hertford Lock to reach Hartham Common, see point 4 below
4: Here you turn right on Hertford footpath 23 and cross the River Lea Navigation via the lock gate bridge (location - https://w3w.co/brush.cares.precautions). Continue past the lock-keeper’s cottage on your left, and follow the path across Hartham Common and head NW for 280m until you reach a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/tent.navy.rental).

5: Turn right to cross the footbridge, which is Hertford footpath 20, and then, once on the other side, follow the path, Hertford footpath 19, as it continues to head NW for 200m until you reach another footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/lifts.fact.dwell).

The footbridge mentioned in point 5 above. Turn right after crossing Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footbridge mentioned in point 5 above. Turn right after crossing
6: Immediately after the footbridge take the path on your right, Hertford footpath 17, as it heads NE for 140m to another footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/until.camp.lied), this time crossing the River Rib. Follow the path round to your left.

The footbridge over the River Rib, mentioned in point 6 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footbridge over the River Rib, mentioned in point 6
7: When you reach Ware Park Road (location - https://w3w.co/tides.dare.cliff), turn right and then take the first turning on your right. This is the Hertfordshire Way, Hertford bridleway 97. Take this track as it heads SE then E passing cottages on your left and following the river on your right. After 600m you will reach the site of the former Coleman-Theobald Mill (location - https://w3w.co/valve.scan.left), at this point you are walking on Hertford restricted byway 97.

The site of the former Coleman-Theobald Mill, mentioned in point 7 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The site of the former Coleman-Theobald Mill - point 7
8: After leaving the site of the mill, continue heading E and then NE along the Hertfordshire Way for 600m until you see a step stile on your right (location - https://w3w.co/tubes.slate.fears).

The step stile mentioned in point 8 above - take this as it drops down towards the river Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The step stile leading down towards the river (point 8)
9: Take this path, Hertford footpath 100, as it heads E for 100m until it goes under the A10 (location - https://w3w.co/torn.bigger.baking). The path then climbs up to playing fields, now Ware Town footpath 16, where it bends to the right of the football pitches (location - https://w3w.co/mount.craft.harder) and then heads ENE for 350m.

The path skirting to the right of the playing field mentioned in point 9 above Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path skirting to the right of the playing field mentioned in point 9
10: At the end of the playing field, the path swings to the left to reach another footpath (location - https://w3w.co/baked.stick.grades). Here you turn right and take Ware Town footpath 17 over the footbridge crossing the River Lea Navigation. After crossing the river, turn left (location - https://w3w.co/maple.probe.stays) and retrace your steps along Ware Town footpath 18 for 990m back to the car park.

Interactive map




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