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Walk 110: Willows Lakes

4.5 miles (7 km) 50m of ascent


The view S from the path between the lakes after point 10  Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
 
This is a perfect walk for people who are interested in birdwatching and enjoy native wildflowers. It follows the River Colne and meanders around the surrounding lakes - some created in abandoned quarries. There are still some quarries being excavated, and you will cross a conveyor belt as work continues, but others are now beautiful lakes edged with rushes and banks laden with wildflowers. If you are a birdwatcher take binoculars because you are in for a treat. And there are loads of butterflies in the summer months.

Directions


Map for Walk 110: Willows Lakes Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below the directions
Map for Walk 110: Willows Lakes 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. Those who follow our walks using GPS on their mobile devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words location references for those who use that navigation system. If you print these walks you might want to use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of these directions to delete elements you don't need.

1: Find a parking place along Church Lane (location - https://w3w.co/before.terms.author), please check in case any parking restrictions have been introduced since this walk was published. Head SSE along Church Lane, then follow the lane as it turns to the right and heads SW before becoming Ridge bridleway 2 (location - https://w3w.co/editor.train.ritual). Follow Ridge bridleway 2 for 670m which at this point is also the Watling Chase Timberland Trail. You will cross a gravel track used by quarry vehicles (location - https://w3w.co/supporter.status.hurray) and then a wooden bridge spanning a conveyor belt (location - https://w3w.co/gear.socket.grant) before reaching a junction (location - https://w3w.co/gasp.marble.ruins).

2: Turn right on Ridge bridleway 6 and cross the bridge over the River Colne (location - https://w3w.co/wants.lame.gross) and continue for 80m until you reach Ridge footpath 1 just to the right of the green portable cabins (location - https://w3w.co/start.supporter.pool). Head WSW for 310m and take the path on the left (location - https://w3w.co/inform.prefer.wins), still Ridge footpath 1, and head SSW for 180m until you reach a footpath on the right going through a small parking area (location - https://w3w.co/chest.ramp.escape).

3: This is Ridge footpath 33. Follow it for 1.1km, first W, S then W again past Blount Spring (woodland) on your right, then SSW, S, SE, and SW past Coppice Wood on your right and continue until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/type.period.level).

4: At the junction turn left and head SE on London Colney footpath 38 for 400m until you reach another junction (location - https://w3w.co/glass.detect.bugs).

5: Take the first turn on your left, Ridge footpath 1, through another parking area and up a gravel path heading NNE for 420m until you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/verbs.choice.trial).

The view from Ridge footpath 50 mentioned in point 6 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The view from Ridge footpath 50 mentioned in point 6
6: Turn right on Ridge footpath 50 and head SE across a land-bridge between the lakes for 180m to a junction in the track (location - https://w3w.co/chew.traded.meals).

The view from Ridge footpath 2 just before you reach point 8 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The view from Ridge footpath 2 just before you reach point 8
7: Turn left on Ridge footpath 2 and head NNE for 1.4km until you reach the bridge over the River Colne which you crossed in point 2 (location - https://w3w.co/grew.legal.expose).

8: Turn right here on Ridge bridleway 6, cross the bridge, turn right and head SSW for 450m until you reach a track on the left (location - https://w3w.co/silent.hill.allow).

9: Turn left here, still on Ridge bridleway 6, and head first ESE, then SSW, then SE for 390m until you reach a track on the left (location - https://w3w.co/august.played.falls).

The view from Ridge footpath 4 mentioned in point 10 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The view from Ridge footpath 4 mentioned in point 10
10: Turn left and head NE for 250m on Ridge footpath 4 crossing between two lakes on another land-bridge (location - https://w3w.co/perky.wiped.light). This is a great spot for birdwatching. Once across the lakes turn left on Ridge footpath 47 (location - https://w3w.co/notes.brass.rang) and follow it NW, NE, NW then NE again as it goes behind stables to reach a track on the left (location - https://w3w.co/filled.model.class).

11: Take this path, Ridge footpath 48, and head NW, N, then NE for 420m until you reach Colney Heath bridleway 32 where you turn right and head NE for 230m before turning right and heading SSE for 220m to a track on the left (location - https://w3w.co/soon.twist.shops).

12: Take this path and turn left in the woods heading NW for 440m picking up Colney Heath footpath 35 back to the starting point.

Interactive map




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