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Walk 115: Hertfordshire Marathon Loop

Marathon-length circular ideal for charity fundraisers

26 miles (41.8km)


Rolling fields along part of the Hertfordshire Marathon Loop Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Rolling fields along part of the Hertfordshire Marathon Loop
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
We created this walk following a request from friends who asked us to create a 26-mile circular walk through the Hertfordshire countryside which they could use to raise funds for the National Autistic Society  They wanted a marathon-length circular walk along footpaths, bridleways, byways and lanes. The Hertfordshire Marathon Loop is designed for anyone who wants to walk a marathon in aid of charity.

The walk can be started and finished at any point along the way, and we have routed it past both Brookmans Park and Welham Green stations for those wanting to reach the start point by train.

If you do the walk, please add comments in the box at the end of the directions and feel free to mention the charity you have supported by doing the walk.

We have added the names of pubs you will pass in case you need refreshments.

The walk is broken into 10 legs. To assist you we have added distances between points and the Hertfordshire right of way (ROW) names and numbers - although not all paths display the numbers. We have also added rough compass points.

Please make sure you have a back-up map and/or an Ordnance Survey app as well as a compass or compass app to help you with the route. There is a larger interactive map at the end of these directions with KML and GPX files that can be dowloaded to a compatible GPS walking app.

Directions


Map for Walk 115: Hertfordshire Marathon Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors Click on the interactive map below to download KML or GPX files
Map for Walk 115: Hertfordshire Marathon Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
There is an interactive map at the end of these directions with KML and GPX data

Leg 1: Brookmans Park to Grubbs Lane 
2.5 miles (3.9 km)


1: From Brookmans Park village head S on Bluebridge Road and take the second turn on the left, Bluebridge Avenue. Walk to the top of Bluebridge Avenue, go through a gate then turn right. Once through a gap in the hedge head E with woods on you left and the field on your right. Go through another gap, walk across Gobions Open Space passing the play area on your left. Continue E through the woods until you reach a track leading to Mymms Drive.

2: Turn left on Mymms Drive, walk N, cross Georges Wood Road, then head N on Golf Club Road. At the golf club take the track on the right, North Mymms footpath 68, and pass Chancellor's School on your right. You will emerge at the top of Pine Grove. Turn left and head NNE along The Drive, still North Mymms footpath 68, to Bell Lane.

3: Turn right on Bell Lane then right again on the A1000, Great North Road, and head SSE for 100m looking our for a footpath on the left. Take this path, North Mymms footpath 37, and head ENE then NE past the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station, across a footbridge, and past a water tower on your right. Soon after the water tower look into the hedgerow on the right and see if you can spot the remains of a WWII spigot mortar emplacement. At this point the path becomes Hatfield footpath 86 and continues to Grubbs Lane.

Leg 2: Grubbs Lane to Epping Green
3.3 miles (5.3 km)


4: Turn right on Grubbs Lane and head E crossing Kentish Lane and continuing E along Hatfield bridleway 87. After 780m the bridleway goes through a farmyard. Continue heading E for 1.3km until you reach a junction. Here you turn right and soon after left on Hatfield bridleway 88. Continue heading ESE for 930m until you pass a farm on your right.

5: Immediately after the farm take the footpath on your left, Hatfield footpath 90, and follow it N first downhill then uphill until you reach Tylers Causeway. Turn left on Tylers Causeway and head W for 100m looking out for a footpath on your right. This is Hatfield footpath 91 which later becomes Little Berkhamstead footpath 13.

6: Take this path and follow it N then NE until you reach a junction with Little Berkhamstead bridleway 27. Turn right on this bridleway and follow it to Epping Green. Turn left on the road and head N for 50m looking out for a footpath on the right just before the Beehive pub.

Leg 3: Epping Green to Howe Green
2.2 miles (3.7 km)


7: Take this path, Little Berkhamstead footpath 14, and head NE across a couple of fields until you reach a gate leading to Little Berkhamstead bridleway 23. Turn left here and follow the bridleway NW and N through Bucks Alley Wood until you reach a footpath on your left.

8: Take this path, Little Berkhamstead footpath 11, and head NW for 90m until you reach a footpath junction where you turn right. Follow this path, Little Berkhamstead footpath 10, N for 380m until you reach a junction where you turn left on Little Berkhamstead footpath 9 and head W to Little Berkhamstead village.

9: Turn right in Little Berkhamstead then right again through the churchyard. When you reach the lane take the bridleway immediately opposite, Little Berkhamstead bridleway 19, and head N for 310m looking out for a gate on your left. Go through the gate, still on Little Berkhamstead bridleway 19, and head NW to a junction. Continue NW, now on Little Berkhamstead bridleway 18, until you reach the top of a lane. Continue heading NW along the footpath opposite, Little Berkhamstead footpath 4, for another 630m until you reach a lane.

Leg 4: Howe Green to the River Lea
2.5 miles (4 km)


10: Turn left on the lane and head W then SW for 110m until you reach a footpath on your right. Take this footpath, Little Berkhamstead footpath 1, and drop downhill to Bedwell Avenue. Turn left on Bedwell Avenue, which is also Little Berkhamstead bridleway 26, and head SW for 100m looking out for a footpath on the right. Take this path, Essendon footpath 2, and head W across the golf course for 390m until you reach the junction with Essendon footpath 5. Here you bear left and head SW for 380m until you reach Essendon Hill.

11: Turn right on Essendon Hill and head N until you reach the bend at the bottom. At this point cross the road to take the bridleway on your left. Follow this path, Essendon bridleway 6, and head W for 2 km until you reach a lane.

Leg 5: River Lea to Essendon
2.7 miles (4.5 km)


12: Turn left on the lane, also Hatfield footpath 96 at this point, and head S for 890m until the lane becomes a footpath. Follow this footpath, now Essendon footpath 11 and head S and SE and uphill for 980m until you reach a lane. Turn left on the lane and head E for 380m to West End Lane. You will see the Candlestick pub on your right.

13: Turn left on West End Lane and head NE for 30m looking out for Essendon bridleway 10 on the left. Take this bridleway and head N and downhill for 930m until you reach a footpath on the right.

14: Take this footpath, Essendon footpath 8, and head SE for 710m until you reach West End Lane. Turn left on West End Lane and follow it E for 650m uphill to the outskirts of Essendon.

Leg 6: Essendon to Wildhill
2.6 miles (4.3km)


15: When you reach Essendon, take the footpath on your right just before the first house, Essendon footpath 17, and follow it SW, SE then SW passing the church on your left and the cricket club on your left and down to a woodland track. Turn right and follow this track, Essendon footpath 13, WSW then W for 670m crossing a footbridge and climbing up to a byway. Turn left on the byway, Essendon BOAT 14 (byway open to all traffic), and follow it S for 520m until you reach a footpath on the left.

16: Take this path, Essendon footpath 16, and head SE for 740m crossing a footbridge and continuing until you reach a footpath junction. Here you turn right and head SW and then SE on Essendon footpath 15, until you reach the B158. Cross the road and head SE for 160m until you reach a footpath on your right.

17: Take this path, Essendon footpath 20, and head SW for 190m. You will pass a house on the left and, soon after a swimming pool on your left you will go through a gate. Be sure to turn slightly to your right after that gate and then continue walking SW with the hedgerow on your left and field on your right until you reach a second gate. This path can be overgrown with nettles at times so pick up a stick to bend them back. At the second gate turn right and head NW now on Essendon footpath 19, until you reach the junction with Wildhill. Turn left and head SSW for 310m looking out for a footpath sign on your right.

18: Take this path, Hatfield footpath 85, and head NW across three fields emerging in the car park at The Woodman.

Leg 7: Wildhill to Bell Bar
2.4 miles (3.8km)


19: Leave the car park at The Woodman and head W on Wildhill for 130m until you reach West End Lane on the right. Head N up West End Lane until you come to a bend where you turn left on a byway. This is Hatfield BOAT 80. Head W on this byway for 850m until you reach another byway on the left. Turn left here on Hatfield UCR 1 (unmetalled unclassed county road), and follow it S to Wildhill Road.

20: Cross Wildhill Road and head S on Hatfield footpath 81 for 240m until the path bends left and becomes Hatfield footpath 82. Follow this footpath SE and SSE to Grubbs Lane. Turn left on Grubbs Lane and walk SE and against the traffic for 290m looking out for a footpath on the right.

21: Take this path, Hatfield footpath 83 and head SE across two fields until you reach a copse. On your right you will see the remains of a WWII Tet Turret. At this point your footpath becomes North Mymms footpath 66 and continues across a field emerging on Woodside Lane where you turn left to reach the A1000 (Great North Road).

Leg 8: Bell Bar to North Mymms Park
3.6 miles (5.9 km)


22: Cross the Great North Road and head S on Bell Lane until you reach Bulls Lane on your right. Head W on Bulls Lane until you reach Foxes Lane on your right.

23: Turn right on Foxes Lane, which is also North Mymms BOAT 84, and head W, NW, and W for 1.2km until you reach Dixons Hill Road in Welham Green.

24: Turn left on Dixons Hill Road, cross the railway bridge then turn right on Travellers Lane. Head N on Travellers Lane for 330m until you reach Travellers Close on your left. Take this road and head W until you reach Pooleys Lane. Turn right and follow Pooleys Lane round to the left looking out for a footpath on your right.

25: Take this path, North Mymms footpath 20, and head NNW for 390m looking out for a footpath on the left. Take this path, North Mymms footpath 23, and head SW for 510m until you reach a junction in the tracks. Continue heading SW, now on North Mymms restricted byway 22, for 260m until you reach the old Dellsome Lane, now a footpath. Turn right on Dellsome Lane and follow the path, which becomes North Mymms footpath 52 and head W for 320m until you reach a footpath on the left.

26: Take this path, still North Mymms footpath 52, and head S following the path as it crosses the A1(M). Immediately after the motorway turn left and keep following North Mymms footpath 52 SSE down the W side of the A1 (M) before it cuts diagonally across the field to a gate at the edge of woodland. Go through the gate, through the woodland, and emerge on Tollgate Road. Cross Tollgate Road and walk past the lodge of North Mymms Park on the right and the war memorial on the left heading SE before turning right on St Mary's Church Road.

Leg 9: North Mymms Park to Blackhorse Lane
1.7 miles (2.7 km)


27: Head SSE along St Mary's Church Road, also North Mymms bridleway 2 for 700m until the road bends to the right. Here you continue heading SSE, still on North Mymms bridleway 2, as it climbs over Cangsley Grove.

28: Continue heading S on this track as it drops down through the Potswell Valley, climbs over Hawkshead Wood and continues downhill to Blackhorse Lane, South Mimms. Just before you reach Blackhorse Lane you will come to a cottage on your left. Look out for a bridleway immediately after the cottage.

Leg 10: Blackhorse Lane to Brookmans Park
2.5 miles (4 km)


29: Take this track, Ridge restricted byway 11, and head uphill. As you pass the farm on the right this track becomes North Mymms restricted byway 3 and heads NW and uphill then downhill for 1.7km until you reach the A1(M). Cross the motorway. On the other side you reach Swanland Road. Cross the road and head W on the cut through to Warrengate Road.

30: Turn left on Warrengate Road and head NNW for 520m passing the water treatment works on the right and looking out for a footpath on the right soon after. Take this path, North Mymms footpath 11, cross Mimmshall Brook on a concrete footbridge (stop to see if you can spot a kingfisher) and follow the path E for 530m until you reach a gate and a footbridge. Cross the footbridge, turn left and continue heading E, with the hedge on your left and field on your right, until you reach another gate where you turn left on North Mymms footpath 9, cross another bridge, and head NNE for 610m to Station Road. Turn right and follow Station Road S until you reach Brookmans Park village.

Interactive map