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Walk 122: Therfield Loop N

Wide open views, undulating terrain

6 miles (9.6 km) - 170m of ascent


A footpath along 122: Therfield Loop N
View between points 2 and 3


This is a great walk offering wide open views across the NE Hertfordshire countryside and passing through the beautiful landscape around the Pen Hills. On a clear day you are supposed to be able to see Cambridge from one of the highest points. There is plenty of up and down, so you need to be fairly fit for this walk. The walk starts and finishes at The Fox and Duck pub/restaurant in Therfield.

Directions


Map for Walk 122: Therfield Loop N Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 122: Therfield Loop North
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 the walk. We've added What3Words 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.

1: From Police Row (grid ref: TL 33614 37216) in Therfield village head W and then NNW along Pedlars Lane for 370m until you reach a t-junction. Here you turn left and head WSW for 80m looking out for a footpath on your right. This is the start of the walk (location - https://w3w.co/engraving.hatter.clockwork).

Therfield footpath 2 at the beginning of the walk
Therfield footpath 2 at the beginning of the walk


2: Take this path and head NW and downhill on Therfield footpath 2. At first the path runs alongside a stream but then opens up with wide views across the north Hertfordshire countryside.

View north from footpath 2 mentioned in point 2 above
The view north from footpath 2 mentioned in point 2 above


Continue along the path as it winds its way downhill passing a disused quarry on the left which is now used as a rifle range. Follow the footpath for 2.5.km to Thrift Farm. When you reach Thrift Farm, ignore a footpath on your right but, instead, continue between the buildings leaving the farmyard at a gate on the northern end of the track.

Follow the Hertfordshire Way E to the left of the line of trees - see point 3

3: Once through the gate look out for a track immediately on your right that heads E along the side of a training course for horses (see image above).

Take this path, the Hertfordshire Way, which at this point is an official ‘recreational route’ (these are routes created by local authorities, government agencies or volunteer organisations. They mainly follow existing rights of way and are signposted typically by whichever organisation created the route).

Continue heading E along the Hertfordshire Way with the trees on your right
Continue heading E along the Hertfordshire Way with the trees on your right

After 200m the Hertfordshire Way crosses a track to the stables and continues heading ENE to the left of the line of trees. When we did this walk there wasn't a signpost at this point but be reassured that your way is straight with the trees on your right (see image above).

After 970m follow the path to the right through the trees and then to the left
After 970m follow the path to the right through the trees and then to the left

Continue heading ENE for 970m with the trees on your right until you come to the point where the path bends to the right through the trees (see image above) and then bends to the left.

Follow the chalk track down until you reach footpath 5 where you turn right
Follow the chalk track down until you reach footpath 5 where you turn right

From the gap in the hedge, follow the track downhill SE and then E for 240m until you reach a footpath junction.

The Hertfordshire Way mentioned in point 4 below. Continue up the hill
The Hertfordshire Way mentioned in point 4 below. Continue up the hill


4: Turn right here on Therfield footpath 5 and head S for 160m before taking a path on the left (see image above). This is still the Hertfordshire Way. Follow the path as it climbs a steep hill and then heads E for 270m to Fox Covert Nature Reserve.

Fox Covert Nature Reserve, managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
The entrance to Fox Covert Nature Reserve, mentioned in point 4 above


Enter the reserve and turn sharp left following the path heading first NE then E for 500m passing Jubilee Wood on your right and continuing until you meet a lane.

5: Cross the lane and follow Therfield footpath 6 as it heads NE for 340m towards Therfield Heath, which is an area of common land with most of it forming a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also an area of significant geological and archaeological importance which is owned by the Therfield Regulation Trust. You pass the site of a long barrow on your left, which is listed by Historic England.

Follow the track ESE for 840m then SW for 290m until you climb a hill to reach the Icknield Way Trail, a 170-mile long-distance path, which, at this point is also Therfield footpath 11.

Therfield footpath 11 leading south from Therfield Heath
Therfield footpath 11 leading S from Therfield Heath 


6: Turn right here and head S then SSW for 180m, still on Therfield footpath 11, until the path becomes Royston bridleway 13. Continue on this bridleway which soon becomes Therfield bridleway 12 as it heads SSW for 1.3km until you reach a junction where the main track swings to the right. Here you go straight and continue heading SSW ignoring the main track (see image below).

At the junction (mentioned in point 6) continue heading straight
At the junction (mentioned in point 6) continue heading straight


Continue heading SSW for 870m until you reach another junction where the main track swings to the right. Again you ignore the right turn and instead continue straight, walking to the left of a bench and heading for a footpath sign at a gap in the hedge (see image of junction below).

Where the path bends to the right you continue heading straight to a gap in the hedge
Where the path bends to the right you continue heading straight to a gap in the hedge


7: Continue straight, now on Therfield footpath 42, for 520m back to Police Row in the village of Therfield.

We have another walk from Therfield village, Walk 121: Therfield Loop S.

Interactive map