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Walk 120: Ver Valley Loop

4 miles (6.5 km)


Moor Mill at the start of the walk
Moor Mill at the start of the walk
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this 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.

This walk explores the part of the Ver Valley south of St Albans and north of the M25 as well as an area south of the motorway. It’s a walk rich in history with the route passing a former Belgic settlement where the Romans built a villa. As the route crosses the M25 the area around the motorway is a bit messy and noisy, but the walk is worth doing because of the importance of the history and the fact that the River Ver is one of only 200 chalks streams in the world.

Directions


Map for Walk 120: Ver Valley Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 120: Ver Valley Loop
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 this 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.

Park in the car park off Drop Lane (location - https://w3w.co/bared.pushes.those). This is the same car park used in Walk 119: Colne Valley Loop.

1: From the car park head N to Smug Oak Lane, turn right, cross the River Ver, then look out for a bridleway immediately on your left (location - https://w3w.co/crowd.visit.plug). This is St Stephen bridleway 65. Take this track, also known as Moor Mill Lane, and follow it for 270m until it reaches a tunnel under the M25 (location - https://w3w.co/scuba.using.barks).

2: On the other side of the M25 continue along the bridleway as it swings to the right and heads E for 80m before reaching a path on your left (location - https://w3w.co/weedy.likes.votes). This is St Stephen footpath 17 which you follow N for 560m until you reach the Hyde Lane car park (location - https://w3w.co/worry.making.flows).

The footbridge crossing the River Ver north of the car park
The footbridge crossing the River Ver north of Hyde Lane car park
3: From the car park head NW over a footbridge across the River Ver, and then continue along St Stephen restricted byway 87 for 110m until you reach a fork in the tracks (location - https://w3w.co/sums.later.yours), see image below. You take the right-hand fork, St Stephen footpath 26, and head NNW for 270m until you reach a footpath junction. Continue heading NNW, now on St Stephen footpath 87 for 140m until you reach a footpath on your left just before the school, which is also on your left (location - https://w3w.co/that.tube.images).

The right-hand fork, St Stephen footpath 26, mentioned in point 3 above
The right-hand fork, St Stephen footpath 26, mentioned in point 3 above
4: Turn left on St Stephen footpath 33A and head SW for 190m until you reach a footpath junction where St Stephen footpath 33A goes off to the left (location - https://w3w.co/chat.heads.meal), see image below. Turn left and follow this path as it heads SSW for 140m until it reaches St Stephen restricted byway 95 (location - https://w3w.co/shots.torn.price).

Footpath 33A heading SSW mentioned in point 4 above
Footpath 33A heading SSW mentioned in point 4 above
5: Turn right on St Stephen restricted byway 95 and head WNW for 70m looking out for a footpath on your left (location - https://w3w.co/name.cattle.zooms). Take this path, St Stephen footpath 33 and head SSE alongside the railway line for 430m. This part can be muddy.

6: Follow the signs for St Stephen footpath 33 which now weaves its way SE, NE, SE, and S for 530m before reaching a metal gate in the hedgerow (location - https://w3w.co/went.mops.ramp).
* As you walk this stretch look to your left for the site of the former Belgic settlement and site of a Roman villa.
To the NE of footpath 33 between points 6 and 7 is the site of a Roman villa
The site of a Roman villa is to the NE of the path between points 6 and 7

7: Once through the gate keep to the left (don’t walk up the hill) and continue heading SE and SSE for 430m before reaching a footbridge over the M25 (location - https://w3w.co/raft.twigs.piper).

8: After crossing the M25 ignore the path to your left and go through a metal gate (location - https://w3w.co/hits.enhancement.span) and head S, WSW, then S again, still on St Stephen footpath 33, for 470m until you reach Smug Oak Lane (location - https://w3w.co/spots.open.hotel).

9: Cross Smug Oak Lane and take the bridleway opposite, St Stephen bridleway 7, and head S and SW for 930m until you reach Drop Lane (location - https://w3w.co/twist.when.tops).

10: Turn left on Drop Lane and follow the lane S and then E for 180m looking out for a footpath that crosses the River Ver via a bridge (location - https://w3w.co/goes.longer.tribune).

11: Turn right on this path, the Riverside Way, and head E crossing the River Ver via a footbridge then bends left and heads NE alongside the river for 1.1km back to the car park.

The Ver Valley Society has a brochure with a variation of this walk (embedded below) which includes the history of the area. The Park Street Residents’ Society has also recorded the history of the area.

Interactive map




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