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Walk 137: Tonwell Loop

5.3 miles (8.4 km) with 370 ft of ascent


View looking north on the last leg of the walk
View looking north on the last leg of the walk
This is a lovely walk that heads SW from Tonwell via Chapmore End then W along the River Rib valley to Thundridge and then back via Wadesmill over the hills following the Hertfordshire Way and passing a moated farmstead before heading back to Tonwell.

There is a pub at the start/finish point, The Robin Hood and Little John at Tonwell, a pub at Chapmore End, The Woodman Inn, which involves a short detour, and a pub in Wadesmill, The Feathers Inn, at the halfway point.

Some of the route can be muddy and slippy after rain but the walk is mainly on well-defined and good paths and bridleways.

Directions


Map for Walk 137: Tonwell Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 137: Tonwell Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below these directions
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 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: Park in the village of Tonwell and head W until you meet the A602 at the northern end of the village just beyond the primary school. Approach this busy road to the N of the junction (location - https://w3w.co/issued.organs.digit) where you will find a crossing point. Cross the road here heading for the footpath sign on the W side of the road (location - https://w3w.co/voices.caller.closes), see image below.

Cross the road and take Bengeo Rural footpath 7 on the other side
Cross the road and take Bengeo Rural footpath 7 on the other side
2: Take this path, Bengeo Rural footpath 7, go down a set of wooden steps, then turn immediately left and head SE with the road on your left and the fields on your right for 85m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/magic.bind.animal). Turn right, still on Bengeo Rural footpath 7, and head SW and downhill for 140m across the field until you reach a gap in the hedge (location - https://w3w.co/likely.agenda.glue).

3: Go through the the gap, cross the footbridge, then follow Bengeo Rural footpath 7 uphill and heading SW at first with the telegraph poles on the right for 280m to the point (location - https://w3w.co/forced.boring.crate) where the path goes under the telegraph wires and continues heading SW with the hedgerow on the right and the field on your left for another 310m until you reach a lane at Chapmore End (location - https://w3w.co/legend.union.labels).
* At this point you could take a short detour for refreshments at The Woodman Inn (location - https://w3w.co/slide.angel.mats) at Chapmore End by turning right and following the lane round to the left for 170m.
4: Turn left on the lane, which is called Chapmore End, and head SE, E, then SE again for 540m until you reach Wadesmill Road (location - https://w3w.co/pizza.ladder.souk). This is not a busy lane and, although there is no pavement for pedestrians, there is a verge you can hop onto if a car is coming.

5: Cross Wadesmill Road and take Bengeo Rural footpath 10 on the opposite side, see image below.

Bengeo Rural footpath 10 heading ESE with the hedgerow on the right
Bengeo Rural footpath 10 heading ESE with the hedgerow on the right
Follow this path with the hedgerow on the right and the field on the left and head ESE then ENE then N for 430m until you reach a tunnel going under Wadesmill Road (location - https://w3w.co/august.ages.chef), see image below.

Go through the tunnel and turn right
Go through the tunnel and turn right
6: The path through the tunnel is Bengeo Rural footpath 26. Go under the tunnel, turn right, and head SSE, now on Bengeo Rural footpath 25 ignoring a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/deputy.buyers.cubs) and instead continuing with the hedgerow on your right and the field on your left heading ESE for 45m until you reach a gate leading to a lane (location - https://w3w.co/reach.enter.change), see image below.

Turn right on the lane, cross the bridge, then head S looking for path on left
Turn right on the lane, cross the bridge, then head S looking for path on left
Turn right on the lane, cross the bridge and continue heading S for 125m looking out for a footpath on the left just past the postbox on the left and before the last house (location - https://w3w.co/flown.nurse.fetch).

7: Take this path, Thundridge footpath 23, and follow it uphill heading E and ENE for 900m passing the golf course on the left and old quarries on the right until you reach a right-hand bend with good views to your left (location - https://w3w.co/flame.firms.baked). Turn right here and head SE for 50m before turning left and following the footpath between buildings heading E for 55m until you reach a footpath on your left (location - https://w3w.co/plans.snail.bake).

8: Take this path, Thundridge footpath 22, and follow it NNE and downhill for 110m until you reach a marker post where the path turns right just before the golf course (location - https://w3w.co/roof.mental.rinse), see image below.

Follow the path to the right of the marker post and head ENE
Follow the path to the right of the marker post and head ENE
9: Turn right at this marker post and head ENE with the hedgerow on the right and the golf course on the left for 90m until you reach a fairway (location - https://w3w.co/down.atom.complains).

Look left to check whether any golfers are hitting balls in your direction before continuing across the fairway, still on Thundridge footpath 22, but now heading NE with the hedgerow on your right and the golf course on your left for 190m until you reach another fairway (location - https://w3w.co/sharp.quite.flops).

Here you need to look to your right to check for golfers in action. Cross the fairway and continue heading ENE for another 250m until you leave the golf course (location - https://w3w.co/taken.judge.slap).

10: Cross a track and continue on Thundridge footpath 22, see image below, and head ENE then NE with the hedgerow on your right and fields on your left for 510m until you reach Ermine Street, which was once a major Roman road and which you join at the point where you reach allotments on your left. Continue along Ermine Street, which at this point is just a track, for another 200m until you reach Cambridge Road (location - https://w3w.co/misty.float.shapes)

Thundridge footpath 22 heading ENE after the golf course
Thundridge footpath 22 heading ENE after the golf course
11: Cross Cambridge Road and continue heading NE, N, then WNW, still along Ermine Street, taking note of some of the historic listed buildings along the way, such as the former pub The White Hind, a 16C listed building and now a private residence.

12: When you reach Cambridge Road again turn right, cross a bridge over the River Rib, and turn left at the roundabout at the junction of Anchor Lane and Cambridge Road (location - https://w3w.co/modes.luck.quarrel).
* There used to be a pub called The Anchor on the corner at this point but at the time of writing (May 2021) it was closed and we discovered planning permission had been submitted for a change of use to residential. But if you want refreshments you could head NE along Cambridge Road from the roundabout for 60m to visit The Feathers Inn (location - https://w3w.co/ropes.dent.carbon).
Head SW along Anchor Lane for 200m looking out for a footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/game.image.chart).

13: Turn right here and head NNW and uphill on Thundridge bridleway 35 for 270m, with the hedgerow on the right and the field on the left, until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/window.global.look), see image below.

Turn left at the junction mentioned in point 13
Turn left at the junction mentioned in point 13
14: Turn left at the junction, now on Thundridge footpath 37, and head WSW for 190m to the point where the path turns to the right (location - https://w3w.co/robe.scare.august). Turn right, still on Thundridge footpath 37, and head NW and uphill for 200m to the point where the path goes through a gap in the hedge (location - https://w3w.co/natively.pies.sleeps), see image below. At the other side of the gap your path becomes Bengeo Rural footpath 4.

Go through the gap in the hedge and continue on Bengeo Rural footpath 4
Go through the gap in the hedge and continue on Bengeo Rural footpath 4
15: After going through the gap in the hedge head WNW on Bengeo Rural footpath 4 for 350m until you reach a pond and a farm on your right, and then come to a farm track (location - https://w3w.co/event.elite.lovely), see image below.

Cross the farm track and continue heading W to the left of the oak tree
Cross the farm track and head W and to the left of the oak tree
16: Cross the farm track and head W, still on Bengeo Rural footpath 4, heading to the left of the oak tree in the distance (location - https://w3w.co/chip.lion.asks) until you reach Lord’s Wood on the right (location - https://w3w.co/ranks.waddle.translated), see image below.

Walk to the south and east side of Lord’s Wood
Walk to the south and east side of Lord’s Wood
17: Walk to the side of Lord’s Wood, with the woodland on your right and the field on your left, and follow Bengeo Rural footpath 4 first W then SW before it heads W again until you reach a gap in the hedge leading to Bourne Wood (location - https://w3w.co/dates.goad.bunk). Go through the gap, and down some steps until you reach a junction in the paths (location - https://w3w.co/ripe.remind.drill).

18: Continue heading W and uphill, still on Bengeo Rural footpath 4, for 110m until you reach a footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/boom.local.wash), see image below.

Leave the track and turn right on the footpath leading to a footbridge
Leave the track and turn right on the footpath leading to a footbridge
19: Turn right on the footpath, still Bengeo Rural footpath 4, cross a footbridge and head WNW crossing another footbridge and continuing until you reach the end of the farm buildings on your left and a metal gate (location - https://w3w.co/strut.booth.quiz).

20: Turn left here and with the farm buildings on your left head SW to a junction. Continue heading SW now on Bengeo Rural footpath 3 past a pond on your right. This footpath becomes a tree-lined for a short distance with a moated farmhouse on your left.  Continue on Bengeo Rural footpath 3 heading SW for 700m until you reach a residential road called Temple Lane (location - https://w3w.co/cable.over.eggs). There are some good views to your right and left along this stretch, see image at the top of this page.

21: Head SW down Temple Lane for 140m until you reach Ware Road and the start of the walk. The pub The Little John and Robin Hood will be on to the right when you reach Ware Road (location - https://w3w.co/those.update.pint).

Interactive map





6 comments:

  1. A lovely walk with good views, but there was a flood at point 17 where the field borders Lords Wood.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, pity, I hope it didn't spoil your walk. Did you get round the flood okay? Something to expect in the winter months, but not July.
    David

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really loved this walk . Need a stick for the nettles . No flood on Tuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a stick for pushing back the nettles is a must at this time of the year. I am not sure we have seen so many nettles; perhaps they have had a particularly good growth year. I noticed that they are fading back a bit now.
      David

      Delete
  4. Great walk.Thanks for the brilliant clear instructions and pictures that helped us know we were where we were meant to be! A recommendation for a quick food break: just before you turn right onto Cambridge road (step12), there's a place called 'Thundridge Village Stores' which has a cafe inside. They do baguettes, toasties, cake and hot drinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for sharing the tip about the cafe in the village store. Good to know.
      David

      Delete

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