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Walk 157: Wilstone Loop

5.6 miles with 135ft of ascent


The Grand Union Canal Tring
 
This walk visits the four reservoirs that make up the Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve, which is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The route follows towpaths along the Grand Union Canal and passes three rural pubs. There are two car parks to choose from. Our walk starts and finishes at the Wilstone Reservoir car park but you can also leave the car at Startop's End and join the route from there.

Directions


Map for Walk 157: Wilstone 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 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 such as photographs.

Wilstone Reservoir at the start of the walk
Wilstone Reservoir at the start of the walk
The route starts at the car park at the NW of Wilstone Reservoir just S of the B489 (location - https://w3w.co/interlude.kickbacks.spicy). Wilstone Reservoir is a prime location for watching birds (and bats!). It is the largest of the four Tring reservoirs. Record-breaking catfish and carp have been caught in its waters.

At the time of writing (September 2021) this car park was free of charge. If it is full, you might want to drive to the car park in Startop's End (location - https://w3w.co/correct.vibrate.otherwise) and start the walk at point 10 in the directions below. At the time of writing the Startop's End car park was pay and display.

1: From the Wilstone Reservoir car park climb the steps to reach the edge of the reservoir. Turn left on the embankment then head NE along Tring Rural footpath 44 for 200m with the reservoir on your right before the footpath bends to the right (location - https://w3w.co/resembles.yappy.jumpy) then heads SE, still along the edge of the reservoir, for 190m until it reaches steps leading down to a gate and a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/swarm.thud.party), see image below.

Tring Rural footpath 43 leaving Wilstone Reservoir
Tring Rural footpath 43 leaving Wilstone Reservoir
2: Go through the gate then turn left on Tring Rural footpath. Follow the footpath NW for 180m to a point where the footpath splits. You take the lefthand fork (location - https://w3w.co/fatherly.timidly.sleepless) to reach the B489, Lower Icknield Way (location - https://w3w.co/files.hunter.slurping).

The Half Moon, Wilstone village
The Half Moon, Wilstone village
Cross the road then head NNW along Tring Road. here is a verge along this road where you can step aside if faced with oncoming traffic. After 300m you reach the village of Wilstone. There is a cafe in the Wilstone Community Shop on your right (location - https://w3w.co/openings.seaweed.education). After 100m you will reach the Half Moon pub/restaurant on your right (location - https://w3w.co/calls.inserting.started), see image above.

3: When you reach the Half Moon take the lane opposite on the left. This is Sandbrook Lane, which you follow WSW for 130m until you reach the end of the lane and a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/slogans.alley.lamppost).

4: Turn right on Tring Rural footpath 18, then head NW for 150m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/flagpole.raking.rosette), see image below.

Turn right at the junction on Tring Rural footpath 20
Turn right at the junction on Tring Rural footpath 20
Take the right fork then follow Tring Rural footpath 20 NNW for 120m until it cuts through the hedgerow on the right and crosses a wooden footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/weaved.known.idealist). Cross the wooden footbridge then continue following Tring Rural footpath 20 NNW for another 60m until you reach the Grand Union Canal - Aylesbury Arm (location - https://w3w.co/prep.luring.growth).

One of the locks along the Grand Union Canal - Aylesbury Arm
One of the locks along the Grand Union Canal - Aylesbury Arm
5: Turn right before the bridge over the canal, then follow the towpath along the Grand Union Canal - Aylesbury Arm for 1.6km until the canal goes under Watery Lane (location - https://w3w.co/support.cleans.fetching).

Cross Church Lane then follow the Grand Union Canal towpath N
Cross Church Lane then follow the Grand Union Canal towpath N
6: When you reach the Watery Lane bridge, leave the towpath then turn left and head NW for 120m until you reach the junction with Church Lane (location - https://w3w.co/stance.quits.scales), see image above. Cross Church Lane then take the towpath heading N alongside the Grand Union Canal, following it for 300m until you reach Vicarage Road (location - https://w3w.co/downsize.rooftop.hides).

Leave the Grand Union Canal at Vicarage Road then turn right over the bridge
Leave the canal then turn right on Vicarage Road then cross the bridge
7: Here you leave the towpath then turn right to cross the canal via a road bridge then head SE along Vicarage Road for 80m to The Red Lion (location - https://w3w.co/bundles.vanished.estuaries).

The Red Lion, Marsworth
The Red Lion, Marsworth
After passing The Red Lion continue heading SE and uphill along Vicarage Road for 90m until you reach All Saints Church, Marsworth on your right.

8: When you reach the churchyard, turn right on a path (location - https://w3w.co/developed.clauses.smirks) that goes to the right of the church then swings round to the left to leave the churchyard and meet Church Lane (location - https://w3w.co/pounces.notion.pace).

Turn left after the white timber-frame house
Turn left after the white timber frame house
9: Turn right on Church Lane then head SW for 80m until you reach a lane on the left just after a white timber frame house (location - https://w3w.co/performed.throats.bonkers), see image above. Turn left on this lane then head SW for 100m until you reach a gate leading into a field. Go through the gate then follow the footpath downhill for 200m until you reach Startop's End and the B489, Lower Icknield Way (location - https://w3w.co/slimming.mornings.statue), see image below.

The footpath as it meets Lower Icknield Way, the B489
The footpath as it meets Lower Icknield Way, the B489
Turn right, cross the canal via the bridge, then head SW along the pavement alongside the B489 for 130m until you reach The Anglers Retreat pub/restaurant (location - https://w3w.co/wrist.whistling.whispers), see image below.

The Anglers Retreat at Startop's End
The Anglers Retreat at Startop's End
10: Cross the road then take the footpath opposite The Anglers Retreat and follow it into the Startop's End Reservoir car park (location - https://w3w.co/parts.outlooks.tulip). Follow the path as it heads SE for 300m with Startop's End Reservoir on the right and the canal on your left until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/atoms.posting.broached).

Barges on the Grand Union Canal at Startop's End
Barges on the Grand Union Canal at Startop's End
11: Turn right along Tring Rural footpath 41 which runs between Startop's End Reservoir on your right and Marsworth Reservoir on the left.

The path between Startop's End Reservoir and Marsworth Reservoir
The path between Startop's End Reservoir and Marsworth Reservoir
Follow this footpath as it heads SSW for 380m until you reach Tringford Road (location - https://w3w.co/downcast.remainder.swan).

12: Turn right when you reach the road then follow the footpath alongside Tringford Road heading NW for 130m with Tringford Reservoir on the left until you reach a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/spaceship.flap.impresses).

13: Take this footpath along the northern edge of Tringford Reservoir. This is Tring Town footpath 55, which heads SW for 260m until the footpath bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/renewals.expressed.snappy) then heads SSE for 370m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/debating.scarves.buildings).

Tring Town footpath 55 weaving through woodland
Tring Town footpath 55 weaving through woodland
14: Turn right on Tring Rural footpath 59 then head WNW for 120m until you reach Little Tring Road (location - https://w3w.co/overused.mentioned.milkman). Head N along Little Tring Road for 30m looking out for a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/incur.spins.herring).

15: Take this footpath, Tring Rural footpath 47, which follows the route of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, currently being restored by the Wendover Arm Trust, to what the trust describes as the canal's "former glory".

The footpath alongside the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal
The footpath alongside the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal
Follow this footpath as it heads W, NW, then SW for 630m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/clasping.thickens.raft), see image above.

Tring rural footpath 47 heading SW
Tring rural footpath 47 heading SW
Ignore footpaths to your right and left and continue heading SW for another 340m until you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/underline.elaborate.pickup), see image below.

Tring Rural footpath 49 leaving the Wendover Arm
Tring Rural footpath 49 leaving the Wendover Arm
16: Take this footpath, Tring Rural footpath 49, then head W, SW, then W, with the hedgerow on your right and fields on left, for 700m. At this point you leave Hertfordshire and enter Buckinghamshire (location - https://w3w.co/decimals.scooped.should).

From point 16 to 17 keep the hedgerow on the right and field on the left
From point 16 to 17 keep the hedgerow on the right and field on the left
17: Continue NW for 410m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/plus.overgrown.plug).

18: You are now back in Hertfordshire where you continue heading NW along Tring Rural footpath 44 for 250m until the footpath bends to the right (location - https://w3w.co/failed.holds.chips), with Wilstone Reservoir on your right.

Wilstone Reservoir towards the end of the walk
Wilstone Reservoir towards the end of the walk
19: Head NE for 500m, still on Tring Rural footpath 44, following it back to the car park (location - https://w3w.co/interlude.kickbacks.spicy).


Interactive map







2 comments:

  1. This is a lovely walk with lots of birds and views of water. Mostly very flat. It was fascinating to see canal construction in progress.
    We started at point 9 and parked at the large carpark at Startop Reservoir (£4). The Angler's Retreat was not doing food. We had lunch at the Half Moon, an ancient place with a real fire, various dogs, friendly staff and delicious low-priced food.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed the walk. And thanks for the report on the Half Moon.
    David

    ReplyDelete

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