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Walk 162: Heartwood Forest Loop

3 miles (4.7km) with 200 ft of ascent


A footpath through Heartwood Forest
 
This short walk explores some of the woodlands that are part of Heartwood Forest, the largest continuous new native forest in England, which is managed by The Woodland Trust. Those who visit this area on a regular basis, as we do, will notice how quickly it has matured. This has been a good autumn for enjoying the spread of colour. There are some great paths weaving through the forest. It has a free car park, and there are various information boards scattered throughout the area. There are no toilets. Children will enjoy the 'Magical Meander' where they are encouraged to find wooden carvings along the way. We have a downloadable PDF of the route below.

Directions


Map for Walk 162: Heartwood Forest Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 162: Heartwood Forest 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.

Park in the free car park at Heartwood Forest off Wheathampstead Road, Sandridge (location - https://w3w.co/splash.unfair.land). Walk through the overspill car park to the N of the main, circular car park until you reach a junction at the NE end of the overspill field (location - https://w3w.co/belong.arts.erase).

Head NW and uphill for 670m stopping to check the view behind
Head NW and uphill for 670m stopping to check the view behind
1: Turn left on a path that heads NW and uphill for 670m. This is a steady climb with increasingly impressive views behind.

One of the three entrances to The Magical Wood
One of the three entrances to The Magical Wood
2: At a junction in the tracks (location - https://w3w.co/overnight.wiping.push) take the second path on the left, passing through the wooden carved archway to enter The Magical Wood then head SW and follow the path for 240m as it winds its way through a young woodland before reaching a three-way junction and a picnic area (location - https://w3w.co/army.unit.asking).

A carved owl, one of several wooden sculptures in Heartwood Forest
A carved owl, one of several wooden sculptures in Heartwood Forest
3: Turn right before the picnic area then head NW, still weaving through The Magical Wood, for 310m until you leave the woodland and reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/supply.nights.cones).

Head NE with the hedgerow on the left and field on the right
Head NE with the hedgerow on the left and field on the right
4: Five paths converge at this junction. You take the second on the right which heads NE with the hedgerow on the left and field on the right (see image above) for 320m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/audit.crown.react).

Turn left before the gate then head NW towards Round Wood
Turn left before the gate then head NW towards Round Wood
5: When you reach a gate, see image above, turn left, without going through the gate, then head NW for 170m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/tower.drew.retire).

Head NW until you reach the gate leading to Round Wood
Head NW until you reach the gate leading to Round Wood
6: Continue heading NW entering Round Wood and following the path for 140m until you reach the end of the woodland (location - https://w3w.co/civil.hook.atomic).

7: Turn left then head SW with the woodland on your left for 410m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/ropes.chefs.shops).

There is an option for walking through the woods between points 8 & 9
There is an option for walking through the woods between points 8 & 9

The detour - in orange - through Pudler's Wood and Well Wood
The detour - in orange - through Pudler's Wood and Well Wood
8: Keep right at the junction and continue heading SW, then SE then SW again for 600m with Pudler's Wood and later Well Wood on the left and the field on the right until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/advice.monks.gain).

9: Turn left then head ESE for 550m, now on Sandridge bridleway 8, and continue until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/settle.stack.quick). On your left will be another entrance to The Magical Wood which you wandered through earlier in the walk.

10: At this point take the second path on the right through Langley Wood (location - https://w3w.co/bits.falls.staple), then follow it as it weaves its way through the woodland which is carpeted in bluebells in the spring. Continue following the path round to the left until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/trades.broken.beyond).

11: Turn right on Sandridge bridleway 8 then head ESE for 280m looking out for a gate on the left (location - https://w3w.co/dive.transit.love).

12: Turn left at the gate then turn right and follow the path back to the car park.

There are three pubs in Sandridge, The Green Man (location - https://w3w.co/yappy.punchy.facing), The Queens Head (location - https://w3w.co/drama.slick.plan), and The Rose & Crown (location - https://w3w.co/tidy.book.spin).

Interactive map





Official walking routes


The Woodland Trust has put together three circular walks through Heartwood Forest. You can download them below.




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