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Walk 163: Widfordbury Loop

5.3 miles (8.5 km) with 280ft of ascent


Footpath 8 between points 9 and 10
 
This is a fairly hilly walk which includes a section which was waterlogged at the end of November 2021 when we walked the route. We managed to edge round the soggy stretch, but waterproof boots are recommended. Wellies would be good. The rest of the walk is fine, with some wide open views across rolling Hertfordshire countryside. There are two pubs just past the halfway point.

Directions


Map for Walk 163: Widfordbury Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 163: Widfordbury 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.

This walk starts and finished in one of two laybys either side of the Ware Road the B1004 (location - https://w3w.co/rods.brand.blank). We are grateful to Judy from Wareside for suggesting this parking spot.

Go through the gate into the churchyard
Go through the gate into the churchyard
1: From the layby head ESE for 200m towards the church of St John the Baptist, Widford, with its green steeple (location - https://w3w.co/owls.stud.strut). Turn left through the church gate and walk through the churchyard keeping to the left of the church. In the NW corner of the churchyard, behind the church, you will find a gate leading to a footpath (location - https://w3w.co/scans.debate.pilots).

At the signpost ignore arrows left and right and, instead, head N and downhill
At the signpost ignore arrows left and right and, instead, head N and downhill
2: Go through the gate then down a flight of wooden steps until you reach a signpost (location - https://w3w.co/gross.newly.lawn), see image above.

Go through the gate then continue heading NE for 50m to a junction
Go through the gate then continue heading NE for 50m to a junction
Ignore the arrows for bridleway 16 pointing left and right, but, instead, head N and downhill then keep to the right and follow the path NE for 500m until you reach a gate (location - https://w3w.co/guitar.dogs.bank), see image above. Continue heading NE for another 50m until you reach a junction in the path (location - https://w3w.co/reds.target.monks).

Widford footpath 18 crossing the footbridge
Widford footpath 18 crossing the footbridge
3: Turn left through a gate, then keep to the right where two footpaths diverge and continue on Widford footpath 18, heading W for 50m with the hedgerow on your right until you reach a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/keen.foal.fleet).

Cross the field heading for the gate in the NW corner
Cross the field heading for the gate in the NW corner
Cross the footbridge then keeping left heading WNW across a field aiming for a signpost in the middle and, then, beyond that, a gate in the NW corner (location - https://w3w.co/audio.fancy.kings), see image above.

4: Go through the gate then continue heading W for 40m before the path bends to the right and climbs heading NW for 200m until you reach woodland.

Follow the footpath left then right to reach the woodland
Follow the footpath left then right to reach the woodland
5: At this point the path bends to the left for 40m before bending right (location - https://w3w.co/cope.eager.impact), and heading between the crops towards woodland (location - https://w3w.co/wakes.flute.slug), see image above.

The waterlogged section of footpath 16
The waterlogged section of footpath 16
6: When you reach the woodland you will be entering the section of Wareside footpath 16 that was waterlogged when we walked this route at the end of November 2021, see image above. We managed to get through by going around the edge of the path, but we recommend you either save this walk for drier weather or have good, waterproof boots. 

Turn left at the junction then follow Wareside bridleway 17 W
Turn left at the junction then follow Wareside bridleway 17 W
7: After 400m, when you reach buildings on the left, the soggy path becomes a track and is much drier under foot. Continue heading NNE for 260m, now on Wareside bridleway 16, until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/moons.branch.years), see image above.

Take Wareside bridleway 66 on the right and follow for 50m
Take Wareside bridleway 66 on the right and follow for 50m
8: Turn left at the junction then head W on Wareside bridleway 17, keeping to the left of the hedgerow, then head W for 560m until you reach woodland where you turn right to follow Wareside bridleway 66 for 50m before turning left on Wareside footpath 8 (location - https://w3w.co/punks.goal.pool).

Head WSW along Wareside footpath 8
Head WSW along Wareside footpath 8
9: Follow Wareside footpath 8 across a farm track then continue heading WSW for 170m until you meet a junction and a track on the left (location - https://w3w.co/boil.under.snacks).

Wareside footpath 8 heading SSE from point 10
Wareside footpath 8 heading SSE from point 10
10: Turn left at the junction then head SSE on Wareside footpath 8 for 1.3km passing Cook's Farm on the right (location - https://w3w.co/deputy.loans.policy) before reaching another junction (location - https://w3w.co/goes.snows.composers).

Turn left on Wareside footpath 11 climbing the wooden steps
Turn left on Wareside footpath 11 climbing the wooden steps
11: Turn right at the junction then take Wareside footpath 10 and follow it WNW for 220m looking out for a wooden staircase on the left just before a wooden footbridge.

12: Turn left and climb the wooden staircase, which is Wareside footpath 11, then turn right at the top and head SSW, with the hedgerow on the right and the field on the left, for 550m until you reach Scholar's Hill (location - https://w3w.co/charmingly.farms.toned).

Cross Scholar's Hill and follow a path heading S alongside Widford Village Hall for 50m until you reach Ware Road, the B1004 (location - https://w3w.co/fuel.luxury.when).
* At this point you have the choice of visiting The Chequers Inn on your right (location - https://w3w.co/earth.humble.maps) or The White Horse, which is 70m further along Ware Road to the SW (location - https://w3w.co/eaten.foam.vocab). We stopped at The Chequers and sampled the excellent and well kept Treacle Mine IPA, brewed for the pub by Hadham Brewery to a recipe devised by the pub. We were told it is called Treacle Mine because "donkey's years ago" an old lady living behind the pub used to make toffee apples for the kids in the village. When asked what the coating was she would tell them that it came from a treacle mine in her garden. The Chequers also does food, although we didn't eat there. Apparently, this small village once had seven pubs. Now it has two. On a previous walk we've enjoyed a drink at The White Horse, which has a Greek menu.
Wareside footpath 32 heading E then SE off the Ware Road
Wareside footpath 32 heading E then SE off the Ware Road
13: Turn left on the Ware Road, cross the road, then head E for 65m looking out for the second footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/alive.wipes.lasted). At this point there is no footpath alongside the road, but there is a verge which you can step on to avoid oncoming traffic.

Take this footpath, Wareside footpath 32, then head E then SE for 540m eventually crossing the old disused Buntingford branch line (location - https://w3w.co/drama.scar.voters).

14: Once over the branch line continue heading SE, still on Wareside footpath 32, for 60m until you cross the Hertfordshire Way (location - ) at which point the path you are on becomes Wareside footpath 19 which you follow SE and uphill for 290m keeping to the left of the woodland and continuing until you reach a stile alongside a bench with excellent views (location - https://w3w.co/scar.nurse.regard).

Wareside footpath 19 approaching Thistly Wood
Wareside footpath 19 approaching Thistly Wood
15: Continue across the next field heading first SSE then S for 320m until you reach woodland (location - https://w3w.co/formed.blame.object).

Hunsdon footpath 13 crossing a footbridge
Hunsdon footpath 13 crossing a footbridge
Continue for 240m across another field and continue to the hedgerow at which point the path you are on reaches a footbridge through the hedgerow where it becomes Hunsdon footpath 13 (location - https://w3w.co/focal.duck.fortunate).

16: Continue on Hunsdon footpath 13 heading SE for 440m crossing another field then continuing  to a junction in the tracks (location - https://w3w.co/rests.script.pits).

17: Turn left at the junction then head N, now on Hunsdon restricted byway 12, for 700m until you pass through then emerge from woodland (location - https://w3w.co/pulled.scam.chief).

Approaching Widford at the end of the walk along restricted byway 20
Approaching Widford at the end of the walk along restricted byway 20
18: At this point the track you are on becomes Widford restricted byway 20, which you continue to follow as it heads NNE for 660m until you reach Ware Road (location - https://w3w.co/modern.trash.using), where you turn left then head W for 110m back to the start point.

Interactive map






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