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Walk 206: Waterford Heath North-East Loop

4 miles (6.5 km) with 210 ft of ascent


Stapleford footpath 3 running alongside the River Beane
Stapleford footpath 3 running alongside the River Beane
We really enjoyed mapping and testing this walk because of the variety of countryside in such a short distance. This walk starts in the car park of the Waterford Heath Nature Reserve, then heads north-east to Chapmore End where you can visit The Woodman. The route then loops back over arable land with great views then returns along the banks of the River Beane before crossing the northern section of Waterford Heath.

The starting point is a car park off Vicarage Lane which is two miles N of Hertford North station by road. At the time we tested this walk in early September 2022 the car park was free of charge.

We recommend you approach the car park on Vicarage Lane from the east and not the west. Click here for our suggested route.

There are several signs along the way asking dog owners to keep their pets on a lead. At one point the route crosses a livestock field where sheep were grazing when we walked the route.

Directions


Map for 206: Waterford Heath North-East Loop
Map for 206: Waterford Heath North-East Loop
(click here or on the map for larger version)
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.

1: From the Waterford Heath car park on Vicarage Lane (location - https://w3w.co/stow.belts.coast) head to the eastern corner of the car park to the right of the entrance. Take a footpath that heads E behind a new housing estate (location - https://w3w.co/nature.tigers.combining), see image below.

Take the footpath that heads E out of the car park
Take the footpath that heads E out of the car park
Head E then NE on this footpath for 140m at which point the path bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/vows.loving.couches) then heads N for 105m to two sections of fence on the right marking the way out of Waterford Heath to Sacombe Road (location - https://w3w.co/hush.vines.famous), see image below.

Turn right to reach Sacombe Road
Turn right to reach Sacombe Road
2: Cross Sacombe Road then take Hertford footpath 6 (location - https://w3w.co/boot.united.quest), see image below.

Cross Sacombe Road then take Hertford footpath 6
Cross Sacombe Road then take Hertford footpath 6
Follow Hertford footpath 6 NE for 160m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/port.loudly.flash). This is a lovely stretch of countryside, see image below.

Hertford footpath 6
Hertford footpath 6
When you reach the junction keep heading NE, now on Hertford restricted byway 8, for 155m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/tins.sums.truck), see image below.

Ignore the footpath on the right and keep heading NE and uphill
Ignore the footpath on the right and keep heading NE and uphill
3: Ignore the footpath on the right and keep heading NE and uphill, now on Bengeo Rural bridleway 12, for 380m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/beam.spend.score), see image below.

Continue heading NE at the junction on Bengeo Rural BOAT 22
Continue heading NE at the junction
4: Continue heading NE at the junction (see direction of the orange arrow) for 135m until the byway bends right (location - https://w3w.co/payer.drop.violin) then heads ENE for 360m to a junction of paths (location - https://w3w.co/wisdom.prep.darker).

5: Continue heading NE on Bengeo Rural BOAT 22 (byway open to all traffic) for 230m until you reach a lane leading to Chapmore End (location - https://w3w.co/honey.rear.pipes).

6: Head NE along the lane for 270m until you reach a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/dice.from.person) just before The Woodman pub (location - https://w3w.co/third.scale.models) see images below.

Turn left on the Bengeo rural footpath 9 just before The Woodman
Turn left on Bengeo rural footpath 9 just before The Woodman

The Woodman at Chapmore End
The Woodman at Chapmore End
7: Turn left on Bengeo rural footpath 9 then head NW for 580m until you reach woodland on the left (location - https://w3w.co/brand.lower.moon), see image below.

Turn right at the woodland on Bengeo Rural footpath 8
Turn right at the woodland on Bengeo Rural footpath 8
8: Turn right when you reach the woodland (and just before a bench) on Bengeo Rural footpath 8, then head N for 110m to a lane (location - https://w3w.co/insist.strike.spit).

9: Turn left on the lane then head W for 230m until you reach a junction with a footpath on the opposite side of the road (location - https://w3w.co/trials.sport.quit).

10: Cross the road and take this footpath. This short footpath is interesting because in the space of 270m it crosses three Hertfordshire parishes. It starts as Bengeo Rural footpath 15 then after 40m becomes Stapleford footpath 11, then for the final 40m is Sacombe footpath 19, see image below.

The footpath that crosses three parishes in 270m
The footpath that crosses three parishes in 270m


11: When you reach the other side of the field (location - https://w3w.co/fight.fired.above), turn right on Sacombe footpath 15. Don't be put off by a sign which reads 'Private road to Southend Farm Authorised access only', the lane is a public right of way and you are entitled to walk it.

Head N on Sacombe footpath 15 for 300m until you reach a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/causes.origin.shorts), see image below.

Turn left on Sacombe footpath 17 then head SW
Turn left on Sacombe footpath 17 then head SW
12: Turn left on Sacombe footpath 17 then head SW for 410m until you reach Church Lane (location - https://w3w.co/bunk.lifts.goats). This footpath has been rerouted, so if you have an Ordnance Survey app or are using an Ordnance Survey map you will notice that the starting point for Sacombe footpath 17 is in a different place.

13: Turn right on Church Lane then take a permissive path on the right which avoids having to walk on the road around a narrow bend, see images below.

The permissive path runs parallel to Church Lane
The permissive path runs parallel to Church Lane

The permissive path running parallel to Church Lane
The permissive path running parallel to Church Lane
Head W along the permissive path for 110m before it rejoins Church Lane beyond the bend. Continue heading W along Church Lane for 240m until you reach a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/regard.shots.caged), see images below.

Turn left on Stapleford footpath 3
Turn left on Stapleford footpath 3

Turn right on Stapleford footpath 3 before you reach the church

14: Turn left on Stapleford footpath 3 then turn right before you reach the church, see footpath on the image above. Follow Stapleford footpath 3 SE alongside the River Beane for 1km to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/crass.frosted.play), see image below. There are a couple of benches along this pretty footpath for those who take a packed lunch, or just want to give their legs a rest.

Hertfordshire County Council has produced a brochure titled 'Stapleford along the Beane' which includes part of this route along Stapleford footpath 3. I have embedded the PDF af the end of these directions for those who want to download it.

Head SSW at the junction still on Stapleford footpath 3
Head SSW at the junction still on Stapleford footpath 3
15: When you reach the junction turn right then head SSW for 150m, still on Stapleford footpath 3, until you reach a lane (location - https://w3w.co/candle.ladder.wooden). Continue heading SSW along the lane for 215m until you reach Bush Mills Lane (location - https://w3w.co/items.rubble.regard)

16: Turn left on Bush Mills Lane then head SSE for 50m until you reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/cooks.nurse.purely), see image below.

Turn right on Stapleford footpath 2
Turn right on Stapleford footpath 2
17: Turn right on Stapleford footpath 2 then head S for 130m until you reach a junction on the left (location - https://w3w.co/smoke.hurt.fades), see image below.

Turn left at the junction then climb the steps to Waterford Heath
Turn left at the junction then climb the steps to Waterford Heath
18: Turn left at the junction then climb the steps heading E for 70m until you reach a gate leading to Waterford Heath (location - https://w3w.co/belly.festivity.yappy), see image below.

From the gate head S for 90m until you reach the old quarry road
19: From the gate head S for 90m until you reach the old quarry road (location - https://w3w.co/others.warns.cargo). Head S along this paved road for 125m until you reach a path going off to the right (location - https://w3w.co/pilots.hangs.seats), see image below.

Turn right then head SW for 50m to visit the art work
Turn right then head SW for 50m to visit the art work
20: Turn right then head SW and uphill (see orange arrow on image above) for 50m to visit a piece of artwork by the sculptor Andrew McKeown titled 'Breaking The Mould'. According to the artist's website:
"Breaking the Mould takes the form of a giant seed, which has emerged, from an industrial mould. The mould is old and has been broken. The sculpture represents new life and growth emerging from industrial decline. The six piece cast stone and iron sculpture was installed as a 'Marker' for each of the 21 Changing Places regeneration sites across England and Wales."
'Breaking The Mould' by Andrew McKeown
'Breaking The Mould' by Andrew McKeown

'Breaking The Mould' by Andrew McKeown
'Breaking The Mould' by Andrew McKeown
After visiting the sculpture head SE and downhill for 70m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/dads.flag.sage).

Keep right at the junction then head S then SE back to the car park
Keep right at the junction then head S then SE back to the car park
21: Keep right at the junction (see image above) then head S then SE for 230m back to the car park.

This walk is dedicated to Buster, a lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who belonged to our friends Jenny and Andrew. They told us Buster used to love running up and down the hollows on the site of the old quarry between points 2 & 4 on this walk.

Buster - B: 20 April 2000 D: 16 November 2014
Buster - b: 20 April 2000 d: 16 November 2014
We have two other walks from the Waterford Heath car park. They are:

Driving to the car park


We recommend you approach the car park on Vicarage Lane from the east and not the west.

If you approach from the west the lane is narrow with few passing places and there is a sharp bend over the railway bridge where we got trapped in a traffic jam caused by an articulated truck getting stuck. It took half an hour to clear.

A local resident told us it is far better to approach the car park via Bulls Mill Lane, Sacombe Road, then Vicarage Lane. They were right. We rerouted that way. I have created a map (below) to show the recommended route to the car park in green and the narrower route in red. Click on the map for a larger version.

Recommended route to car park in green
Recommended route to car park in green
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
Click here to return to the start of the directions for the walk.
Warning - mini rant coming up: When we walked one of the footpaths along this route we had to get out of the way of cyclists coming towards us and from behind. I mentioned to them that it was a public footpath and was told "No it's not".

Although it's great to see people enjoying the countryside, cyclists are not allowed on public footpaths. The rules are clear when it comes to riding a bicycle on a public footpath:

"You do not have the right to use a bicycle, or even to wheel a bicycle along them. This is not a criminal offence, but a trespass against the landowner."

I doubt many cyclists read this site, but, if you are a cyclist who insists on cycling on footpaths please at least dismount when approaching walkers and don't go so fast as to put those walking in danger, especially along narrow footpaths and on bends.

Some walkers may not be able to move out of the way that easily, particularly if the footpaths are narrow.

Thanks.
There were several 'No Cycling' signs along this route which suggest cycling on public footpaths might be a bit of a problem in this area, so please take care.

Several paths had 'No Cycling' notices
Several paths had 'No Cycling' notices


Interactive map





Stapleford Along the Beane brochure





1 comment:

  1. Lovely walk with views and and wooded trails. Realised I knew where I was when I reached the Church at Stapleford having walked in the opposite direction on a previous walk. Just one thought carry a stick at beginning and end trails as resent rain has given all the Nettles a second wind . Thank You.
    .IR.

    ReplyDelete

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