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Walk 247: Nast Hyde Halt Loop

3.8 miles (6.2km) with 5m of total ascent


Nast Hyde Halt on The Alban Way
Nast Hyde Halt on The Alban Way
We have created this short loop to enable walkers to explore the lovingly restored Nast Hyde Halt along The Alban Way, the route of the former Hatfield to St Albans railway line. You will start at Smallford Station, pass Nast Hyde Halt, then loop around Ellenbrook Fields, which is the site of the former Hatfield Aerodrome. There is one short stretch along the western edge of Hatfield and past the university, but you are soon into open fields with excellent views.

There is currently free parking (at the time of writing in November 2023) in the former LNER car park at Smallford Station and alongside the approach road to the car park from Station Road. Please check this has not changed before leaving your car.

There are refreshment opportunities at the Three Horshoes (location - https://w3w.co/really.rinse.hush), the Notcutts Garden Centre Cafe (location - https://w3w.co/custom.fell.rank), and the Smallford Farm Shop Cafe (location - https://w3w.co/glaze.reef.making). All three are close to the start/finish point. There is another pub, The Plough at Sleapshyde (location - https://www.ploughstalbans.com), which is 440m SE of the start/finish point via a footpath.

Fly through preview of walk


If you want to check what sort of landscape you will be crossing before you set off on this walk you can view a short 3D video of the route below. It's created using the free version of Relive.


Directions


Map for Walk 247: Nast Hyde Halt Loop
Map for Walk 247: Nast Hyde Halt Loop
Click on the map above for a 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.

The LNER car park at Smallford Station
The LNER car park at Smallford Station
1: From the LNER car park at Smallford Station (location - https://w3w.co/solve.heats.scouts), exit through the white railway gates with the large red circles (see image below), join The Alban Way (location - https://w3w.co/waddled.aura.palm), turn left, then head ENE under the railway bridge (location - https://w3w.co/puff.stiff.above), see images below.

Exit Smallford Station car park through the railway gates
Exit Smallford Station car park through the railway gates

Head E under the railway bridge following The Alban Way
Head ENE under the railway bridge following The Alban Way

The information board at Smallford Station on The Alban Way
The information board at Smallford Station on The Alban Way
Click on the image for a larger version
Head ENE along The Alban Way for 605m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/formed.never.year), see image below.

Continue along The Alban Way ignoring paths on the left and right
Continue along The Alban Way ignoring paths on the left and right
Continue along The Alban Way for 670m, ignoring paths on the left and right, until you reach Nast Hyde Halt (location - https://w3w.co/laser.bets.chain).

Rail enthusiasts will enjoy pausing here and taking time to study the restoration work carried out by postman Mike Izzard, or Nast Hyde Mike as he is known locally.

Apart from the amazing work Mike has carried out on Nast Hyde Halt, he has also been responsible for raising more than £30,000 for good causes and for the ongoing restoration for Smallford Station at the start and finish of the walk.

Those interested in knowing more about Nast Hyde Mike's work can read an interview I carried out with him in November 2023 (It was too long to include in the walk).

Level crossing gate at Nast Hyde Halt
Level crossing gate at Nast Hyde Halt

Luggage at Nast Hyde Halt
Luggage at Nast Hyde Halt


Station sign at Nast Hyde Halt
Station sign at Nast Hyde Halt

The platform at Nast Hyde Halt
The platform at Nast Hyde Halt

Milk churns at Nast Hyde Halt
Milk churns at Nast Hyde Halt
2: Exit Nast Hyde Halt at the level crossing gate at the far end of the platform, see image below.

Turn left after the level crossing gate then head NW on Ellenbrook Lane
Turn left after the level crossing gate then head NW on Ellenbrook Lane
Turn left after the level crossing gate then head NW on Ellenbrook Lane for 110m until you reach the junction with Wilkin's Green Lane on the left (location - https://w3w.co/limit.logic.vest).

Continue heading NNW along Ellenbrook Lane for 310m until you reach a roundabout (location - https://w3w.co/fish.weeks.stud), see image below.

Cross the roundabout then head N along Albatross Way
Cross the roundabout then head N along Albatross Way
3: Cross the roundabout then head N along Albatross Way, with the university on the right and playing fields on the left, for 290m until the road bends to the right and you reach a gate on the left (location -https://w3w.co/depend.cool.rings), see image below.

Turn left through the gate then turn right
Turn left through the gate then turn right
4: Turn left through the gate then turn right (see orange line on the image above). You are now on the Hatfield Aerodrome Heritage Trail. Look out for the fascinating information board along the way, see image below.

Information board for the Hatfield Aerodrome Heritage Trail
Information board for the Hatfield Aerodrome Heritage Trail
Click on the image for a larger version
The information board above charts the history of the Hatfield Aerodrome including its association with Hollywood glamour.
"Stephen Spielberg shot several scenes for his feature film Saving Private Ryan (1998) at the site just as it was scheduled for demolition. He returned to conduct even more extensive filming for his epic World War II television series Band of Brothers (2001). A set representing twelve different European towns, and a major river, was constructed on the open grassland around the runway."
Continue following this surfaced track in a northerly direction, with lakes and waterways on the left and houses behind the shrubs on the right, until the track bends left leading to a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/coast.advice.asleep), see image below.

Cross the footbridge then turn right leaving the gravelled track
Cross the footbridge then turn right leaving the gravelled track
5: Cross the footbridge then turn right, leaving the gravelled track. You are now in Ellenbrook Fields.

Information board at Ellenbrook Fields
Information board at Ellenbrook Fields
Click on the image for a larger version
Head N along a grassy track, with open fields on the left and hedgerow with houses behind on the right. Continue heading N for 270m until you reach a T-junction (location - https://w3w.co/limes.misty.blur), see image below.

Turn left at the T-junction then head W along a metalled track
Turn left at the T-junction then head W along a surfaced track
6: Turn left at the T-junction then head W along a surfaced track for 400m until you reach a gate (location - https://w3w.co/bother.admits.notice). Go through the gate then continue along the track, now heading SW for 210m to another gate (location - https://w3w.co/claim.prices.trail), see image below.

Go through the gate then continue heading SW
Go through the gate then continue heading SW
Go through the gate then continue heading SW, now with woodland on the right and fields on the left, for 215m until the path bends left (location - https://w3w.co/sheep.soap.grand). Continue, now heading SE, for 155m until the path reaches a junction (location - https://w3w.co/oval.economies.noon), see image below.

Keep right at the junction then head SW
Keep right at the junction then head SW
7: Keep right at the junction then continue along the track now heading SW, for 436m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/eating.choice.memo), see image below.

Head SW with the hedgerow on the right and fields on the left
Head SW with the hedgerow on the right and fields on the left
8: Leave the surfaced track at this point then continue heading SW on a grassy track (see line of orange arrow on the image above). Continue, with the hedgerow on the right and fields on the left, for 510m until you reach the corner of the field where the path bends left (location - https://w3w.co/cloth.expect.sank), see image below.

Turn left at the corner of the field then head SSE
Turn left at the corner of the field then head SSE
9: Turn left at the corner of the field then head SSE for 395m, with the hedgerow on the right and field on the left, until you reach the SW corner of the field (location - https://w3w.co/placed.motor.kite), see image below.

Turn right at the corner of the field then turn left on Colney Heath footpath 15
Turn right at the corner of the field then turn left on Colney Heath footpath 15
10: Turn right at the corner of the field then turn left on Colney Heath footpath 15 (location - https://w3w.co/wheels.last.lifted). Head SSE on Colney Heath footpath 15 for 65m until you reach Hatfield Road (location - https://w3w.co/flips.prices.tamed), see image below.

Cross Hatfield Road then head SSE on Colney Heath footpath 12
Cross Hatfield Road then head SSE on Colney Heath footpath 12
Cross Hatfield Road then head SSE, now on Colney Heath footpath 12, for 335m until the footpath runs down the side of housing (location - https://w3w.co/head.ruins.squad), see image below.

Continue heading SSE on  Colney Heath footpath 12
Continue heading SSE on Colney Heath footpath 12
Continue heading SSE on Colney Heath footpath 12 for 115m until you reach Wilkin's Green Lane (location - https://w3w.co/first.clock.lace).

11: Turn right on Wilkin's Green Lane then head WSW for 85m until just before you reach Smallford Lane (location - https://w3w.co/bench.rich.ended). Look to your left to find a footpath called Peggy's Way, see image below.

Turn left on Peggy's Way
Turn left on Peggy's Way
Turn left on Peggy's Way then follow the path SSE for 85m down to The Alban Way (location - https://w3w.co/healthier.study.gender), where you turn right and retrace your steps under the railway bridge and back to Smallford Station and the starting point.

Smallford Station looking west
Smallford Station looking west

Smallford Station ticket office
Smallford Station ticket office

Smallford Station waiting room
Smallford Station waiting room

Smallford Station looking east
Smallford Station looking east
If you enjoyed this walk please consider joining our Hertfordshire Walker members-only Facebook Group where you can share photos and comments on your walking experiences.

Interactive map




9 comments:

  1. Went on this walk today and although we had wellies on because of all the rain we have had recently it would have been fine without them because there are lots of good paths and tracks. We loved the Nast Hyde Halt - theyve done such a good job with the restoration and old signs. The only thing to watch out for along the way are cyclists who come whizzing up behind you. We went a bit wrong between 7 and 8 I think but my husband navigated us back on track and then we stopped at Northcutts for tea and a snack - very nice in the restaurant. We've walked in the other direction from the car park along the Alban Way but really enjoyed the quiet space through Ellenbrook Fields this way. Thanks for another great walk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deborah, glad you enjoyed it. And you are right about the cyclists. The ones with bells are find because they alert you to their presence. If you are on Facebook please consider joining our Hertfordshire Walker Facebook group where fellow walkers are posting reports and pictures about their walks. It's a nice group.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/hertfordshirewalker

      Delete
  2. Another nice walk thanks Dave and a perfect length for the lunch hour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Andy. If you haven't already joined please consider joining our Facebook group where people are posting pictures and reports from the walks. https://www.facebook.com/groups/hertfordshirewalker

      Delete
  3. I did this today to recce for a group walk in December- also to check out parking opportunities; including the small amount of pavement pounding it’s mostly good surfaces underfoot so very little mud. Ellenbrook fields are lovely open spaces with interesting information boards; and by walking to and from the start at Smallford I made the most of a beautiful morning. I also like that the Alban Way is so well used.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Angela, so glad you enjoyed the route. Thanks for taking the time to post a report. David

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  4. We revisited this walk yesterday and were amazed at the work Nast Hyde Halt Mike has put in since our last visit. I love the seasonal touches. Well done Mike.

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  5. A lovely and very interesting walk with very little mud despite all the recent rain

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes. A nice walk. Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete

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