Welcome to Hertfordshire Walker

A growing collection of walks all free to download and enjoy

Flat routes

The route, platform, ramp, and car park at Cole Green
The route, platform, ramp, and car park at Cole Green
We've had a number of requests from people asking for help in finding walks that are wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

While there are sections of many of our routes that would be suitable for both, most of the walks involve a mix of stiles, gates, steps, footbridges, narrow tracks, steep hills, and muddy or rutted bridleways.

One of the two entrances to The Sculpture Trail
One of the two entrances to The Sculpture Trail
One route on this site, Walk 60: The Sculpture Trail (1 mile), would be suitable with access from a free (at time of writing) car park (location - https://w3w.co/beats.sheep.exists).

However there are a number of former railway lines in Hertfordshire which have been converted into recreational routes which might be suitable. We are not accessibility experts, and we have no idea whether these routes have been approved as accessible, but we have put together a list for those who are looking for suggestions and who want to check them out. As with all our walks, those following the routes do so at their own risk. Some of the information below is taken from Wikipedia.

Alban Way


The Alban Way (right) west of Nast Hyde Halt
The Alban Way (right) west of Nast Hyde Halt 
The Alban Way (7.5 miles) runs from St Albans to Hatfield, ending close to Hatfield railway station. The route is part of the National Cycle Network Route 61. The route is paved throughout making it usable all year round. There is free car parking (at time of writing, July 2021) at the site of the former Smallford station, off Smallford Lane (location - https://w3w.co/keeps.proven.panic).

Ayot Greenway


The Ayot Greenway close to Wheathampstead
The Ayot Greenway close to Wheathampstead
The Ayot Greenway (3 miles) runs from Ayot St. Peter to Wheathampstead. It's part of the National Cycle Network Route 57. The route follows the former branch line from Welwyn Garden City railway station towards Luton and Dunstable. There is free car parking (at time of writing, July 2021) on the right along Ayot St Peter Road as you drive north from Ayot Green (location - https://w3w.co/discrepancy.lives.bucked).

Cole Green Way


The Cole Green Way alongside the platform at the former Cole Green station
The Cole Green Way alongside the platform at the former Cole Green station
The Cole Green Way runs east-west between Hertford and Welwyn Garden City. It's part of the National Cycle Network Route 61, and the Lea Valley Walk. The route stretches for more than six miles along the former Hertford, Luton & Dunstable branch line. There is free car parking (at time of writing, July 2021) with limited spaces off Station Road, Cole Green, alongside the former platform at Cole Green Station (location - https://w3w.co/drum.blitz.filed).

Heartwood Forest


One of the unpaved tracks in Heartwood Forest
One of the unpaved tracks in Heartwood Forest
Another possibility is Heartwood Forest in Sandridge (location - https://w3w.co/cope.caller.clots), which is managed by The Woodland Trust. There is free parking (at time of writing, July 2021) and several paved paths from the car park. A user of this site wrote to say that a friend on an electric-powered wheelchair was able to enjoy part of the network of routes (see comment below). A map of the routes in Heartwood Forest is embedded below.



Nickey Line


The Nickey Line approaching Harpenden
The Nickey Line approaching Harpenden
The Nickey Line (7 miles) once linked the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Luton, and Harpenden via Redbourn. Most of the route has been redeveloped as a cycle and walking path. It's part of the Oxford to Welwyn Garden City route of the National Cycle Network. According to Friends of The Nickey Line, "Park Hill in Harpenden normally has easy parking with level access for disabled people. Take care over parking restrictions especially during school times." (location - https://w3w.co/cliff.tones.parts) and (location - https://w3w.co/strut.invent.invite).

Panshanger Park


Continue following the track as it heads east and south-east back to the car park Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
One of the tracks in Panshanger Park
There is also a linear section of Walk 80: Panshanger Park long loop would work if you went from the car park and headed west from point 1 to points 16, 15, then keep heading west along the flat track to 9 before returning the same way (total of 2 miles).

There is a car park at Panshanger park off Thieves Lane (location - https://w3w.co/invent.dices.insect). A flat day rate car park charge of £2.50 for all vehicles, including motorbikes and scooters was introduced at the park on 15 July, 2021. According to the park's website, the charge will initially be in place between 08:30 and 17:30, Thursday – Monday, with the intention to charge seven days a week in the near future.

If you have any suggestions for flat routes in Hertfordshire that might be accessible for wheelchair users or pushchair pushers, please add them to the comment box below. And if you are a wheelchair user and try any of the routes mentioned, please share any tips and suggestions that might benefit others. Thanks.


4 comments:

  1. Walked in heartwood forest sandridge yesterday with a friend in electric powered wheelchair..was able to do the magical meander route..several kissing gates but he was able to manoevre through and enjoyed going through langley wood where the bluebells are in spring. May become muddy and a few slight ascents and negotiation round tree routes required. Really enjoyed then had lunch in the wicked lady down the road

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding this. You are right, there are sections of Heartwood Forest that are flat and well-paved. I forgot to add it but will now. Thanks for taking the trouble to add the information.
      David

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  2. Nicky line i think may be soon resurfaced... currently the best part for wheelchairs is starting at roundwood lane and coming off up slope near the oval...coffee shop there

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  3. Great idea. Shady walks for hot days next methinks ��

    ReplyDelete

If you try any of the walks on this site, please let us know what you thought of them. Comments are moderated, so there will be a slight delay before what you write goes live.