Welcome to Hertfordshire Walker

Tips

Good boots, a map, and a navigation app are recommended
Good boots, a map, and a navigation app are recommended

Suggestions for getting the best out of this site


The list of suggestions below is to help you enjoy our walks to the maximum. They cover what you should take, how to print the pages without using too much paper, and how you can share your own tips and comments after completing the walks.

Finding the start point


When mapping our walks we offer a number of ways for people to find the start point.
  • We usually add the road/lane/street name and village so those with satellite navigation can pop the details into their device.
  • We also add What3Words references to the start/finish points and at various important junctions mentioned along the way, see below for more details.
  • If the walk starts at a pub we give the name of the pub and a link so that walkers can look it up and find the right address.
  • We rarely advise on where to park in case restrictions change after the walks are published.
  • We don’t add postcodes because in some rural areas this can be associated with a particular house.

Choosing the right walk


There are several ways of finding a walk that suits your needs.
  • We have a list of all the walks and their lengths in the left-hand column of the website.
  • There is also a page that lists all the walks on the site.
  • There is a box in the left-hand column of the website where walks are grouped by their length, so you can click on the distance you want to walk to see all the walks in that category.
  • We have a page setting out a selection of flat walks which we put together after a request from one of our regular users.
  • There is a page that lists every pub mentioned on our walks, so you can pick a pub and see which routes pass by.
  • We have an interactive map where the start/finish points for all the walks are marked, so you can zoom in on that map to find one near you.
  • And you can use the search box at the bottom of the website and enter the village or location you would like to visit.

Wheelchairs and pushchairs


The majority of our walks involve sections with narrow footpaths which are often overgrown with brambles and nettles. The routes also involve byways that can be muddy after rain and rock-hard and rutted during dry weather. All our walks cross undulating countryside. Most features stiles, narrow gates, steps, and footbridges.

As mentioned above, we have often been asked which walks would be suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. So we've created a page of flat routes that might be suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users.

There is also a linear section of Walk 80: Panshanger Park long loop would work if you went from the free 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).

Hertfordshire County Council's Rights of Way team has done a great job replacing old stiles and wooden gates with wider, aluminium gates, but there are still parts of the county‘s network of public footpaths, bridleways, and byways that would be difficult for those attempting the routes with a wheelchair or pushchair. Footbridges and stiles can fall into disrepair and become impassable and the council depends on walkers to alert them when a path is blocked or in need of work. You can also alert the council if you encounter a problem with the rights of way - see our section on reporting faults.

There is a national site that is building a database of routes suitable for wheelchair users.

Tree-friendly printing


If you want to print the walk directions without the pictures you can do so by using the PrintFriendly tool.

PrintFriendly allows you to delete any elements of the walk that you don't need

printer friendly icon
 
The icon, a white printer on a green background (shown on the left), is visible on the website only. It is at the bottom of the page immediately beneath the interactive map.

If you are using the mobile version of the site you can get to the PrintFriendly icon by scrolling down to the bottom of the page then clicking on the 'view web version' link. That will then load the web version on your phone.

You then scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find the green PrintFriendly printer icon under the interactive map.

If you click on it the page will load in PrintFriendly allowing you to delete any elements you don't need before printing.

Back up map


You might want to carry an Ordnance Survey map to check routes
You might want to carry an Ordnance Survey map to check routes
We recommend you always carry a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey (OS) map with you so you can check against our directions and maps. The OS Landranger 166 covers most of the walks on this site. Depending where you are walking, and if you want more detail you might want to take OS 182OS 174, OS 194 and OS 193. Alternatively, for the price of little more than three maps a year, we subscribe to the OS app, which, gives us access to every OS map in the country.

KML and GPX


You can use KML and GPX files with the walks on Hertfordshire Walker Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Our walks can be downloaded free-of-charge to mobile devices
If you prefer to follow our walks on a mobile device you can do so in two ways.

The first is by using GPS. It's a bit like using a sat nav in a car. The route will be transferred to a map and your position will be shown with a marker which will move as you move. It will also prompt you when you are straying away from the route, so you are less likely to get lost.

We offer free GPS downloads for all our routes. Simply pick the walk you want, open it, scroll down to the static map under the walk's 'Directions', then click on either the GPX or KML files to start the download.

Once the file is downloaded to your device you can open it using your preferred GPS tracker. We use both the free Komoot app, the free GPS Tracker, and the paid-for Ordnance Survey (OS) app (mentioned above) to follow and test our routes. There are several free GPS apps which you can download for Android or IOS phones.

The image above shows one of our walks dowloaded to the paid-for OS app. Below are images of one of our walks downloaded to the free versions of Komoot and GPX Viewer.

One of our walks downloaded to the free version of Komoot
One of our walks downloaded to the free version of Komoot

One of our walks downloaded to the free version of GPX Viewer
One of our walks downloaded to the free version of GPX Viewer
The other way to follow our walks on a mobile device is to go to Hertfordshire Walker, pick a walk, then scroll through the directions, maps and photographs using our mobile-friendly version (see below).

The mobile version of Hertfordshire Walker
The mobile version of Hertfordshire Walker
The mobile-friendly version appears by default if you are accessing Hertfordshire Walker on your mobile phone.

As you can see from the image above, the mobile version has a different layout to the online site. This is because it is optimised for the screen size of the mobile device being used.

If you prefer to use the website version on your mobile phone you can switch with one click. Just scroll to the bottom of any page and click on the "View web version" link and it will change displays.

Smartphone power issues


We always carry a fully charged power bank on all our walks
We always carry a fully charged power bank on all our walks

One of the regular users of Hertfordshire Walker said that they didn't use the free GPS navigation files that come with all our walks because they were worried that doing so would drain their smartphone battery.

I always carry a fully charged power bank and a power connector. Mine is an Xtorm Fuel Series 18W (see image above). It can charge two phones at once and is an essential piece of kit if you are worried that you might end up with a dead phone when you are out walking. My power bank cost about £25.

I don't often have to use it, but when I am doing a 6-10 mile walk and using GPS, taking photographs, recording What3Word location references, and making notes on my phone, it's good to have that extra power in reserve.

What3Words location references


A What3Words location reference on one of our walks
A What3Words location reference on one of our walks
We have added What3Words location references at every major junction on all our walks. What3Words has "divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words".

What3words references are as accurate as GPS coordinates and can help you ensure that you are in the right place.

Here is an example (location - https://w3w.co/copy.spring.pass). That location is taken from Walk 181 in our collection. If you click on the link you will be taken to a map. Click on the satellite view option (bottom right of the screen), and you will be shown a satellite image of exactly where you should be, see image above. Zoom in or out for clarity. Then click the location button (the circle with a dot in the middle) to see where you are. You can then compare your location with where you should be, then check the directions in our walk to get to the right place.

With our free GPS files, maps, directions and W3W we hope you will never get lost.

Getting lost


Image by Vera Kratochvil released under Public Domain Licence
Image by Vera Kratochvil released under Public Domain Licence
All our routes follow public rights of way or permissive paths. We do not create walks that trespass on private property.

So, if you are following one of our routes and come a cross a sign saying 'private' or 'no entry', please stop. You have gone the wrong way.

Check the directions and W3W references and, better still, the GPS navigation files to get back on track.

Hertfordshire Walker can take no responsibility for people who trespass because they have misread the directions.

Footpath names and numbers


All footpaths in Hertfordshire have names and numbers. These include reference to the parish they are in.

We include those details in the directions for our walks so that ramblers can cross-reference with the Hertfordshire County Council rights of way (ROW) map if they choose.

Please be aware that the signs on the paths sometimes contain the numbers, but not always, and they never contain the parish names.

Posts along the way displaying the ROW signs often have the numbers written on them, which is why we include them in the directions.

The Hertfordshire County Council ROW map




Compass points


It's worth carrying a compass, or a compass app, on our walks
It's worth carrying a compass, or a compass app, on our walks
We add compass points such as ESE (east-south-east) and NNW (north-north-west) to all our walks to try to help those following the routes on traditional maps and using compasses to navigate their way around. The illustration above gives a rough idea of how those points work.

What to wear


We recommend you wear water-resistant boots for our walks. Some of the footpaths cross fields of wheat or rape, which can result in you getting wet after rain or in the early morning. Also, many paths go through long grass, which can be heavy with dew if you are starting the walks early.

We always have three pairs of boots on the go. One pair for the longer and more rugged walks we do, lighter boots for summer walks, and wellies for walks where we expect to get muddy and wet - especially in the winter months.

We also recommend you wear long trousers that dry out quickly, or carry a stick to push back any nettles that encroach on the path.

Insects


There is always the risk of being bitten by an insect when walking in the local countryside. The NHS has issued some simple advice on avoiding insect bites, particularly from ticks. To reduce the risk of being bitten:
  • cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks.
  • use insect repellent on your clothes and skin.
  • stick to paths whenever possible.
  • wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot and brush off.

Livestock


Some of the walks go through fields where livestock graze. At certain times of the year, particularly during the spring and summer, animals may be more frisky. Please take care at all times. And if you have dogs, please obey any warning signs or requests to keep your pets on a lead.

Pubs


Many country pubs have been struggling due to the economy and Covid. As a result, some of those mentioned in these pages may have closed. So please check before setting off on your walk. Unfortunately we are unable to keep tabs on all the pubs in order to update the information.

We have a list of all the pubs mentioned on our walks in the left-hand column of the website and on our ‘Pubs on our walks’ page featured on both the website and the mobile version of the site.

Reporting faults


If you see any overgrown or blocked paths, broken signs, rotten footbridges or any problems with the rights of way (ROW) in any of our walks, please report them directly to Hertfordshire County Council's ROW team.

We have also added a note to all walks that cross golf courses via public rights of way so that those walkers who want to avoid them. If you are shouted at or abused when crossing a golf course please report the incident to the HCC ROW team and they will look into it.

Leave a comment


We love hearing from people who have enjoyed our walks. Please leave a comment in the box beneath every walk. You might have spotted a mistake in my directions, or you might have a suggestion to make about the route, or some other information to share about the local history or environment. All contributions are welcome. Comments are pre-moderated, so there will be a delay in your comments going live.

Share on social


There are social share buttons on every walk. If you liked the ramble, please consider sharing your experience and letting others know.

About this site


You can find out who is behind this site along with some tips for preparing for the walks by visiting our about page. Information about the content that appears on the site is set out on our copyright page.


This site is supporting the Trussell Trust

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