Welcome to Hertfordshire Walker

A growing collection of walks all free to download and enjoy

Walking tips

Suggestions for getting the best out of this site


Good boots, a map, and a navigation app are recommended
Good boots, a map, and a navigation app are recommended
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.
  • If the walk starts at a pub we give the name of the pub so 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. Instead we mention an area where people might be able to find a parking space.
  • Thanks to a suggestion from a user of the site called Nicola, we have started adding What3Words references for the start of each walk. These now appear from walk 120 onwards. When I have time I will go back through earlier walks and add the What3Words references to all start points.

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 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 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 left of the left-hand column on 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.

We have often been asked which walks would be suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. In the past we have suggested a few routes that might work only to be told they didn't. 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


printer friendly icon
 
If you want to print the walk directions without the pictures, just choose the first icon in the social share bar below - the green one with the printer on (see image on the right). Clicking it will launch PrintFriendly, which enables you to delete the elements of the walk you don't need, thereby saving a few trees, perhaps.

Back up map


We recommend you take an OS map or OS app with you on the walks
The OS app and OS maps 

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.

We use the excellent OS app on our smartphone. OS Landranger 166 covers most of the walks on this site.

If you want more detail, the OS 182 covers many of the walk, and OS 174, OS 194 and OS 193 cover the rest.

We have an annual subscription to the OS smartphone app which works out cheapest because we travel the country walking and previously had to buy loads of maps.

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 followed on mobile devices
We have added interactive maps to the bottom of all our walk pages. These have been created on MapHub and contain KML and GPX files which we offer at the top of each walk just below the static map. The files enable anyone with a GPS tracking app on their mobile device to download the files in order to help with navigation. Click on the link and the file will download. Open the download with your preferred GPS tracker and you are all set.

We recommend you follow the route on your app’s map rather than using the voice prompts which, in our experience, can be confusing if paths are close together. Much better to follow the moving marker to ensure you are on the right path.

Thanks to one of our regular visitors, Daniel, who suggested this addition to the site.

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.

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.


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