10 Spring Walks in Herts & Beds
It's official, we can now escape our four walls more than once a day. And with May being National Walking Month, what better time to lace up your boots and get set for one of our ten gorgeous local walks across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Tree hugging’s still allowed, right? LOL. Fine we’re getting desperate. But, if you do fancy a bit of forest, why not head over to Northaw Great Wood, Nr Cuffley. This massive woodland (224 hectares) is an area of special interest thanks to its proliferation of snaggly split trunked hornbeam trees, with their vivid lime green leaves. Gorg. And, there are three easy-to-follow marked trails on offer, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.
Danesbury Park, formerly the grounds of the grand Danesbury House is now a gorgeous greenspace that’s well and truly open to the public. Its mature trees house loads of local wildlife and rare-breed cattle roam the wildflower strewn grasslands. Sounds idyllic, right? Codicote Road is a good access point for the walk, with another local nature reserve, Singlers Marsh, on the other side. Just in case you’re really on a roll.
The riverside route, along the banks of the River Stort, from Bishops’s Stortford to Sawbridgeworth, is wonderful way to get a feel for this local waterway. Boaters and birdlife drift along, and you can even find orchids, irises and Meadow Sweet along the riverbank. Park at Bishop’s Stortford Railway Station, before locating the Stort Path to Sawbridgeworth. You can then hop on the train back to the car – clever, eh?
This pretty walk along the Ver Valley begins at Verulamium Museum, St Albans; BUT you could also park at Redbournbury Mill (which also has a great bakery, selling breads and cakes crafted from the Mill’s own flour on a Saturday), and do the loop from there. The two other ‘burys’ are the Grand estate at Gorhambury and picturesque Childwickbury.
Did you know that Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw lived in a beautiful Arts & Crafts house outside St Albans for 40 years? Well you do now. Walk in the writer’s footsteps on this wonderful wander beginning in Wheathampstead. Park at The Cross Keys Pub and head off from there.
Pulpit & Whiteleaf Hill Walk
Like a bit of history ith your sunday stroll? Well it doesn’t get older than the hill fort and prehistoric burial mounds on this short but hilly route. This one has it all: forest, views, the Grangeland Nature Reserve (with its beautiful wildflowers in summer) and, of course, the ancient landmarks.
This classic country ramble begins at Clophill and ends at Haynes (you have to do that clever thing with two cars, but it’s worth it). From the ancient settlement of Clophill, the walk takes you through rolling fields towards the great 18th century mansion at Haynes Park and then to the pretty Chicksands Woods before arriving at the village of Haynes, via a 14th century ruined church. Idyllic.
This stroll takes you on a historical tour of the pretty Bedfordshire village of Tempsford, just a few miles north of Sandy. En route, you can explore the site of a medieval manor at Gannocks Castle, peek into stunning churches and wander the farmlands of the Turvey House estate. If this 1.8 mile route isn’t enough of a challenge, take a look at our next entry.
This six-miler also takes you across the grand estate of the Grade I listed Turvey House. Visit the house (once it’s open again) for a dose of Neoclassical grandeur, but make sure to save some energy to explore Turvey Village, with its Saxon church, Turvey Bridge ( the oldest bridge crossing the River Ouse in the county), and Turvey Abbey – still a working monastery, now home to a community of Benedictine Nuns.
Park at the Grove Lock Pub in Leighton Buzzard to enjoy a stroll up and down the the pretty towpath, or get set for the full six miler – which will take you to Bletchley. This is a well trodden track, and a great place for a walk with the pushchair. Just be sure to watch out for the joggers, cyclists and anglers who also frequent this trail.
Our final route is a tranquil stretch of The North Chiltern Ridge, and as you would expect from the name, it involves a steep climb and stunning views. Starting at Streatley, this ramble takes you into the beautiful Barton Hills Nature Reserve, with its rare flowers and beautiful (Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White and Grizzled Skipper) butterflies.