With the third and final upcoming May bank holiday weekend approaching this spring, some Hertfordshire residents may be in-need of some relaxing activities to spend their time off. The late-May bank holiday will see millions across the UK enjoying an extra day off.
As the bank holiday approaches, many residents will be organising how to make the most of the bank holiday Monday (May 29) with friends and family. An extra day off can be used for many activities, as some may want to relax while others will want to be active.
With many services affected, many residents may meet up to make the most of the day off. During the third and final may bank holiday weekend, we at HertsLive have produced a round-up of ten Hertfordshire walks that can be enjoyed by residents.
So here are ten walks to enjoy for this upcoming May bank holiday:
Wadesmill East Loop, Thundridge
The first walk on our list features a medieval church en-route that is well worth exploring. Areas of the walk can get a little grubby if the weather is poor, however if you have suitable footwear it should not be much of an issue.
The five-and-a-half mile route starts in Wadesmill and ends there as well. But during the walk, you may be able to enjoy a well-deserved pint during your travels.
Start by parking up in Wadesmill village centre and cross the river Rib on to Church Lane, before walking under the A10. Walk east through the Thundridge bridleway 54, passing the Church of St Mary and All Saints, until you reach the River Rib.
Follow the route down the river heading east onto Bridleway nine, until you reach Cold Christmas Lane. Then go north to Richmond’s Spring, through Steere Wood and Sawtrees Wood and then follow the paths back south west from Barwick Ford until you reach Aldekek Spring.
Go through Youngbury estate before reaching the A10 again, and you will return back to Wadesmill. The walk takes you past two beautiful lakes as you make your way through the park.
Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City
For our second walk, we head to Welwyn Garden City for the Stanborough Park walk. The 126-acre riverside green area – which has with two lakes, a watersports centre, walking trails and a café – has two car parks for residents to use.
You can begin your hike from either one, as the walk is a simple loop, but we will be starting at the southern car park. Beginning at the car park, walkers should head over the wooden bridge over the River Lea on the way to the restaurant and then take a right onto the path between the river and lake.
Follow this route, where you get to a bend in the river and the beginning of Stanborough Reedmarsh Nature Reserve. There is a path as well as a main path around the lake, which you can used instead and you can just ignore the next step if the weather is poor.
Take the path through the nature reserve, pursue the river, until it goes left sharply as you head towards the railway viaduct. Use the path and shortly after you will reach a raised wooden bridge that goes onto an open parkland, where you can stay left to return to the path by the lake.
Walk next to the lake and around the perimeter of the boatyard, where walkers will find the café and information centre. Hikers will discover the path next to the river again, where they should head right with the river on your left.
Then walk beneath the low A6219 road bridge to the wooden footbridge over the water, and walkers should cross this and go right with the river on your right this time. At this part, the second half of the walk starts around the northern lake.
Just before the end of the lake, there is a long wooden bridge which can be used as a shortcut to the path on the far side for a shorter route. But if hikers are in the mood for more, the path continues around the lake before leaving it and heading back towards the road bridge. Walkers should retrace the path back under this bridge to find the information centre and café, where the walk ends.
Verulamium Park and the River Ver, St Albans
Verulamium Park in St Albans is a Hertfordshire beauty spot to visit throughout the year, with its riverside paths making it perfect for a calming walk. Following the park stroll, hikers may also want to stop off for some drinks at one of the UK’s oldest pubs Ye Olde Fighting Cocks during the bank holiday Monday.
This one of several routes around the park, which starts at Moor Mill in St Albans. After a footpath behind there, walkers should pass under the M25 and turn left on the corner of Moor Mill Lane to follow the clear path through the former sand and gravel washing plant zone to Hyde Lane.
On Hyde Lan, turn left and cross the footbridge over the River Ver into Frogmore and Park Street pits. Walk towards Branch Road and then take a right to Watling Street. At the river, go right and before the bridge take a right again onto the riverside footpath.
Backtrack your path through the pits and around 50 yards before the footbridge, stay right onto a path up to the infill ridge and Park Street Roman Villa. Walkers should then take a left and go past the M25 through the footbridge on the south side walk ahead through a kissing gate, then right and left through another area of infill to Smug Oak Lane.
Use the path left to allow you to walk the perimeter of the Training College campus and travelling past Hanstead House. Hikers should then follow a bridle path to Drop Lane, where you can turn left to see the Drop Lane pumping station.
Walkers can continue on at the ford and take the footpath right to see the River Ver meet the River Colne. The area is encompassed with countryside, eye-catching scenery and calming sounds, where you can either continue walking to loop back round or come back from the way you came.
Hatfield to North Mymms, Hatfield
Our next walk is an eight-and-a-half mile hike encompassing hill climbing as well as providing great views in spring. The big trek has several pubs along the way, which are great for refreshments on such a long walk.
However, walkers must ensure they check their opening times before heading out. You start at Hatfield train station and end at Brookmans Park station, making a great route for those who may want to leave the car at home.
Starting at Hatfield station, walkers should cross the road and go east through Arm and Sword Lane until you discover Bradmore Lane. There you will take a left until you find a footpath on the right through a field, which should be followed until you see a wooden post.
Here you can take the fresher path, which brings you down to a footbridge over a small brook. Walkers should continue through the next field by using the path, before reaching a cycle path along Swanland Road.
Turn left down the road, before reaching a footpath on the west side of the road, where you can stop at the Woodman Inn if you turn left down Warrengate Road. But walkers can continue by crossing the A1, follow Tollgate Road and then use the path by the bus stop up north through another field, following the steps until you reach a pylon.
Walkers should use the right hand side split path and go north-west to Tollgate Road, which you should use until another right-hand fork takes you to Bullens Green Lane. Continue until you reach a path on the left going through a field, which walkers should use until reaching the hedge on the other side, where you turn right following the path.
On Roestock Lane, hikers you can stop off for a drink at the Chalkdrawers Arms, and then use a path north-west to head towards the Smallford Trail. Hikers should follow the trail on the old railway line all the way until you reach Hatfield.
Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin
Oughtonhead Common is a peaceful area to walk around near Hitchin for those who are very much into their wildlife and water features. Walkers can see a delightful waterfall in the common and make the most of views from the surrounding Chiltern Hills, making it an great spot for ramblers.
The walk begins in Hitchin town centre and uses the Hitchin Outer Orbital Path. This will pave the way into the common and when you have passed this you will take the Icknield Way Path and follow it in the direction of west to the village of Pirton.
Walkers will head into the Pegsdon Hills on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, where they can take in the wonderful sites of the chalk hills and wildflower meadows. After taking on the hills, hikers will go past Tingley Wood and pick up the same trails to head back to the town centre.
The Ebury Way, Rickmansworth
This next walk involves a neglected railway line between Rickmansworth and Watford, which is more than three miles in length and it closed in 1951 after operating for nearly 90 years. On this walk, residents will take in attractive of the River Colne, River Chess and River Gade as well as the Grand Union Canal.
Walkers will begin in Rickmansworth, where they can use the route from Skidmore Way which leads directly onto it. Hikers should use the path and they will eventually leave the town and go past fishing lakes on both sides.
Walkers will continue passing various habitats, including open moorlands, woods, wetlands and plenty of rivers. The walk is finished in Watford, as you come on to Riverside Road.
The River Beane, Hertford
Walks along the River Beane in Hertford offer some of the best sites of countryside around the UK. During the medieval times, the river was an area for several water mills and residents can still see some of these buildings today.
This walk takes around an hour to complete and is only close to three miles in length. Walkers will start at Stapleford’s St Mary’s Church, near Hertford, and use the the path going south along the river that bears to the right leading towards the high street.
Take a left and then walk through the village until you reach the B1037. Then make a right turn and walk until you discover a Moors Ley side road.
Walkers should cross the B1037 and use the footpath opposite south, going up a slight hill and then to the right side of the field. There will be a gate that hikers can use, and you can continue going south along the edge of the next field.
Walkers will be able to see views of the western slants of the river’s valley. The path will lead you down a slope to the riverbank at an old mill, where the path stays close to the river for some way until you reach the ford at White Hall.
This is another pub walk where walkers can enjoy a cold beverage. One this hike, residents can decide between a five mile trek, or the shorter walk of two miles.
An area of this Hertfordshire village walk was previously a sheep grazed common. However, a lot of was ploughed in 1944 due to the Second World War food shortages. The only area of down land that remains is on Telegraph Hill, which the nature lovers will adore as it is possible to see cowslip and spotted orchid.
Lilley’s hills – which are part of the chalk ridge that runs across southern England – are covered in impressive old beech trees around its edges. The Lilley Arms, located in the village, is a pub surrounded by countryside, offering several tasty meals that residents will love.
Walkers will begin on East Street – in the village of Lilley, located just outside of Hitchin – where you can try your upmost to take in the hills bursting with natural beauty. While walking along East Street, walkers should take the Baulk heading out of the village, before going downhill towards the Kingshill Plantation.
Walkers can choose to use a diversion if you want to see Telegraph Hill for wonderful views over our neighbouring county of Bedfordshire, but if not carry on along Icknield Way. Go past Galley Hill – which is filled with ancient excavated graves – and then head back along Wardswood Lane to the village of Lilley, where The Lilley Arms can be found along West Street.
Waterford Heath Loop
This walk is for residents who enjoy a small route that will not take too long, as it is two miles long through a nature reserve and along a chalk-bed river near Waterford. The paths are also clearly marked meaning you will not get lost as walk across heaths, woods and fields.
Residents can park free of charge near Vicarage Lane to start the walk off. Walkers should go to the north-west corner and use the path through the woods all the way to the open heath land, known as the North Heath.
Walkers should use the path until they find a gate heading to a path to your left, with a signpost of the black Herts and Middlesex Trust arrow. Continue through and go west, towards the river where you will find some wooden steps at the bottom.
Walkers will see a T-junction, where you should turn left going past an information board and heading towards the River Beane. You should follow the path next to the river and underneath a railway bridge, then cross the open ground and soon you will appear onto Barley Croft.
You should continue south before reaching Vicarage Lane, then turn right and head west with an eye out for a path on your left as you reach the River Beane yet again. You should turn left on the path and continue down it as it heads south beside the river.
When the path splits, walkers should use the right-hand path while keeping close to the river bank. You should follow the pathway until you reach a wooden sign post at a bend in the river, where you should turn left.
Then walk east across the field under the railway, through a gate and then up through the woodland. You will reach another T-junction, where you should turn left and head north-west trying to find a market post with yellow and black arrows.
When you spot the marker, go left and follow the path as it bends around the right side towards South Heath. Hikers will soon come across the Seacombe Road car park, which has numerous paths heading to the left.
You should take the path beside the road, which goes north-west across South Heath following the marker posts with the black arrow. At the north-west area of South Heath, you will spot a footpath to your left which heads towards some wooden steps.
Walkers should use the steps and the path through the woodland, which will take you to a gate that you should go through and continue north-west until you reach a path on your right hand side. Use this path that will lead you back to the car park alongside Vicarage Lane.
Hadley Wood to Brookmans Park
The tenth and final Hertfordshire walk for residents to enjoy is the seven-mile walk for the long distance lovers, with a halfway pub that offers a great place to relax before finishing the rest of the walk. The walk starts in Hadley Wood and walkers can stop for refreshments at the Two Brewers pub in Northaw.
Walkers will begin at Hadley Wood station by using the cycle track to the right and head north to Waggon Road, where you should go right until you reach a footpath on your left. Then follow this path north-east through various fields before you reach Stagg Hill, where you carry on across the road and onto a footpath heading to The Ridgeway and then past the M25.
Walkers should pursue their route north until you reach Coopers Lane Road, where you will make a right turn on a path until Hook Lane and then turn left and continue north again. Walkers should head through the woods until you are in Northaw, where you can enjoy a drink at The Two Brewers.
After that you can head along Judge’s Hill towards Well Road. Then use the second footpath on your right and continue walking until you reach the A1000, where you should turn right until you are on Swanley Bar Lane.
Walkers should then head left until you reach Folly Arch, where you take a right through to Gobions Wood and walk through the nature reserve west until you reach Gobions Open Space. From here, walk through the field all the way until Bluebridge Avenue and Bluebridge Road, which will take you to Brookmans Park village station and complete the walk.