The countryside in Hertfordshire may be known for gracing the Chilterns on its south west, but there are plenty more local trails and walks to be had throughout the county. Some of these cover history, ancient villages and natural wonders. These walks aren't just worth doing in the summer; Winter is the perfect time to lace up your boots, get your daily dose of exercise and maybe even see some snow on the fields alongside the deer.
Known for its church which inscribes some historic phrases about the plague in the 14th century, the first stop, Ashwell, is the perfect start for this trail which takes in three villages in just over six miles. After having a wander through Ashwell you’ll reach Newnham Hill which has beautiful views over the rolling country before seeing the grand Caldecote Manor. And finally, finish at the charming small village of Hinksworth.
The Grand Union canal stretches for almost 140 miles across England from London to Birmingham, but you can enjoy a small slice of it on a walk along its towpath between Berkhamsted and Tring. Taking in lovely countryside and spotting some canal boats during the four and a half mile route, this walk will make sure you take in some history as well, passing some lock keepers' houses along the way. Some people even venture to walk the whole length of the canal so keep an eye out for the professionals!
This route just scrapes the surface on the vast expanse of history available in St Albans and its surrounding area. Beginning the walk just outside the city, near the Westminster Lodge Running Track, take the gravel path towards the London Gate and check out the Roman wall which remains the longest surviving section of the great walls. Once you have navigated the Roman ditches, head towards Verulamium and pay a visit to the museum which documents the third largest Roman city in Britain. Once you’ve taken in all the conquering knowledge you can, make for a final stop in St Albans with its large cathedral and abbey gatehouse.
The village of Wheathampstead has over 10,000 years of history and is ranked as one of Hertfordshire’s prettiest villages. This heritage trail, which was launched in 2012 by Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter and his wife, takes in the fifty plus listed properties in the village. It can be done within just over a mile for a short afternoon stroll via the green signposted route. Alternatively, you can stretch out and the see more of the local area by heading towards Marshalls Heath via the northern Roman road, following the Lea river path on the return. A perfect historic afternoon!
We’ve all been there, heading off on a long ramble, relying on our sense of direction and getting fairly lost in the process…. But now getting back on the right track has never been easier thanks to Hertfordshire’s Google My Map, allowing you to store all of Hertfordshire’s rights of way on your phone! With all the certified tracks and trails downloaded safely in your pocket, you’ll be able to discover new routes and explore over 3000km of rights of way effortlessly.