Best Walks in Hertfordshire

If you are looking for some things to do in Hertfordshire, I have compiled a list of the best walks in Hertfordshire for you, so you have come to the right place.

Being a Hertfordshire local and having tried and tested a variety of local walks during the various stages of the Covid-19 lockdown, I thought it would be a great idea to create a list of my favourite walking routes and nature reserves so that you fellow Herts locals can try out for yourself.

And I, of course, will keep updating the list with new ones I try out.

My List of the best walks in Hertfordshire:

Hertford to Ware (and beyond) River Walk

I’m lucky enough to have this walk right on my doorstep and have therefore done this route countless times.
Starting in Hertford, you can begin the route at by “The Old Barge” pub. The route between Hertford and Ware is around 4K (completely flat terrain), and takes me roughly 40 minutes.

Along the route you will be greeted with endless greenery, a variety of birds and ducks (and ducklings come spring), cows and can even spot the odd cute cottontail rabbit here and there.

You also have the opportunity to take a variety of detours, whether that be to Hartham Common or through the adjacent fields, amongst the cows. Whatever route you decide to take you will always end up in Ware. This means that you always find your way back to the river, so there is no getting lost.

If you fancy a slightly longer walk you can carry on along the river from Ware to Stansted Abbots (or even towards Broxbourne) and admire the wildlife at Great Amwell Nature Reserve. This will give you at least an extra 50 minutes of walking time.

Difficulty Rating:1/5
Toilets: No

Pegsdon Hills

Technically Pegsdon Hills comes under Bedfordshire, but it still covers part of Hitchin, so it definitely still counts as a Herts walk.

If you want to forget you are in Herts and transport yourself to Wales then this is the walk for you.

You could probably spend a few hours exploring the fields and getting lost here. However, the most notable walking route is a 4.4-mile loop trail which will take you roughly 1.5-2 hours to complete.

As you would expect from the name there is a mixture of uphill, downhill and flat terrain walking, but overall a fairly easy and relaxing walk.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5
Toilets: No

Waterford Heath

Based in the small town of Bengeo, Waterford Heath Nature Reserve. Once a sand and gravel quarry is a great place to go if you want to experience a diverse set of landscapes.

From green woodlands (which I personally think look like fairy forests – see top left picture below), to streams and marshes, to dry sandy fields which look like something you might find in Australia and not the UK, Waterford Heath has it all.

Waterford Heath has one main walking track, the “Chalkstream and Heath Walk” which is roughly two miles long. There are however there are a number of unmarked routes for you to venture through. 2 hours here should be enough time.

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: No

Panshanger Park

Located in Hertford North, Panshanger Park is a great place to go for a nice stroll by the lakes, through the bluebell woods or the vast green flowered fields and set up for a picnic.

However, if you fancy doing that little something extra you can even go horse riding through the park (if you just so happen to have one).

You will also have the opportunity to experience some of the park’s history with “The Panshanger Great Oak” that’s over 400 years old as well as the remains of the old “Panshanger Orangery”. Whatever it is you fancy doing, there is a walking trail for you!

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: No

Ware to Thundridge loop

Starting from Ware you can walk towards the town of Thundridge via Wodson Park towards Hanbury Manor Spa.

On route, you will walk through farmland and witness rolling fields and lonely trees and after some meandering, will eventually loop back to the main road.

Again, you will need about 2 hours for this walk. However, If you want to continue further past Thundridge you can head down to the village of Wadesmill and complete the Wadesmill and Sacombe Park loop.

TIP: This is the kind of walk you want to do in dry weather only unless you like getting completely muddy that is!

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: No

Verulamium Park

Steeped in Roman history, lined with cobbled streets and home to a very impressive cathedral, St Albans has always been a popular tourist spot.

To add to it’s a line-up of attractive sites is Verulamium Park, located in the city centre right next to the Cathedral.

With a children’s play area, a splash park, an outdoor gym, lots of green space, Roman ruins (both in the park and in the Verulamium museum located nearby), and a beautiful lake it has something to please everyone’s tastes.

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: Yes

Tring – Ashridge Estate and Ivinghoe Beacon

With over 5000 acres worth of land, there is plenty of exploring to do around Ashridge Estate. Secondly, with multiple walking, cycling and horseriding route the choices are endless and the views are spectacular no matter what you decide to do.

If it’s an easy woodland walk you are after I would recommend heading to the Ashridge Estate NT Carpark where you can first admire the Bridgewater Monument.

Here you can take a look at the nearby maps to decide what trail you would like to take. With the estate being so large, it’s quite easy to get lost here (I did), so if you do happen to get lost be prepared to try and retrace your steps as phone reception is extremely poor.

If it’s rolling hills and panoramic views you are after I would suggest heading to the Ivinghoe Beacon Carpark where you can embark on a mini hike along the Ivinghoe Beacon Ridgeway.

However, if you’re after something a little more challenging, you can take the 10-mile walk from the Bridgewater Monument (found at the Ashridge Estate carpark) to the Ivinghoe Beacon Ridgeway- check out the route here.

This was one of my favourite spots, so makes it to the top of the ‘best walks in Hertfordshire’ list.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5
Toilets: Yes

Tring – Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve

Located just a 15-minute drive from Ashridge Estate, and made up of 4 individual reservoirs, Tring reservoirs Nature Reserve makes for great picnic/sunbathing spot or somewhere to take a nice relaxing stroll and watch the sunset.

My best advice would be to park at Startop’s End car park. Parking here will give you easy access to Startop’s End, Marsworth and Tringford reservoirs as well as the Grand Union Canal.

The 4th reservoir, Wilstone Reservoir, is roughly a 25-minute walk from Startop’s End car park (I decided to give this one a miss as i figured 3/4 isn’t so bad).

Finally, if you need some TLC after all of your walking, you can make a reservation at the hugely popular Champneys Tring Spa.

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: No

Dunstable Downs

Now, Dunstable Downs is actually located in Bedfordshire, but it’s so close to the Herts border and makes up part of the Chiltern Hills (which are also found in the aforementioned area of Tring) so I think this is safely allowed on this list.

Here, again, you will find beautiful panoramic views and large green rolling hills as well as 3 main walking routes, each to suit different interests.

Dunstable Downs is part of the National Trust so there is onsite parking (which you must pay for, unless an NT member) a cafe and toilets.

This is a great place to come if you want a nice easy stroll and if you are short on time. This is also the perfect place to watch the sunset behind the hills.

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: Yes

Gobions Wood

Located in Potters Bar, Gobions Wood is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a quiet family (and dog) friendly walk. There are hectares of woodland to explore, including the quaint Gobions Pond, of where you can go carp fishing.

During the springtime, Gobions Wood is famous for its bloom of bluebells and during the winter it’s known to be one of the best places in Hertfordshire to find a vast selection of fungi species.

To get here enter Gobions Open Space Car Park into your sat nav. Once you park up you will have to walk across the field and past the park to gain entrance to the woods.

Difficulty Rating: 1/5
Toilets: No

For more information on the best walks in Hertfordshire click here or you can also download the following apps:
Herts Walks
All Trails

If you are looking for more places to visit within the UK then click here for my top trips from London by car.

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