GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Circular Walk Around Harpenden

18 miles (29 km)

This long circular walk makes use of a series of waymarked trails to explore the countryside, woodland and rivers surrounding the Hertfordshire town of Harpenden.
The walk starts in Harpenden where you first pick up the Nickey Line. The shared cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway track from Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden. This section of the path runs south west to Redbourn where you can pick up the Ver-Colne Valley Walk. This waymarked footpath will take you south east along the river to St Albans where you'll skirt the edge of Verulamium Park. The park is well worth exploring with it's lovely lake and the old roman walls of Verulamium still intact.
From St Albans you turn north east to pick up a section of the Hertfordshire Way to take you to the hamlet of Childwickbury. You'll pass Childwickbury Manor which was the former home of director Stanley Kubrick.
You continue east towards the village of Sandridge, passing along the edge of Heartwood Forest on the way. The forest includes over half a million trees, ancient woodland, wildflower meadows and miles of waymarked walks. Shortly after you pass Symondshyde Great Wood before coming to Wheathampstead where you can see the Devil's Dyke. Here you can see the remains of a prehistoric defensive ditch which lies at the east side of the village. The site is a candidate for the strongly defended place whereJulius CaesarfoughtCassivellaunusin 54 BC.
At Wheathampstead you pick up the Lea Valley Walk and follow it along the River Lea back into Harpenden.

Harpenden OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Harpenden Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Walks near Harpenden

Pubs/Cafes

On the route you could enjoy a pit stop in the pretty village of Sandridge at the historic Queen's Head. The pub dates back over 400 years and serves good home cooked food. There's also a nice garden where you can relax outside in one of the gazebos. You can find them on the High Street at postcode AL4 9DA for your sat navs. Just to the south of the village there's also the option of visiting Jersey Farm Woodland Park where there's some interesting flora and fauna to see.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Just to the north east of the town you will find the noteworthy village of Ayot St Lawrence. The village is notable for its connections with the playwright George Bernard Shaw and is the site of Shaw's Corner, his old residence. There's also a ruined 12th century church and a lovely pub which dates from the 14th century to see here. Near here there's Codicote where you can visit the nearby Hoo Park and enjoy some pretty bluebell woods and a rather fine old bridge over the River Mimram. The village is also very attractive with several timber framed buildings and a historic 16th century pub to admire.
For cyclists the town makes a good entry point for the epic Chilterns Cycleway. The signed circular trail runs for about 170 miles through the Chilterns AONB on quiet country lanes, visiting a series of delightful villages.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Hertfordshire Walks page.

Photos

Hemel Hempstead, The Nicky Line - geograph.org.uk - 585262

Hemel Hempstead: The Nicky Line. The trackbed of the dismantled Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden railway (The Nicky Line) viewed looking across the bridge over Three Cherry Trees Lane. The route is now a footpath and is also one of the few opened sections of the proposed National Cycle Network Route 57 that will eventually run from Cricklade in Wiltshire to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.

GOC Redbourn 092 River Ver (23890997380)

River Ver, approaching St Albans

Verulamium wall 2

Verulamium roman wall in St Albans

Childwickbury Manor

Childwickbury Manor, a Grade II listed building and the former home of Stanley Kubrick.

Devil's Dyke Hertfordshire (1)

Devil's Dyke

Wheathampstead Town Centre

Wheathampstead Town Centre

Church Green Harpenden

Church Green Harpenden

River Lee in Harpenden - geograph.org.uk - 558743

River Lee in Harpenden. Viewed looking upstream from the Westfield Road bridge, the clearness of the water is evident and most of the smaller long grey marks visible on the bed are fish.

GPS Files

GPX File

Harpenden.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Harpenden.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)