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DAY OUT RECOMMENDATION IN HERTFORDSHIRE | 5 mile circular walk from Chiswell Green, through Frogmore Lakes, alongside River Ver and back round through Bricket Wood and Park Street

By Emma McNamee – 10th February 2020

Why I love this walk

We’re really spoilt for choice in Herts with the abundance of options around us for countryside walks.   And just on the outskirts of St. Albans, here you have one of my regular local favourites as it’s literally on my doorstep and has real variety along the way from lakes to open plains to riverside walks.  Kids love this one too as there are various possibilities en route for them such as playparks and stepping stones over the river.  It also allows my friendly furry companion to be off a lead for the majority of the walk.  Happy dog & kids = happy me.

Your Starting Point

Your starting point is Greenwood Park, at the entrance via Tippendell Lane in Chiswell Green.  There is also a car park here if you’re driving to your starting point.  You’re going to be leaving the park to head towards Park Street with the first half-mile of the walk being roadside, so you may want to explore Greenwood Park first at leisure.  If you’re with kids there’s a good-sized playground with zip wire, sandpits, see-saw, and various climbing frames.  There also football pitches and some lovely woods where dogs love chasing the squirrels if you head to the top of Greenwood Park past the tennis courts and community centre, across the fields.  So take the time to enjoy Greenwood Park in the heart of Chiswell Green before or after your walk.

Frogmore Lakes & Pooh Sticks

As you start the walk, head out of Greenwood Park by the bottom playground exit, heading left along Tippendell Lane to the roundabout at the bottom.  Take the overhead bridge over the dual carriageway to the bottom half of Tippendell Lane, and follow the footpath on the right down towards Park Street, crossing over a couple of minor roads and under an arched bridge.

Immediately after the bridge take the footpath right, passing alongside another playground to your right with a field on your left.  This is where you can let your dogs (and children) off the lead to run wild!  At the end of the field cross over the little pathway that is the entrance to a local school,  and continue through metal barriers on to the gravel footpath ahead.  This will lead you alongside River Ver and Frogmore Lakes where you may see some leisurely fishing taking place.  The lily pads floating on the water and the reeds and rushes make for some lovely photography, especially if you manage to catch the sun shining down through the trees and reflecting on the water.

Continue straight on in the same direction, at one point you’ll have lakes on either side of you, then you’ll come to a wooden footbridge leading you over the river into a small car park.    Have a game of pooh sticks on the bridge – there’s a little kid in all of us!

River Ver Riverside Walk

Again, continue straight on in the same direction, through a kissing gate and across an open plain  – there’s a natural grassy path route to follow through the middle of the open area.   At the other end, follow the path around a metal gate and then take a right after the building yard along a narrow path, walking along the outside of its walls at the far end. This path will join you up again with River Ver, where you follow it round to the left, under a bridge, and come out at Moor Mill, part of the Beefeater restaurant group.

This is a fab eatery with both indoors and outdoors food options, and a small playground in their back garden field if you want a spot of lunch or even just a drink stop.   This is one of your 2 options for a food/pub stop en route.

Continue along the tarmac driveway that leads you back to the road entrance of Moor Mill.   Cross over the road, and turn right, starting to head up the hill, but immediately then take a left to join the footpath just before the Drop Lane road entrance.  Follow the footpath past the carpark, then alongside a wooden fence on your right, over a little bridge and you’ll then find yourself on the ¾ mile bridle pathway alongside River Ver.   There are a few benches along the way if you’re looking for a picnic spot.

Rounding back round to Bricket Wood and Park Street

Follow the bridle path to the end, with the woodlands to your left, and turn right over the metal bridge to join up with Drop Lane.  Turn left and follow Drop Lane.   There is no footpath, you’re essentially just following the road at this point, though it’s fairly quiet and there are not usually many cars as this road is really only used for access.   As it curves round to the right, there’s a nice little spot here in River Ver with stepping stones the kids love to jump across, if the water’s not too high from recent rainfall.  Otherwise, follow Drop Lane as it curves right, up a gentle hill, round to the left and round to the right again, to eventually bring you out in the heart of Bricket Wood.

When you come to the T junction at the end of Drop Lane, turn right and follow the main road round over the bridge.  At the bottom of the bridge you will see your second option  for a food or beverage stop – The Gate.   This local Bricket Wood village pub just reopened in March 2020 under new management.  With the Covid-19 lockdown then taking over, I’ve not yet had a chance to set foot inside.  However, taking a look at their website I like their ethos already.  It’s a cosy village family pub with hearty, home cooked food.

They’re not chasing Michelin stars or trying to be a gastro pub – that’s not what you necessarily want when you’re out for a 5 mile stroll with the family.  Kids and dogs are very much welcomed – they’ve got a kids corner with board games and a beer garden.   I can’t wait to try out their British Tapas menu when we come out the other side of this pandemic.    In the meantime, I may just have to order one of the takeaway pizzas they’re doing during lockdown.

Homeward Bound

Before I get too carried away thinking pizza and pubs, let’s get the rest of this walk underway!  Once you’ve gone over the bridge, cross the road and follow the path round to the right.  The footpath alongside the road will have you cross over to the other side of the road in order to continue along it, as there’s only a footpath on one side.  Follow the path over the motorway bridge, crossing back over to the other side of the road again to pick the main pedestrian footpath as you pass white wooden gates on either side of the road and enter the village of Park Street.

Continue along the footpath into the residential area of Park Street and when you get to How Wood road turn left and continue to follow the road here.  It will bear round to the right and then just beside the speed bumps before the row of shops, and just before Ringway Road, take the footpath to the left signposted Bridleway.   Follow this path to the end – there’ll be woodlands on your right and some fencing to your left and it will bear round to the right bringing you out alongside the dual carriageway.

Turn right at the end and follow the path alongside the wire fencing of a playground area walking parallel to the dual carriageway between the trees and the fencing.   The path will lead you to (carefully) cross the dual carriageway.  Hold on to any kids or dogs tight at this point!  Continue right then on the footpath on the other side of the road parallel to the dual carriageway and you’ll end up back at the roundabout at the bottom of Tippendell Lane, with Greenwood Park in front of you.

Thanks again for joining me on one of my favourite local walks.  If you’re on Instagram be sure to follow me @girlabouthertforshire as well where I’ll be sharing many of my local rambles around Herts.  If there are any you’d like to recommend for me to try out in my explorations around Herts, do tag me in and use the hashtag #favouritewalksinherts

With love,

Emma x

 

To find out more about the facilities in the area visit the relevant website: https://ststephenparishcouncil.gov.uk/facilities

https://facebook.com/frogmore-fishing-lakes-328991024464206/

https://thegatebricketwood.co.uk/

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