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One of England’s home counties and sitting just north of London, you’ll find walks in Hertfordshire take you right into the kind of wonderful countryside England is famous for. Patchwork fields stretch for miles with hedgerow footpaths and abundant birdsong. You’re never far from a blissful walk with so many parks, woodlands and reserves so easily accessible.
Given its proximity to the vast capital and the many commuter towns in the county, it would be easy to underestimate the hikes in Hertfordshire. This is undeniably a stunning area to explore on foot however, with extraordinary ancient woods, stunning open farmland and charming market towns to stop at for a bite to eat.
With the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty stretching into Hertfordshire’s boundaries, if you like your strolls with some incline you’ll find gentle hills and beautiful views here. Hertfordshire is rich in footpaths, you just need to head out the door.
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Hertfordshire is filled with woodlands where you may well find yourself with a trail to yourself. The lovely Heartwood Forest a little north of St Albans is a planned forest grown on old agricultural land. At 858 acres (347 hectares), it’s home to hundreds of thousands of native trees and plenty of paths to explore. If you want your walks in Hertfordshire to be peaceful and heavy on nature, you’ll be more than happy here. Explore the bluebell blankets in spring and roam across the wonderful meadows.
Some of the best hiking trails amongst Hertfordshire’s trees are in Broxbourne Woods. This National Nature Reserve has thousands of oaks and hornbeams along with spring bluebells. The reserve actually covers multiple woods in the area, so pack a hearty lunch because it’s easy to just keep exploring.
Balls Wood, just to the north of Broxbourne, is another stunning woodland and brilliant for easy family walks as well as solo expeditions. Thanks to the huge number of woodland areas throughout Hertfordshire, you can walk here any time of year. You’ll usually receive protection from the elements and the woods are as magical in winter as they are in summer.
The Anglo-Saxons, Romans and the Vikings all shaped the England that exists today and this vibrant county has plenty of relics from civilisations past. If you’re after hikes in Hertfordshire that include some impressive buildings and a slice of history, you’re in for a treat.
The ruins of Berkhamsted Castle make for a compelling stop-off. This 11th century Norman castle is protected by English Heritage and gives a glimpse into the phenomenal history of the area. You can walk north from here through woods and past fields to the beautiful Ashridge Estate.
Are you a fan of Henry Moore? The famous sculptor lived in Hertfordshire, in the pretty hamlet of Perry Green. His house now forms part of a sculpture garden and it’s well worth visiting whether you’re new to his work or you wrote the book on him. You can carry on walking by working your way west to the River Ash and following it through stunning surroundings.
If you base yourself in the historic city of St Albans, you can include incredible sites on each and every one of your strolls. From the Roman town of Verulamium with its gentle paths to walks around Devil’s Dyke to the north of the city, there’s history everywhere.
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