St Albans Abbey Station to Hertford East Station

This walk is part of the trek The Route of the London Green Belt Way.

The stage starts at St Albans Abbey Station. Soon joins River Ver Path for 0.65 miles. Climbs to join the Alban Way (old railway line) all the way to and thru' Hatfield. Passes Mill Green Mill and follows Welwyn Centenary Walk thru' a golf course & The Commons Nature Reserve, then joins the Cole Green Way (old railwayline) to Hertford. Goes thru' the old part of this county town, taking in the castle and grounds, then joins the River Lea Navigation to just north of Hertford East Station.

Technical sheet
No. 12036520
A Hertfordshire walk posted on 23/07/21 by Sean Davis. Update : 09/08/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 7h05[?]
Distance Distance : 24.38km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 34m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 76m
Highest point Highest point : 99m
Lowest point Lowest point : 37m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Hertfordshire
Starting point Starting point : N 51.745652° / W 0.342773°
Ending point Ending point : N 51.800492° / W 0.073793°
Download : -


(D) Start opposite the entrance to Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre across Holywell Hill. Go north along Holywell Hill. After 100 yards and just before the bridge over the river, turn right between two brick pillars onto the River Ver Path (signed River Ver Trail).

Follow the path east along the river. After another 150 yards follow the path left across the river using a footbridge and continue right along the north bank. At 0.4 miles the path comes out next to the St Albans Sub Aqua Club at Cottonmill Lane.

(1) Then turn right along the pavement over the river and for an extra few yards. Turn left to cross over the road using the traffic island and rejoin the river path on the opposite side, now with the river to your left hand side. Continue along the path for a further 0.3 miles to just before a high bridge over the river. Just before the overhead bridge, turn right to climb steps (we leave the River Ver Trail at this point).

(2) At the top turn left over the bridge and along what was once a railway line and is now a cycle track/footpath. For the next 5.7 miles the route follows The Alban Way to Hatfield, the old St Albans to Hatfield railway line. After 250 yards follow the Alban Way straight on through a small modern housing development named Orient Close. Immediately past Orient Close we pass under the A1081, and just after this at 1 mile we pass under a railway bridge. For the next 4 miles, to the Galleria at Hatfield, the route is very easy to follow along the Alban Way, with no diversions. However, I will give a few markers as we pass them.

(3) At 1.4 miles we cross a bridge over Camp Road. At 1.8 miles Alban Way crosses Sutton Road. (Morrisons Superstore is just to the left). At 2.03 miles Alban Way passes under Ashley Road.

(4) At 2.5 miles Alban Way crosses Hill End Lane. At 2.67 miles Alban Way passes under Colney Heath Lane. At 3.8 miles Alban Way passes under an old road bridge with Station Road to the left and Smallford Lane to the right. At 4 miles under Blackberry Arch a metal sculpture created by local sculptor Diane Maclean. At 4.6 miles Alban Way crosses Ellenbrook Lane. At 4.82 miles Alban Way Passes under A1001 (Comet Way).

(5) On reaching Cavendish Way (at 5 miles) turn right along the pavement to cross over the A1(M) as it disappears underground into the Hatfield Tunnel. Immediately over the motorway turn right onto a footpath downhill to a pedestrian subway under Cavendish Way. Go through the subway and after exiting it go straight on along a path / cycle track, still the Alban Way.

(6) After 500 yards the path comes out onto St Albans Road West. Turn right along the pavement for 20 yards, then turn left to cross over the road and go straight on along the path away from the road, still the Alban Way. 280 yards later cross straight over Lemsford Road and back onto the Alban Way. After another 420 yards The Alban Way crosses over Wellfield Road by way of a footbridge.

(7) After another 600 yards cross straight over the road (Homestead Road / Ground Lane) and continue along the Alban Way. The trail is tree lined and gradually veers right. Then after 400 yards turns left and then right to a road.

Cross straight over the road (Great North Road) and cross a footbridge over the main railway line. (We have now left the Alban Way). Immediately over the Wrestler's Footbridge turn left onto path. Then out onto Bull Stag Green. Go straight on and after just 25 yards, and as the road turns left, cross straight onto an enclosed footpath.

(8) The path leads to a residential road named The Ryde. Turn right for 175 yards and just before reaching the main road (A1000) turn left into Park View. At the other end of Park View, go straight on along a cycle track which leads downhill between trees and eventually along the side of A1000. After another 300 yards cross straight over Lodge Drive. After another 160 yards turn right to cross the A1000 at the traffic island (at 7 miles). Once across, turn left on the pavement next to the A1000 and over the dual carriageway (A414 (T)).

(9) Immediately after crossing over the A414 (T), turn right, at a gap in the barrier and onto a path. The path leads downhill to join Bush Hall Lane. Go straight on along the lane, soon passing Mill Green Mill to your left hand side - now a museum. Just past the mill the lane passes over the River Lee and comes out onto another lane (Mill Green Lane).

(10) Turn left past the old red telephone box and along Mill Green Lane. Cross the road asap and continue along the lane past the Green Man pub.

Immediately past The Green Man Pub turn right onto a path down the side of the pub. Be aware, as since the pub closed, the hedgerow sometimes overgrows part of the path. Follow the path onto and across Mill Green Golf Club. NOTE: At the Green Man Pub we join another walk, Welwyn Centenary Walk. It is marked and we follow it for the next 2.6 miles.

Follow the path as it heads northeast across the golf course, soon adjacent to a sewage works, then northeast across three fairways and eventually out onto Gypsy Lane (8 miles).

(11) Turn right along Gypsy Lane for 170 yards to just before two red-brick columns with “Mill Green Golf Club” on them. Turn left past a metal gate and onto the track between the golf course and the cricket pitch, and towards a wood. On entering the woods turn right along a wide path.

After 100 yards turn left and follow the path into the woods, then eventually come out next to a golf tee. Stay left of the tee and along a track for a short distance.

As the main track turns right, stay straight on onto a narrow path into the trees. The path soon widens to a large track. Go straight on, soon passing a metal gate across the middle of the track. The gate seems to play very little purpose as the track is open on both sides.

(12) The track eventually leads to a newly built bridge over a stream. Once over, turn left along a path going gradually downhill. This leads past an open area (at 9 miles) with an information board. Soon we cross over a second footbridge. NOTE: At this point the Centenary Walk turns left, you may choose to go that way as the result will be the same. However, our route will divert here for a short distance, before re-joining the Centenary Walk in another 350 yards.

Once over the footbridge, go straight on uphill with a field to the left. At the top turn left along the top edge of the field. On reaching the far end of the field, turn left to follow the path downhill, with the field still to the left. The path soon veers right. At the bottom, turn right onto a path through the trees. We also rejoin the Centenary Walk here.

After 100 yards, where there is an opportunity to turn left and over a footbridge, stay right along a narrow path which soon becomes an elevated wooden walkway above the marshy ground. Follow this mixture of path and elevated footways staying to the main path and avoiding others off to the right. After a few hundred yards the path passes a small pond to the right and eventually comes out through a wooden kissing gate and onto an open common. It is here the route exits the nature reserve.

(13) Immediately through the kissing gate turn right along the right hand side of the common. This leads to some houses. Turn right towards the houses and go straight on along a signed footpath between houses. Follow the path straight through this housing estate crossing straight over a road, past some garages, over a second road and eventually coming out next to garages. Immediately after this turn left onto Holwell Hyde Lane. To the right after 350 yards is a double metal gate and a wooden fence. At the far end of the fence there is access. It is here where we leave the Centenary Walk.

(14) Turn right to use the access and follow the track, along the edge of wood (to your left hand side) for 170 yards. It then meets a cycle path / footpath (Cole Green Way). Turn right along the cycle path.
NOTE: If for any reason the access at point 51 above is blocked, you can achieve the same by following Holwell Hyde Lane for an extra 50 yards to a T-junction, then turn right along a grass verge for 160 yards, then turn right again to join Cole Green Way.

(15) After 0.9 miles the path leads to a subway under the A414 and within a few yards crosses straight over a lane (at 11 miles). Within half a mile the trail crosses a high bridge over Station Road and after another few yards reaches what remains of the old platform of the previous Cole Green Station. We continue to follow the leafy tree lined Cole Green Way east from Cole Green Station for just over two miles to the outskirts of Hertford. The trail is flat or gently downhill using old Victorian bridges to cross over roads. The first bridge, after 650 yards, passes over Birch Green next to its junction with Chapel Lane and Pipers Lane.

(16) After another 650 yards the path comes up to cross Staines Green. The trail continues for 0.75 miles, then crosses over St Mary’s Lane via another bridge (at 13.1 miles) and immediately past this is the old platform of Hertingfordbury Park Station.

(17) 0.55 miles after St Mary's Lane, in front is a large overhead railway viaduct. Before reaching the viaduct turn right to follow the Cole Green Way signs for a short distance to a lane. Then turn left, signed Cycleway 61, and follow this under the viaduct. After 220 yards, go straight on through the car park Hertford Town Football Club, then across a bridge over the River Lea onto a lane which leads uphill to a T-junction.

(18) At the junction turn right, then after just 25 yards turn left to cross road and up steps signed Public Footpath (at 14 miles). The enclosed path is named Wallfield Alley and climbs uphill then levels out on a ridge between gardens. After 300 yards it turns left and falls back down to West Street, next to The Black Horse Pub. Turn right along the pavement staying on the right hand side.

(19) At the T-junction turn right along the pavement and parallel to a dual carriageway, Gascoyne Way (A414), and past a car dealership. After another 90 yards turn right, then left down steps to a subway which leads under the dual carriageway. At the other end, climb the steps and go straight on to come out onto Castle Street.

(20) Go straight across Castle Street and descend into the gardens on the opposite side. The route has just entered the grounds of Hertford Castle. Follow the path across the middle of the gardens, then veer left and up past an arched gateway in an old turreted wall. At the top turn right through an opening to enter the inner grounds of the castle. After entering the walls go straight on along a footpath, then after just 20 yards, turn left along the path in front of the castle. Once past the castle, turn right, then almost immediately veer left onto a path along the river.

(21) After another 50 yards turn left to cross over a footbridge over the River Lea. Once over the river, follow the path to a car park. Turn right, through the car park and over second footbridge, then over a third footbridge. Immediately over the third, turn left around a small green area and up to the road (Mill Bridge) next to a bridge and a bus-stop.

(22) Turn right along the pavement and past the statue of Samuel Stone (to your right hand side). The road becomes The Wash and to the right is Castle Hall. Immediately past Hertford Theatre and before a large old gate, turn left to cross "The Wash" via the pelican crossing and go straight on into Maidenhead Street, staying on the left hand side. At the other end of Maidenhead Street turn left into Bull Plain.

(23) At the end of Bull Plain cross Folly Bridge and turn right. Stay right along the road for just a few yards and on approaching the Old Barge Pub go straight on along the footpath, to the right of the pub, and next to the canal. After 400 yards the towpath leads to a footbridge over Hertford Weir. Once over the footbridge turn right along the road and cross over the canal. It is just over the canal on Mill Road where we finish the stage.(A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 81m - St Albans Abbey Station
1 : km 0.57 - alt. 77m - Cottonmill Lane
2 : km 1.11 - alt. 78m - Bridge
3 : km 2.24 - alt. 92m - Camp Road
4 : km 4.04 - alt. 89m - Hill End Lane
5 : km 8.05 - alt. 81m - A1
6 : km 8.62 - alt. 78m - St Albans Road West
7 : km 9.86 - alt. 84m - Homestead Road / Ground Lane
8 : km 10.47 - alt. 80m - The Ryde
9 : km 11.38 - alt. 64m - A414
10 : km 11.66 - alt. 63m - Old red telephone box
11 : km 12.92 - alt. 75m - Gypsy Lane
12 : km 14.35 - alt. 70m - Newly built bridge
13 : km 15.3 - alt. 71m - Kissing gate
14 : km 16.02 - alt. 85m - Track
15 : km 17.57 - alt. 74m - A414
16 : km 19.84 - alt. 64m - Staines Green
17 : km 21.94 - alt. 49m - Railway viaduct
18 : km 22.46 - alt. 45m - Junction
19 : km 22.84 - alt. 47m - Junction
20 : km 23.17 - alt. 45m - Castle Street
21 : km 23.41 - alt. 42m - Footbridge
22 : km 23.56 - alt. 40m - Statue of Samuel Stone
23 : km 23.86 - alt. 40m - Folly Bridge
A : km 24.38 - alt. 39m - Hertford East Station

Useful Information

More details :

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 10km Vertical gain +66m Vertical drop -73m Durée 3h05 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Harpenden - Hertfordshire

A pleasant walk from Harpenden Common down to Redbournbury Mill, along the River Ver and then up to Childwickbury Manor and back to Harpenden.

Accommodation, Restaurant
distance 7.87km Vertical gain +35m Vertical drop -30m Durée 2h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Redbourn - Hertfordshire

Easy walking with some mild hill climbs and busy road.

Accommodation, Restaurant
distance 3.17km Vertical gain +8m Vertical drop -8m Durée 0h55 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Redbourn - Hertfordshire

Easy level walking and solid underfoot throughout.

Accommodation, Restaurant
distance 8.77km Vertical gain +63m Vertical drop -55m Durée 2h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Redbourn - Hertfordshire

Adventurous walk with steep hill climbs and a winding woodland path.

distance 10.24km Vertical gain +76m Vertical drop -85m Durée 3h10 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Hertfordshire

Starting from Hemel Hempstead Station this is a walk which can be enjoyed without a car. The station is right on the edge of the town so virtually all the route is through the open country, much of it through Boxmoor Trust land, on the plateau of the Chilterns and along the Grand Union Canal. There are lots of reminders of the history of the area from 1594 through WWII. If you are lucky you may see a couple of rare farm breeds kept on Trust land and some interesting birds along the canal.

distance 14.49km Vertical gain +100m Vertical drop -156m Durée 4h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Chipperfield - Hertfordshire

Starts at Two Brewers Inn, Chipperfield. Passes thru' Kings Langley where we join the Grand Union Canal for a short distance. Then thru' Bedmond & Potters Crouch before descending past the Roman wall into Verulamium Park and past St Albans Cathedral to finish at St Albans Abbey Station.

distance 10.39km Vertical gain +93m Vertical drop -96m Durée 3h15 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Great Gaddesden - Hertfordshire

This walk is over the undulating plateau of the Chiltern dip slope, through the parklands of some of the 18th Century mansions which dot the Chilterns. Although the land is now more given over to arable agriculture, the landscape is still greatly influenced by the great designers, including Capability Brown. A walk with great views over the Gade valley and a revelation of the life style of baronets and local squires in the 1700s and the lesser houses of their tenants.

distance 11.74km Vertical gain +157m Vertical drop -161m Durée 3h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Great Gaddesden - Hertfordshire

This walk explores some of the hamlets of the Chilterns which, although close to Hemel Hempstead retain their remoteness in their quiet locations. It goes over the typical chalk uplands of the Gade valley and up to the beechwoods of the National Trust Ashridge estate. It passes charming 17th century cottages, a vineyard, a Buddhist Temple and long established churches. The country truly merits its AONB designation.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.