Hertford and the Cole Green Way

The weather was holding after my fitness session this morning so we decided to go out for a walk.  It proved to be an excellent decision as the afternoon stayed sunny for us.  We chose a walk over at Hertford, which was a town neither of us had been to before, and we were very impressed with the town as we walked back through it from our free parking place to our start point at the war memorial in Parliament Square.

Hertford war memorial

Hertford war memorial

From the magnificent war memorial we turned right towards the River Lea and then left into the grounds of Hertford Castle.  Well, what is left of the Castle anyway.  We walked briefly beside the River Lea then turned left in front of the restored gatehouse of the Castle,

Restored gatehouse of Hertford Castle

Restored gatehouse of Hertford Castle

then left again and continued to the right of the remaining Castle walls, which do look stunning,

The Castle walls

The Castle walls

before going out of the grounds and under a subway to take us to the other side of the main road, then turned right and walked until we reached West Street.  It was a pleasant, if somewhat convoluted, way to get from the town to the other side of the main ring road.  We passed the Black Horse pub and immediately turned left, following an enclosed path which took us along the back of gardens before it descended by steps to the road.  We crossed that and took a track to the left, following a Cole Green Way sign, going over a bridge across the river and coming out at Hertford Town Football Club.  To be honest, the walk itself could just as well start here, and the town and Castle could be treated as something away from the walk.

We joined the Cole Green Way, the former railway line between Hertford and Welwyn Junction, now converted into a footpath, cyclepath and bridleway.  A fence-lined track took us under an imposing railway viaduct into woodland, and we turned left on to the tree-lined track.

The railway viaduct

The railway viaduct

It was a straight, flat walk, and if we had simply stayed on the Cole Green Way it would have remained that way, but, thankfully, the route took us off on a detour into some more of the surrounding countryside.  At a blue-waymarked post we bore left down some steps to a lane, carried on to the left until we turned right across the lane at a public bridleway sign and walked by the left edge of woodland, and then past a cornfield, before we entered woodland for a while.

We came out of the woodland back into the sun and soon found a sign pointing right for East End Green.

There were some good views on the walk

There were some good views on the walk

This took us beside and then around Grotto Wood, so named because it used to be the location of a grotto, and as we skirted it we soon came to a crossing at a quarry track.  This took us onto another enclosed path, which in turn led to a lane, which then brought us into fields.  It has to be said it had not been the most inspiring scenery, but it was good to be out in the countryside, enjoying the sun, and not encountering anybody else as we walked along.  The fields we walked through were very pleasant,

The fields

The fields

and they soon brought us back to the Cole Green Way, which we followed back to Hertford, passing Spiderman on the way.  When we got back past Hertford Town Football Club to the road, we just followed it round to the left, rather than taking the track behind the gardens we had used on the way out, and found that it was a much easier way to get to the Black Horse pub.

We walked back to the castle to see if we could get an ice cream, and were in luck because there was not only an ice cream van, but also a brass band, Watford Band.

Watford Band

Watford Band

We sat down on the grass to enjoy both, and listened to Rock Around The Clock, then Life On Mars by David Bowie, but then Angels by Robbie Williams and a medley of hits from The Village People meant it was time for us to head for the car and drive home.  It had been a pleasant 5.5 mile walk.

You can see more of my photographs from the walk here.

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