abbey walks

Stage 23 - Little Gaddesden to St Albans




24.5 km / 15.2 miles

Explorer maps

  181 Chiltern Hills North, 182 St Albans & Hatfield



5 - 5.5 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   290m
Total descent   408m

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The route follows parts of a number of existing paths, Herefordshire Way, Chiltern Way, signed public footpaths, an old disused railway line. It returns briefly to the old Roman Road Watling Street to then follow the Ver-Colne Valley Walk to St Albans. It passes through the medieval village of Nettled to St Albans, home of the Benedictine Abbey that was once the principle abbey of England.






Walk Description :


1 - Start and head back to the College and the same path used to reach the main road in lIttle Gaddesden. Before reaching the college road turn left along Golden Valley which soon joins the road. Continue on this as it makes its way to the main road. The road winds up an incline where it turns left, here take the footpath right into playing fields. Head to the path in the top right corner, and left between houses and straight across the road. Follow the public footpath (Herefordshire Way) through the fields along the small valley to Nettleden.


2 - In Nettleden pass through the village and turn left down Nettleden Road. Take the footpath right into the field, keeping to the right boundary. Take the path left then right (Chiltern Way) to pass between houses to reach Pottern End Hill Road. Turn left along the road and just before it reaches the A4146 turn right along Willows Lane. Take the 2nd public footpath left to pass Piccotts End Farm (ignore right turn) to reach the main A4146 road.


3 - Cross over the road and turn left on Piccotts End Road and then right along Dodds Lane. After the houses on the right take the public footpath right up the steps this will skirt around houses on the left and continue to Piccotts End Lane. Turn left along Piccotts End Lane and at the road turn left and then right down Washington Avenue. At the end cross over to the footpath and before reaching the buildings turn right to the main road.


stage 23 photo4 - At the main road turn left and at the roundabout turn right up Three Cherry Trees Lane and then left to the cycle track 57 (Nickey Lane) an old railway line. Pass under the motorway and turn right, as the path bears left turn right past Flowers Farm, up the track with the boundary hedge on the left and straight into the fields.


5 - Ignore the track left to Dane End Farm to pass through a hedge line and down onto an old lane (Hill Farm Lane). Turn left to past Hill Farm & Bohemia House to reach the A5183 (Watling Street - Roman Road) / Redbourne Road. Turn right and then take the next left signed Veoli Works. Cross over the River Ver and then turn right along the Ver-Colne Valley Walk. Follow this to re-cross the A5183 and continue following the river.









stage 23 photo6 - At the pump house turn right into the Gorhambury estate, and then left where it becomes the Hertfordshire Way. At the end of the road pass the 2nd Century Roman Theatre of Verulamium and cross the road with the church on your right into the grounds and straight on into the park. At the end of the path turn left heading towards the Cathedral. Turn right crossing in front of the pub ( Ver-C Way ) to St. Albans Cathedral.



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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.