In August, I will begin to walk the Hertfordshire Border Walk; a walk all around the borders of the county. It consists of a series of linked paths which together form a ring about the county and, following the WildþingUK philosophy, it follows strictly the border of the traditional county, a shire over a thousand years old, not a transient administrative area that borrows its name. This then is a path to embrace the county, not to find the edge of bureaucratic interference.
The first question is “Boots v Bike“. The first planned stretches are largely on bridleways which can be explored on a bicycle. Where the path narrows to a path, I would have to wheel the bike: inconvenient, but not as bad as once carrying it over my shoulder as I edged along a Cornish cliff above the rolling Atlantic. A bicycle can carry more miles, and all under my own steam, but is it cheating? That is to be worked out in the coming weeks.
Of the paths and bridleways used to form the route, many of these are lesser-known tracks leading to parts of the county largely unseen; others are footpaths between villages; others may be broader tracks striding a long distance across the shire. All folk of this shire then are cordially urged to come out and to find those edgy parts of our county, parts at the fringe, which you might not know, or if you do know them then come anyway.
In parts, Hertfordshire’s border line is jagged, and in the north among the Chilterns in particular there are deep spurs and hooks of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire winding round each other, so for the sake of sanity the path must on occasion cut across half a mile or so of a neighbour, but these are kept to a minimum.
However it is drawn together, this is a long route, which would take a couple of weeks to walk in total. I will blitz the first few days (before job and duty call me back) and then finish the rest over separate weekends.
Until the walk is walked, it is no more than a line on a map, and therefore it must be walked.
As before, I will invite donations to the Stroke Association, and will attempt to record my walk as I go on WildþingUK. Wish me luck.
Please donate to the Stroke Association: click here.