The Herts Embraced walk begins in the morning. The adventure is to walk the whole border of Hertfordshire clockwise, on the principles I have outlined before. It is daunting in the heat we have been having, but I am hopeful of cooler days. I am counting on nothing though, and I am aware of being drained by the last week, when I was away in Germany, roasted under a hotter sun. The last walk I did to re-open a multi-day route was in October, when the cooler weather was kinder, but the daylight was shorter. This will be a new one, at a different scale and with longer days.
As before I am inviting donations to the Stroke Association (see below).
The walk starts early by Chorleywood Station, where Shire Lane marks the county border. From there, I head north, up and across the Common, to the Chess and north through Bovingdon to Bourne End, following close to or on the county border. From Bourne End the route (with the county border) heads west into the Chilterns and the Tring Salient, and I aim for Hastoe and the county top, which is at the county border a couple of hundred yards west of the village.
From there the mapped route runs north along the boundary, past Tring to Long Marston, but how far it will take me on the first day, I cannot tell – it depends on unexplored terrain and how much I still have left in me. The next day, Friday, there will be more to be done (although I have been reminded of certain civic duties to be performed that might curtail my walk.)
This is not a route to be cleared in a few days but over a series of sequential expeditions which I want to complete this summer. The idea is to test the route, verify that it can be done and record and circumvent problem stretches. Ultimately it will provide a challenge route for others – the Hertfordshire Border Walk – and a series of day-walks around our county.
Finally – the route is around the real county, the Hertfordshire, not the local government area which borrows its name. I may be a councillor, trying to ensure sound local government, but I am not beholden to local government and I recognise that home is a place, not a bureaucracy. I am doing this to embrace a county, not to find the edge of bureaucratic interference.
The Stroke AssociationPlease donate to the Stroke Association: click here.
The draft route
(See also the Hertfordshire Border Walk project page.)
The route spreads over a wide are and a series of maps is needed to complete it. It might be done with standard Landranger maps, though the additional detail of an Explorer map can be very helpful.
In the Explorer, 1:50 000 series:
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 172 (Chiltern Hills East)
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 181 (Chiltern Hills North)
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 182 (St Albans and Hatfield)
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 193 (Luton and Stevenage)
- Ordnance Survey Explorer 194 (Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford)
In the Landranger, 1:25 000 series:
- Ordnance Survey Landranger 176 (West London)
- Ordnance Survey Landranger 166 (Luton and Hertford)
- Ordnance Survey Landranger 153 (Bedford and Huntindon)
- Ordnance Survey Landranger 154 (Cambridge and Newmarket)
- Ordnance Survey Landranger 167 (Chelmsford)