Undulating, great paths, good views
8.3 miles (13.4 km)
A linear walk from Bayford station going through Bayford, across fields and through woodland to Howe Green, over the golf course to Essendon, via West End, down to Wildhill via a secluded byway, and west to Brookmans Park over the fields via Bell Bar and Welham Green. Undulating, great paths and highly recommended.
Note: If you find the map above too hard to follow, and if you have a smartphone, you can download a more details map of the above and follow it on your phone.
- Leave Bayford station and head west along Brickendon Lane watching out for traffic. There isn't a footpath along this road, but you can walk along the grass to the side of the road in places. Continue along Brickendon Lane to Bayford village.
- After passing the car park of The Baker Arms on your left, you come to a road junction with Ashdene Road going off to your left. Your way is almost straight on down the road that heads north (with the village pond on the left). This road, Well-Row, passes houses on the left and heads towards the church on the bend.
- At the left-hand bend continue with the road (taking care because there is no footpath) as it soon bends again, this time to the right by a cottage.
- Immediately after the cottage you will see a footpath sign on your left. Take this and head west through some paddocks, up the slight hill to some trees.
- Keep going slightly north-west for a short distance looking out for a path through the crops heading south-west to Bayford Woods.
- Take this path as it weaves its way through Bayford Woods and over the river via a wooden footbridge.
- When you emerge in the field, turn left and follow the path round heading south and then bending west through a gap in the hedge and up the hill. Keep heading west with the hedgerow on your right and the field on your left until your reach a track.
- Turn right on this gravel track and head north towards a large house. Just before you reach the house take the footpath on your left. Continue along this path heading west and then south until it reaches a small lane (Stockings Lane) where you turn right and head north-west.
- You will pass a large house on your right and, soon after, some cottages on your right. Here the lane bends to the left. Continue until you see a footpath on your left. Take this and follow the path until it emerges on Robins Nest Hill.
- Turn left on Robins Nest Hill and walk south for a short distance until you reach a cottage on your right. Again take care here because there isn't a footpath alongside the road.
- Immediately after the cottage on your right you will see a footpath. Take this and follow the path down the track as it heads west alongside Culver Wood and then bends north-west.
- You soon pass farm buildings on your right and you continue along the track until it reaches a field. Climb the hill and continue over the field with the large tree on your right until you reach a stile at the other side.
- Cross this stile and turn right following the path north until it reaches the lane in Howe Green.
- Continue along the lane heading west past cottages on your left. Ahead is a cottage on your right. Soon after this take the path straight ahead of you (just where the lane bends right) and continue down the hill with the quarry on your right until you reach Essendon Golf Course.
- Follow the markers and continue west across Essendon Golf Course until you emerge by the local primary school in Essendon village. Continue along the road, past the community centre until you reach the B158, Kentish Lane. Here you have the option of turning left for refreshments at the Rose & Crown, Essendon.
- Cross Kentish Lane and turn left heading south for a short distance until you reach a footpath sign on your right heading across Essendon Cricket Club.
- Follow this path west, through a gate at the back of the cricket club, through woodland, down a hill and eventually emerging at a small wooden bridge across an often dry brook.
- Cross the bridge and follow the path up the hill heading west until you reach a bridleway. This is a BOAT (byway open to all traffic).
- Turn left. At this point there is the option of taking a path on your right to The Candlestick for refreshments.
- If you are not visiting The Candlestick, continue south down the BOAT following it round until it emerges on West End Lane. Here you turn left and follow the lane round as it drops down to Wildhill. Here you can have refreshments at The Woodman.
- Leave the car park via the bachelor gate at the south end.
- Cross the field, go over a footbridge, through another bachelor gate, across another field, another footbridge and emerge into a large field via a third bachelor gate.
- Turn right keeping the field on your left and the hedgerow on your right until you reach a gap in the hedge.
- Go through the gap and head slightly diagonally to your right keeping the field to your left and the hedge to your right as you climb the hill.
- Soon you will see a path to your left cutting diagonally through the crop and climbing to the top of the hill.
- At the top follow the path with the woodland on your right until the path goes through the crop and emerges at a gate on Grubbs Lane.
- Turn left and, almost immediately, turn right and take the footpath that cuts through the crop, goes over a small footbridge, cuts diagonally across the next field, through a small cops, across a third field and emerges on Woodside Lane by the garage on the A1000.
- Cross The Great North Road with care and take the lane opposite, Bell Lane.
- If you want, you can stop for refreshments at The Cock Of The North to your left or The Dutch Nursery.
- Continue down Bell Lane until you reach Bulls Lane on your right.
- Walk down this lane, past Foxes Lane on your right and continue heading west until you see a footpath sign on your left.
- Take this, go through a bachelor gate, turn right and follow the path with the hedge on your right and the field on your left.
- At the fence turn right, take the small footbridge on your left, and continue west with the hedge on your right and field on your left.
- You will emerge at Thunder Bridge. Go under the bridge and turn left along a footpath that runs to the west of the railway.
- Follow this path south until it branches slightly to the right and goes through woodland. There will be a football pitch on your left.
- At the end of the path go down some steps and turn right crossing a small river. Continue along this path until you reach Station Road.
- Turn left on Station Road and follow it for about a mile to Brookmans Park village.
- There is a pub, a number of cafe's and restaurants and several shops selling refreshments in the village.