Woodland paths and lanes
4.06 miles (6.5 km)
You can do this walk from either The Candlestick or The Woodman. The figure of eight involves retracing one bit of the track for 0.4 miles, but it's no hardship. The part you cover twice will be uphill if you start and finish at The Woodman and go counter-clockwise, and downhill if you start at the Candlestick and go anticlockwise. The reverse is true - if you follow all that.
- Park at The Woodman, Wildhill and go through the gate just below the beer garden and on the east side of the car park.
- Take this footpath (Hatfield footpath 85) and cross the field walking diagonally to the right and climbing until you reach a gate in the hedge. The horses in this field can be a bit excitable at times.
- Cross the next field until you reach a second gate, go through it and proceed keeping the woodland on your left.
- Soon the path crosses the field to the hedgerow opposite where the path reaches the B158, Kentish Lane.
- Cross the B158 and turn left, walking north with the road on your left.
- When you reach the turn off for Wildhill on your left, cross the road with care and continue along Kentish Lane, the B158 but walking on the left (west) side of the road. (The safest place to cross is probably just before the bend).
- Continue walking alongside the B158 until you reach a sign on the left just before a house. Turn left.
- Take this footpath (Essendon footpath 15) and pass the house continuing until you reach a farm gate. After the gate turn right and follow the track down through a tunnel of trees in Duncan’s Wood.
- The path drops down to a footpath junction in the woods. Here you turn left (Essendon footpath 16) and head north-west keeping the brook on your right.
- Cross a small footbridge and climb the hill keeping the hedgerow on your right and the field on your left.
- When you emerge at the top you will join the BOAT (byway for all traffic) between Wildhill and West End (Essendon BOAT 14).
- Turn left on this byway and head south-west eventually emerging on West End lane. Turn right and continue along this quiet lane to The Candlestick.
- Immediately after the Candlestick pub take the path to the right (Essendon footpath 13) which leads down to the BOAT.
- At the bottom, turn right (Essendon BOAT 14) and continue along the byway until you reach the lane again - in about a mile.
- Turn left on West End Lane and follow it heading south, then south-west and then south again until you reach Wildhill Lane.
- Turn left and return to the car park at The Woodman.