Roman road, deep woodland, secluded paths
6.25 miles (10 km)
Another magnificent walk via secluded footpaths, through deep, ancient woodland and along a Roman road. This walk takes you deep into the countryside and past two small nature reserves, Balls Wood, and Danemead, which are both well worth a visit. The route also goes through Broxbourne Nature Reserve.
- Park in Brickendon and head north up Fanshaws Lane, which runs alongside The Farmer's Boy pub.
- Keep going straight until the lane veers left and, straight ahead, becomes a track. Continue straight heading north. Continue along this path through Sweeting's Wood and, eventually, between fields until you reach some cottages on your right and emerge on Brickendon Lane.
- Turn right and continue south east along Brickendon Lane for about five minutes until you reach a farm on your left. Take care along this road because there isn't a footpath.
- Just after the farm, take the footpath on your left and continue south east along the track until you reach a 'Private Road' sign. Here a path (with a red sign) runs, slightly to the right, and parallel to the road. Take this parallel path keeping the road on your left. Ignore the first path off to your right and continue.
- Look out for a path going off to your left. Take this one and head north east. This is a wonderful sheltered path between the fields which continues north east for some distance until you reach Mangrove Road, (also known, locally, as Mangrove Lane).
- Turn right on Mangrove Road/Lane and continue until it turns sharp right.
- At this point you take the footpath on your left. Soon after taking this path you will see an option to turn right and continue with the field on your left and hedge on your right.
- When you reach the woodland you veer right. At this point you will see a sign for the entrance to Balls Wood, a Herts and Middlesex nature reserve. (You can walk through the woods if you like because there is a path that runs parallel to the one you are on and emerges from the wood at the end of the field.) Almost immediately after the sign to Balls Wood the path turns left and follows the line of the wood. The wood should be on your left and the field on your right.
- Carry on heading east until the path passes through a small part of the wood and emerges between open fields (here you will see another entrance to Balls Wood). Head along this path, across a cart track until you emerge on Ermine Street, which was a Roman road.
- Turn right and follow Ermine Street south until the track becomes a path through the woods.
- You eventually reach Mangrove Road/Lane at the point where it becomes Lord Street. You simply cross over the road and head into Broxbourne National Nature Reserve. Keep going south.
- After about 10-15 mins you reach Spital Brook. Here you turn right, almost walking back on yourself, and keeping the sign to the Danemead Nature reserve on your left and Spital Brook on your right. Continue to head west through the woods - with Spital Brook on your right. The path eventually becomes an elevated boardwalk before emerging at a gate and a path T juntion.
- Turn right and head north west on what eventually becomes a forestry road. You will cross another forestry road as you continue to climb. Keep heading north west until your path emerges on the lane at Monks Green.
- Turn left through Monks Green.
- Ahe end of the village take the left hand path marked with the green sign and picture of the white admiral butterfly.
- Follow this path through several fields until you reach Brickendon. Turn left and head back to the start of the walk.