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Walk 3: The Water End Loop

An easy stroll from Brookmans Park to Water End and back 

2.5 miles (4 km)

Image for walk 3, The Water End Loop, created by The Hertfordshire Walker and released under Creative Commons

A gentle walk for those who live in Brookmans Park, want to enjoy an attractive ramble and not have to take the car. There is a choice of a pub halfway round. If you like horses there is an added bonus of going along a path that skirts the grounds of the Royal Veterinary College. On the way back you pass the North Mymms swallow holes.

Map for walk 3, The Water End Loop, created by David Brewer, map elements copyright MapHub and Thunderforest


  1. Begin the walk at Brookmans Park Station and head north along Station Road towards Welham Green.
  2. Just before you reach Bradmore Lane there is a path on the left which doubles back on the way you have just travelled to take you south, parallel to the railway track.
  3. Continue along this route until you reach a bridge crossing a small brook, which is often dry. Immediately after the bridge turn right and enter a field owned by the Royal Veterinary College. A footpath area has been fenced off to the south of the brook. Follow that path with the field on your left and the hedge on your right as you head west until you reach the end of the field.
  4. At the corner of the field you will see a stile on your right leading to a bridge crossing the same brook. Cross this bridge and, once on the other side, look out for a footpath gate on your left.
  5. Go through this gate and continue through Brick Kiln Wood with the brook running on your left and the wood on your right. The path soon opens out with fields on your right.
  6. Keep the hedge and brook to your left and continue. Ignore the first footpath on your left and keep heading west until the path swings to the left.
  7. At this point you join a raised walkway which continues along a boardwalk to the concrete footbridge over Mimmshall Brook. Cross the bridge. When you reach Warrengate Road turn right and walk north to the village of Water End.
  8. You eventually come to The Woodman Inn.
  9. After you pass through Water End you reach Swanland Road, here you turn right and walk along the cycle path and footpath past the garages.
  10. Look out for a step stile in the hedge on your right.
  11. Here you have a choice of routes or you can wander round and do them all.
  12. Option One: If you cross this step stile you walk through a path which weaves its way through Hawthorn bushes before coming out in a clearing where it crosses a stream. On your right are the swallow holes which are classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  13. Keep walking straight on this path until it reaches a field. Turn right and, keeping the hedge on your right, sweep round this field until you reach Bradmore Lane.
  14. Rejoin the lane, and turn left walking up Bradmore Lane as it veers first right then left until it meets Station Road. Turn right into Brookmans Park.
  15. Option Two: Instead of crossing the first step stile continue along the cycle path parallel to Swanland Road for a few more steps and you will see a footpath sign to the right. Walk down this path keeping the hedge on your right and the field on your left.
  16. You soon reach a footpath crossroads where a signpost points left to Dixons Hill Road. (If you were to turn right here you would join the route on option one and come out in the path, lined by Hawthorn, which leads to the swallow holes.)
  17. Ignore both paths and continue straight on, still keeping the hedge on your right. In the corner of this field there is a path through the hedge, ignore this path and continue as your path veers left. You will soon spot a gap in the hedge on the right with a broken step stile.
  18. This path leads down into a small dell twisting to the left before reaching a footbridge across a stream. Here there is often a rope swing for the young at heart to enjoy.
  19. Cross the bridge and continue up the bank to the right until you reach the open field. Turn right and, keeping the hedge on your left, following the path round as it rejoins Bradmore Lane. Turn left and follow the lane back to Brookmans Park.

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