Walk 66: Danemead Loop

A medieval moated enclosure and Roman road

3.23 miles (5.20 km)


Photograph of The information board outside Danesmere Nature Reserve Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The information board outside Danesmere Nature Reserve
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

This walk starts and finishes at the Danemead Nature Reserve car park, and passes through woodland steeped in history. Visit the site of a medieval park keeper's lodge surrounded by earthworks and close to the site of an old castle. The route also involves part of a Roman road called Ermine Street, and a short stretch of lane walking. Take refreshments because there are no pubs or shops on the route. The route can be muddy after rain, so waterproof boots are recommended.


Map of Walk 66 Danemead Loop Image created with Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
Map of Walk 66 Danemead Loop
Image created with Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors


Park in the Ermine Street, Martin's Green free car park off Cock Lane. Don't make the mistake we did of taking a turn a short distance earlier and ending up in the Danemead car park, because this is private and belongs to a scout group.

Directions


1: From the car park walk north along what was once Ermine Street. You will soon come across an information board on your left in front of the medieval settlement set back behind a moated enclosure. Continue heading north until you reach the ford on the south side of Hoddesdonpark Wood.


The information board for the medieval moated settlement close to the start of the walk Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The information board for the medieval moated settlement close to the start of the walk
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Photograph of The medieval moated settlement behind the information board close to the start of the walk Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The medieval moated settlement behind the information board close to the start of the walk
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


2: Here you cross the Spital Brook via a wooden footbridge, go through a wooden bachelor gate and turn right, following the path as it heads east with the woods on your left and fields on your right. Ignore any paths to your left and continue until you reach the end of the woods. You will see a path that has been blocked ahead.


Photograph of Spital Brook, crossed by a wooden footbridge Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Spital Brook, crossed by a wooden footbridge
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

3: Turn left here and head north keeping the woods on your left and the fields on your right. The noise from the A10 can be heard in the distance, but you will soon lose it as you continue deeper into the Broxbourne Woods Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire's only national nature reserve (pdfs with walks in Broxbourne Woods embedded at the foot of this piece).


photograph of The five-way crossing mentioned below. You take second left. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The five-way crossing mentioned below. You take second left.
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

4: At the footpath five-way crossing take the second path on the left which heads diagonally north-west through the woods. This is a lovely path with several dedicated benches on your right. A great spot to stop for a picnic. When the path reaches the northern edge of the woods continue with it as it bends to your left and starts heading south-west.


During section 4 of the walk you follow way-marked signs Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
During section 4 of the walk you follow way-marked signs
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

5: Rejoin Ermine Street and follow the path due south until you return to the ford and river crossing you passed earlier.

6: At this point cross two footbridges and make for the information sign at the entrance of Danemead Wood. Enter the wood and follow the path round a meadow until you reach a wooden bachelor gate, another sign for Danemead Wood, and a track.

7: Turn left on the track and head south. When you reach the lane you have two choices. You can turn left and head back to the car park, or continue south along the lane for a short distance looking out for a footpath on your left. Be careful here and walk against the traffic. There is no footpath at this point, but you can step off the road onto the verge if traffic approaches.

8: When you reach the footpath on your left take it and follow it north back to the car park.



Interactive Map


Below is an interactive map for those who want to access via smartphone.




More information about the area





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