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Walk 91: The Wadesmill East Loop

Exploring the River Rib valley

5.5 miles (8.9 km)


The River Rib along Walk 91: The Wadesmill East Loop
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
An enjoyable undulating ramble through some wonderful Hertfordshire countryside following the valley of the River Rib through open fields, woodland, across a ford, and through parkland with magnificent trees.


MUD WARNING: The part between points 9 and 10 below can be muddy. When we tested the walk (Wednesday 13 November 2019) the field had recently been ploughed and the path had disappeared, so you end up clambering over soft soil that sticks to your boots. But we have a detour (in yellow on the map) so you can avoid that section without spoiling the walk.


Directions


Map for Walk 91: Wadesmill East Loop  Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker  Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors  Note: There is a larger, more detailed map embedded at the end of these directions
Map for Walk 91: Wadesmill East Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
Note: There is a larger, more detailed map embedded at the end of these directions

You can park in Wadesmill village centre (grid ref: TL 35961 17604). Check for restrictions, but we managed to find several spots where parking is allowed.

1: Walk south down Cambridge Road, cross the River Rib, turn left on Old Church Lane in Thundridge and continue heading south-east with the River Rib on your left until you reach an underpass beneath the A10.

Point 2: After leaving Thundridge bridleway 54 take bridleway 24 heading east Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Point 2: After leaving Thundridge bridleway 54 take bridleway 24 heading east
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

2: Go under the A10 on Thundridge bridleway 54, then follow the track around to the right looking out for Thundridge bridleway 24 on your left. Take this track and head east along what is still Old Church Lane.

Point 3: The remains of the medieval church of St Mary and All Saints
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
3: Look out for the remains of the medieval church of St Mary and All Saints on your left. Worth an explore if you have time. Continue heading east on Thundridge bridleway 24.

4: When you reach a track crossing from north to south, continue heading east along the south side of the River Rib for 650m at which point the track will swing round to the right and climb the hill before reaching Cold Christmas Lane. (Be careful not to miss this swing to the right as the path heads south-east - we did and walked too far along the river bank before having to retrace our steps).

5: Turn right and head south on Cold Christmas Lane for 300m looking out for a track on your left at the point where the road turns right.

6: Turn left on Thundridge bridleway 9 and head east.

Point 7: Walk to the left of the wood then follow the path along the west side of the trees Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Point 7: Walk to the left of the wood then follow the path along the west side of the trees
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

7: After passing farm buildings, turn left, still on Thundridge bridleway 9 and head north-east.

Point 8: The junction where you can take the detour mentioned below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Point 8: The junction where you can take the detour mentioned below
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
8: At the next footpath crossing (Grid Reference: TL 38505 17500) you have a choice...

Option A - yellow detour: If it’s been raining recently you might want to take the detour to avoid a muddy field. To take this detour, turn left at the crossing (see yellow route on the maps above and below), taking Thundridge bridleway 2 and head north-west until you reach Cold Christmas Lane.

Turn right here and follow the lane north-west looking out for Thundridge footpath 11 on your right. Take this path which continues north on the west side of Sawtrees Wood until it meets the lane to Barwick Ford (and where you rejoin the route at point 11 below).

Option B - green route: Continue heading north-west along Thundridge bridleway 9. The track will turn to the right before you reach a junction with Thundridge footpath 1.

9: Here you turn left (Grid Reference: TL 38865 17713) and continue on Thundridge bridleway 9 heading north across the field. This is the bit that can get muddy, your boots might get clogged up with soil and become very heavy. You have been warned. Continue across the field until you meet Cold Christmas Lane for the second time.

10: Cross the lane and take Thundridge footpath 10 as it goes first north-east and then north across a field, through Sawtrees Wood, and then meets Thundridge footpath 11 at a footpath T-junction. Turn right and follow Thundridge footpath 11 until you reach the lane.

Point 11: Barwick Ford. There is a well-placed bench on the far bank
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
11: Turn left on the lane and head west crossing Barwick Ford. After crossing the River Rib, take Standon bridleway 62 on your left and follow it until you meet Thundridge bridleway 45 on your left.

12: Follow this bridleway south-west.

13: When you reach a fork in the track, head west, still on Thundridge bridleway 45 to the south of Tyler's Hill wood, then south-west again along the north side of Round Wood.

14: When you reach the end of Round Wood, take the path on your left which is Thundridge restricted byway 50. Continue heading south then south-west at Aldeck Spring (woodland) until you meet a T-junction.

15: Turn right on Thundridge bridleway 48 and head north-west until you reach Thundridge bridleway 39 on your left.

16: Follow Thundridge bridleway 39 south-west through the Youngbury estate. You will eventually go under the A10.

Point 17: Take the track on your right after going under the A10
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
17: Look out for a footpath on your right soon after the underpass beneath the A10. This is a continuation of Thundridge bridleway 39. Follow this path as it heads west back to Wadesmill village.

Refreshments: There are two pubs in the village, the Feathers Inn, and the Anchor.

This ramble was recommended by a local walker who posted a message on this site suggesting we add it to the collection.

They had completed Walk 58: The Wadesmill NW Loop (6 miles) and took the trouble to point out this loop to the east of Wadesmill.

Hertfordshire Walker would like to thank the poster, who goes by the name Pentelium, for the suggestion. Excellent advice, and a great walk.

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