• Start: Moor Mill, Smug Oak Lane or Bricket Wood
  • End: Moor Mill, Smug Oak Lane or Bricket Wood
  • Country: England
  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Falcon and The Overdraught pubs plus café.
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 182
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Time to blow away the cobwebs and make up for all those festive treats with a Ver Valley walk, courtesy of the Countryside Management Service...

PLATEFULS of turkey and roast vegetables coupled with Christmas pudding and handfuls of sweets and chocolate this festive season will make you feel sluggish but a two-hour walk will help bring back that energy.

The Countryside Management Service has just the thing with another of its Ver Valley Walks the Confluence Walk near London Colney.

The walk straddles the M25 but this is a good time to do it as the noise of passing trucks will be less obtrusive over the holiday period. The walk can be joined at various points in Frogmore or Bricket Wood or at the Moor Mill pub and restaurant. The walk, one of a series of eight circular walks on the River Ver and part of the 17-mile-long linear River Ver Trail, is in an area where man has made a major impact on the landscape and yet there are several attractive features along the route.

Start and finish: Moor Mill, Smug Oak Lane or Bricket Wood

Distance: 3.7 miles (6 km)

Time: About 2 hours

Map: OS Explorer 182

More information:


At Moor Mill (1) follow the footpath behind to pass under the M25. At the corner of the yard by Moor Mill Lane turn left, to follow the clear path through the former sand and gravel washing plant area to Hyde Lane, turn left.

Cross the footbridge over the River Ver into Frogmore and Park Street pits (2). Walk ahead to Branch Road, then right to Watling Street. At the river (3) turn right and, just before the bridge, turn right again onto the riverside path.

Retrace the path through the pits. About 50 yards before the footbridge bear right onto a path up to the infill ridge and the site of Park Street Roman Villa. Turn left.

Cross the M25 via the footbridge; on the south side walk ahead through a kissing gate, then right and left through another area of infill to Smug Oak Lane. Cross the road to the bridleway opposite, and follow the gentle slope down to the Hanstead Ditch (4) .

Follow the path left, around the perimeter of the Training College campus, past Hanstead House (5).

Follow the bridleway to Drop Lane, then turn left to see Drop Lane Pumping Station (6).

For a short detour, at the ford take the footpath, right, to see the River Ver meet the River Colne at their confluence (7).

The attractive countryside, down the Colne Valley between the confluence with the River Ver and Wall Hall/Otterspool, is well worth exploring (8). For an optional extra loop to this walk, continue beyond the confluence and cross the footbridge over the River Colne and return to Smug Oak Lane and Moor Mill on the Rights of Way via Netherwylde Farm.

To return to Moor Mill from the ford walk a short distance along Drop Lane, then turn right across a footbridge to follow Riverside Way (9), a popular permissive bridleway running alongside the river.

Teas, buns, pints and pies:

Moor Mill: Family restaurant and bar.

Park Street: The Falcon and The Overdraught pubs plus caf.

Bricket Wood: The Gate pub, Station Road.

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