- Start: Redbourn Common
- End: Redbourn Common
- Country: England
- County: Hertfordshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: Redbourn Common: The Cricketers and The Holly Bush (Church End) pubs. Redbourn High Street: The Bull and The George pubs plus general stores, coffee shop and sandwich bars. Redbournbury Mill: Bakery and light refreshments, open on selected dates.
- Ordnance Survey:
- Difficulty: Medium
The Countryside Management Service has just launched eight new walks that explore the Ver Valley. Here we take a look at one of them...
THE Ver is a chalk stream that extends 17 miles from Kensworth Lynch, north of Markyate, south via Redbourn, St Albans and Park Street to join the River Colne near Bricket Wood.
Chalk Streams such as the Ver are globally very rare and threatened by water extraction. During drier months the River disappears in long stretches north of Redbourn, only to reappear following a period of rain.
The TV series Timeteam uncovered not one but three Roman temples, a first for the series, in a field adjacent to the River north of Redbourn.
In the 19th and early 20th century the healthy river supported a dozen watermills and a watercress industry. It has been a unique part of the local landscape for tens of thousands of years and will be for many more.
The series of eight walks, launched last month, includes The Redbournbury Walk which would make a perfect July jaunt.
Start and finish: Redbourn Common
Full circular walk: 6 miles (9.7 km) Time: About 3 hours
Short circular walk: 5 miles (8 km) Time: About 2.5 hours
From the Cricket Clubhouse on Redbourn Common (1) cross Hemel Hempstead Road and Chequer Lane to follow the grassy path down the slope past the old school, to the footbridge over the River Red and The Moor (2).
Keep ahead, cross the Nickey Line (footpath and cycle track) and descend the steps to the southern bypass.
Cross and continue south, through arable fields; there is a steep ascent across the third field, up to the far corner where the path meets Beaumont Hall Lane. Take in the fine views back towards Redbourn and the Ver Valley (3).
When the track forks at New Cottage, keep left into a quiet green lane (4). At Hill Farm Lane, turn right, walk on past Hill Farm and Bohemia, and at the far end of the Paddock take the left path, to join Punch Bowl Lane. Turn left.
Cross Watling Street (A5183) (5) the ancient Roman road between London and Chester. Behind the old Punch Bowl Inn, cross the arable field and watermeadow to the stepping stones and footbridge crossing the River Ver (6).
You may wish to take a short detour here to Redbournbury Mill (working museum and bakery) (7) or go this way to follow the shorter circular route, follow the River Ver Trail waymarks back to the Common. Otherwise continue on the east side of the river.
You may spot a Kingfisher from June onwards. At the fishing club entrance (former watercress beds), turn right to (8) Hammondsend Wood and Farm.
Beyond the old farmhouse look out for barn owls pass through a kissing-gate, left, to cross a small paddock to another kissing-gate; keep left through a small copse at the golf-course margin, then along the fence line. The path turns right at a tee (Ramblers Risk!), then left into another copse.
Emerging from this, pass through a hedge-line; cross the arable field to (9) descend into the valley. Cross the bypass and from the Nickey Line climb the steps and take the path to meet the river at Waterend Lane ford (10).
Continue and cross Redbourn High Street (11) to the alleyway opposite, and back to the Common and its avenue of lime trees.
Teas, buns, pints and pies
Redbourn Common: The Cricketers and The Holly Bush (Church End) pubs.
Redbourn High Street: The Bull and The George pubs plus general stores, coffee shop and sandwich bars.
Redbournbury Mill: Bakery and light refreshments, open on selected dates.
Find out more
The Countryside Management Service (CMS) works with landowners and communities to develop projects that enhance landscape and biodiversity, as well as encouraging people to understand and enjoy the countryside across Hertfordshire.
For more information contact the CMS on 01727 848168
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org