• Start: Verulamium Museum, St Albans
  • End: Verulamium Museum, St Albans
  • Country: England
  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Six Bells, Rose and Crown, Blue Anchor and The Black Lion Public Houses. The Waffle House at Kingsbury Mill and Inn on the Park cafés.
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 182
  • Difficulty: Hard
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This month the Countryside Management Service shares one of its longer walks taking in the picturesque St Albans area...

EXPLORE the rolling hills of the Ver valley on the circular Three Burys Walk which takes in the pretty hamlets of Childwickbury, Redbournbury and Gorhambury.

This is one of a series of eight circular walks on the River Ver and part of the 17-mile long linear, River Ver Trail. Much of the walk is on surfaced estate drives and there are some lovely views across the parkland landscape.


From the start walk down St Michaels Street to the river with its ancient ford, and bridge (1) and Kingsbury Mill beyond. Note the large piece of Puddingstone on the Mill verge.

Bear left into Branch Road, at the end turn left, cross Verulam Road, and diagonally cross the recreation ground. Cross the main road to the drive opposite.

There are fine views back to the Abbey, and the Ver Valley to the west (2). Turn left onto a bridleway skirting the perimeter of the golf course. Here are views, west, towards Gorhambury House and Buncefield (3).

During springtime detour into Batchwood for a stunning display of bluebells (4).

Enter an enclosed footpath at the edge of Ladies Grove Wood, this emerges onto the estate drive that leads to Childwickbury House and Childwick Green (5).Little Owls can be seen in daylight here, listen out for their screech call.

Turn left then cross the Harpenden Road (A1081). Follow a footpath to Ayres End Lane. Take the track behind the cottages to East Common; turn left, pass Barnville Cricket Club and the Three Horseshoes Pub on The Common (6).

Skirt round the edge of Harpenden Common and re-cross the Harpenden Road to Beesonend Lane. Follow this towards Redbournbury Mill. (Detour over the two footbridges to visit Redbournbury Mill (7)).

Otherwise turn south, along the River Ver Trail, towards St Albans. For the next 2kms the path passes beside Redbournbury and Punch Bowl watermeadows (8) .

Passing the Works (former chalk-pit) the footpath leads to the Estate drive on the approach to Shafford Farm and Mill (9). Watch out for Grey Wagtails that build their nests under bridges. Cross the Redbourn Road to the footpath opposite to enter the Gorhambury Estate. [NOTE the footpath through the Estate is permissive only. The path is normally open 8am-6pm but closed on certain days including Saturdays, September to end January.] If the estate footpath is closed, use the roadside path back to St Albans then follow Bluehouse Hill (A4147) to rejoin the route.

Follow the millstream until the site of Pre Mill is reached (10), then take the estate road over the river and, at a T-junction, turn left. Look out for birds of prey, such as Red Kite and Buzzard also listen out for deep cronk call of Raven. There are fine views of the Abbey (11) along the drive, before the Roman Theatre (12).

Cross Bluehouse Hill via the crossing and walk through St Michaels churchyard to return to Verulamium Museum (13).


Start and finish: Verulamium Museum, St Albans

Distance: Full circular walk 8 miles (12.8 km)
Time: 4hours
Grade: Hard Parts of this walk can be muddy or wet underfoot.
OS Explorer Map: 182

More information:

Photos courtesy of Countryside Management Service, Ver Valley Society, St Albans Camera Club.

Teas, buns, pints and pies:

St Michaels and Verulamium Park: Six Bells, Rose and Crown, Blue Anchor and The Black Lion Public Houses. The Waffle House at Kingsbury Mill and Inn on the Park cafs.

East Common, Harpenden: Three Horseshoes Public House.

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

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