Circular from Little Berkhamsted (1)

 Little Berkhamsted church
Board fronted houses, Little Berkhamsted
 Path to Bayford woods
(1) Little Berkhamsted church
(2) Board fronted houses, Little Berkhamsted
(3) Path to Bayford woods

I parked at Little Berkhamsted in a small layby opposite the Five Horshoes Pub. This was only a very short walk from the church in photo 1 and the start of chain three of the Hertfordshire Chain Walk. It was a very gloomy morning and despite my best efforts I could not get a better photo of the church. Opposite the church were some attractive board fronted houses although these also did not look at their best in the gloom, photo 2.
From the church the path heads across a couple of fields before crossing a small road and heading slighlty downhill thorugh more fields towards Bayford woods. photo 3. While walking down the fields towards the woods I spotted a muntjac deer in the middle of the field. After watching me for a short while it too hopped off down to the woods in front of me.

View East, nr Bayford
Air traffic control radar
Holly Berries
(4) View East, nr Bayford
(5) Air traffic control radar
(6) Holly Berries

After passing through Bayford woods the path heads to Ashendene Road which is followed through the small village of Bayford. From Bayford the routeturns into Brickendon road for a short distance before leaving the road and following a bridleway towards Blackfan Wood and onto to White Stubbs Lane. On the way it passes the air traffic control radar in photo 5.
Once White Stubbs Lane is reached there is another short stretch of road walking before the path links up with the route of second chain of the walk along the track that heads South towards Newgate Street.

Gates across the path
Countryside nr Little Berkhamsted
(7) Smouldering manure!
(8) Gates across the path
(9) Countryside nr Little Berkhamsted

The pile of smouldering manure, photo 7, I had seen when I walked the second link was still burning away and the smelly smoke was still being blown down the track which made for a few yards of unpleasant walking. Not far past the manure the path leaves the route of the second link of the walk just past Ponsbourne Cottages and heads West along a track between woodland. The route then joins Tylers Causeway for another short stretch of road walking. The path then turns right onto a footpath between a couple of houses and then heads across fields towards a couple of tall communications masts and a concrete water tower. The path skirts round these and passes along the gravel drive by a very large newly built house. At the end of the drive are the white gates in photo 8. While the footpath is clearly marked from the way I came there is no indication at all from the other side that a path passes through the white gates which looked quite imposing and intimidating. I wonder how many people will walk past not believing that a public path goes through the gates. Generally though most of the paths in this area of Hertfordshire have been very well marked and maintained which is good to see and on this walk I passed through a number of reasonably new metal kissing gates. As the path headed back towards Little Berkhamsted there were a few views across to the West, photo 9, before the path turned across fields and joined up with the start of the days walk near the Little Berkhamsted church.
All in all this was a very short walk but ideal for an hour or so out in the fresh air on Boxing day. The paths weren't too muddy and the weather did get a little brighter during the morning. Although it was a bit chilly there was almost no wind which meant it didn't feel too cold when walking.

The GPS made this walk 5.2 miles long.

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