About the Hertfordshire Chain Walk

The Hertfordshire Chain Walk is an 86-mile walk that crosses the county of Hertfordshire from south to north, starting on the northern edge of London and finishing in Cambridgeshire. Unlike the other long distance paths that I’ve walked, which either follow a straightforward linear route from A to B or else form a large ‘circle’, this path consists of 15 circular walks of between 4 and 9 miles in length that are linked together to form a ‘chain’ – hence the name Chain Walk. In fact there is a quarter mile gap between Walk 7 and Walk 8, so the Hertfordshire Chain Walk is also unusual in that it is a long distance footpath with a hole in the middle!

The Hertfordshire Chain Walk starts in the south of the county, the first walk actually passing through the London borough of Enfield. Sharing some early parts of its route with the Hertfordshire Way, it then heads north to Little Berkhamsted and passes just west of Hertford. Continuing northwards between Stevenage (to the west) and Buntingford, it again meets the Hertfordshire Way near Sandon and Therfield, just south of Royston. The Hertfordshire Chain Walk finishes at Ashwell and Morden railway station, just across the county boundary in Cambridgeshire.

View over the flat lands of Cambridgeshire, from near Kelshall (Walk 15)

The route is marked on the OS Explorer maps (173, 174, 182, 193 and 194), though it is just shown as Chain Walk rather than Hertfordshire Chain Walk. However there are no special signposts or waymarks for the Hertfordshire Chain Walk on the ground (I can’t think of another long-distance path that I’ve walked that is on the map but doesn’t have its own signs).

The East Herts Footpath Society, who devised the Hertfordshire Chain Walk, publish a guide book for it. 

Click here to see a very rough map of the Hertfordshire Chain Walk (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps).

Note: You can click on any of the smaller pictures in this journal to see them enlarged (click the 'Back' button of your browser to return to the journal).  I have also numbered each photograph (in red) and inserted the same number in the text to show where in the walk the photo was taken.