Pete's Walks - Studham Common and Redbourn, clockwise

If you are considering walking this route yourself, please see my disclaimer. You may also like to see these notes about the maps.

Google map of the walk

I did this 17 mile circular walk on Monday, 20th July, 2009  - it was the same route that I walked on the 6th March this year (see Studham Common and Redbourn) but in the opposite (clockwise) direction.

I set off from Studham Common about 9.15am, walking along the top of the common and then turning left to pick up the 'public highway' to Roe End. It was quite sunny as I started walking, but would soon cloud over and turn grey, staying that way with a few brighter intervals for the rest of the day. From Roe End I followed familiar paths to Cheverell's Green on the edge of Markyate, continuing along the path to the right of Friendless Lane to reach Trowley Bottom and Flamstead.

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Studham, from Studham Common

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The 'public highway' between Studham Common and Roe End

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The footpath parallel to Friendless Lane, between Markyate and Flamstead

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Approaching Trowley Bottom

From Flamstead I crossed a small valley and then took a very long footpath to Redbourn, which initially followed a hedge line beside an enormous corn field before running for some distance just inside the edge of a wood. I crossed a bridge over the M1 to reach the edge of Redbourn, then almost doubled back on myself to re-cross the motorway and reach the large farm complex at Flamsteadbury.

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Footpath to Redbourn - the farm complex in the distance is Flamsteadbury

Just beyond Flamsteadbury I turned left onto a farm track - the next section of the route, as far as Briden's Camp, would be new to me in this direction. The track passed between a field of peas on my left and a corn field on my right. I saw two Painted Lady butterflies here, the first a bright and fresh one, obviously part of the new generation, while the other was badly faded, probably one of the generation that came here from Spain or North Africa a couple of months ago. The track passed a small wood on my left and ended at a lane (close to the cottage called Nirvana). I followed the lane to the left for about half a mile, and turned right at the end.  A short distance on, round a couple of sharp bends in the lane, I turned left on to a bridleway.

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Farm track from Flamsteadbury

The bridleway soon ran through a belt of trees, and then I took a path going left. My route continued on paths and farm tracks, heading west just a few fields north of Cupid Green, part of Hemel Hempstead. I crossed Cupid Green Lane, continuing on paths and bridleway following hedge lines between golden crops of corn. Eventually a bridleway descended towards the Gade Valley , and then I turned right to follow a path into the hamlet of Briden's Camp.

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Farm track approaching Cupid Green Lane

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Path beyond Cupid Green Lane

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Bridleway between Cupid Green Lane and Briden's Camp

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Looking across the Gade Valley, near Briden's Camp

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Approaching Briden's Camp

From Briden's Camp I took footpaths that headed northwest, with Gaddesden Row a field or two to my right. At Golden Parsonage I had to cross a large pasture containing Red Shorthorn cattle, which were lying down chewing the cud either side of the path - the last beast I passed was a very impressive bull. Further on, I crossed a small lane and continued between the wooden fences of empty paddocks (there'd been sheep here when I last came this way a couple of weeks ago). I stopped for a very late lunch about 2pm, sitting on a convenient stile.

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Path between paddocks, near Gaddesden Row

I crossed a lane on the edge of Jockey End, the main part of Gaddesden Row, and continued through a couple of meadows and round a corner of a corn field, then crossed a huge pasture, that some young cattle shared with a few horses. On the far side, I turned right, picking up the route of my Kensworth to Little Gaddesden Walk as I followed hedgerow paths back to Clement's End. It was then a short distance, passing Great Bradwin's Wood on my right, to return to Studham Common.

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Path through meadow, near Gaddesden Row

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Field path between Gaddesden Row and Clement's End

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The road called Pedley Hill, approaching the junction at Clement's End

There were no birds or wildflowers of any note on this walk, but there were butterflies in large numbers almost everywhere. There were very many Gatekeepers, Ringlets and Meadow Browns, about half a dozen Commas, and two or three Red Admirals, Marbled Whites, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, as well as the pair of Painted Ladies already mentioned. But the highlights were a Small Copper, which I photographed between Gaddesden Row and Clement's End, and a Green-veined White, which I saw near Gaddesden Row.