Pete's Walks - STevenage Outer Orbital Path (STOOP)

About the STevenage Outer Orbital Path (STOOP)

The Stevenage Outer Orbital Path (or STOOP) is a 27-mile circular route around Stevenage in Hertfordshire. It was created by the North Herts Ramblers Group  - see their web page here (external page opens in new window). It was officially launched on September 20th 2008.

The STOOP has been very cleverly designed to be a green, environmentally friendly route. There are eight or nine paths linking Stevenage town centre to various points on the STOOP (actually a couple of links are bus journeys), so the town's residents can go out to the orbital path and follow one or more sections (depending on how far they want to walk) and get home again, without needing to use their cars. A very commendable design!

Starting at Gravely, to the north of Stevenage, a clockwise circuit of the STOOP goes east to Walkern and then south through the Beane Valley and on to Datchworth, passes through Woolmer Green and Old Knebworth, before heading north from St Paul's Walden to St Ipollitts and Little Wymondley, finally turning east to return to Graveley. Click here to see a very rough map of the walk (but only if you have already read my disclaimer and notes regarding maps).

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A rare glimpse of Stevenage in the distance (Day 3)

The STOOP is waymarked in both directions, and 'Route Directions' can be printed off from the North Herts Ramblers Group site -  click here (external page opens in new window). OS Explorer Maps 193 and 182 cover the area, though the STOOP is not marked on them.

I first heard of the STOOP when I saw a small piece about it in a Ramblers magazine. I then promptly forgot about it! So I'd like to thank Roger Turner, who emailed me and suggested it as a long-distance path that I might like to try.

Note: I have numbered each photograph (in red) and inserted the same number in the text to show where in the walk the photo was taken.