Walk 1118 - printer friendly version
Roe Green and Sandon from Therfield circular Walk
Author - Donald Morton
Length - 7.3 miles / 11.9 km
Ascent - 320 feet / 97 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference TL339367
Lat 52.012583 + Long -0.05037255
Postcode SG8 9QN (approx. location only)
Therfield is some 3 miles SSW of Royston. For convenience of parking the walk is described from Hay Green at the southern end of Therfield (Grid ref. TL339367). Here you can park alongside the green and start the walk by going down Public Byway 36 which starts on the opposite side of the road and is signed to Chapel Green 1 and a quarter miles. (Note the OS map may still show it as a bridleway.)
Follow this old trackway for about a mile - it is a lovely shaded enclosed path. Stick to this obvious route (which, judging by intermittent signs, appears at some point to become the Icknield Way) and ignore all lesser paths to left and right until you come to what is designed as a ford with a footbridge to the right. Turn right here and follow what is now definitely the Icknield Way along another shady enclosed path for rather more than half a mile to a junction with a crossing track facing a metal barred gate. Turn left and follow the enclosed track to a tarmac drive. Turn left on the drive; then when you reach the road turn right and at the nearby road junction left (signed Buntingford).
Follow this quiet road to Green End and then turn right on Beckfield Lane. Walk up the lane and when you have passed Blagrove turn right into the forecourt of a large double garage. Follow the bridleway past the right hand end of the garage block, through a bridle gate and up a field edge to a second bridle gate. This leads onto a large area of rough pasture. Go half left across this, following the clear grass path through tufts of marsh grass. In the far corner go through a gate and half right across an arable field; if the way is not clear aim for the two tallest trees ahead and go through the hedge gap to the right of them. Turn left and follow the field edge - hedge on left. Ignore a path going right and look out for a way mark post (with arrows which do not agree with the OS map nor indeed with the situation on the ground). Here turn left and go straight across the field aiming for double power line poles. You come out onto the road facing a large animal feed supplier. You are on the edge of Roe Green.
Turn left and walk along the road through the Green, a large grass common edged with an interesting mix of houses from different periods, until reaching, on the right, a large grey, red roofed Victorian villa, followed by a red brick Georgian house. The Hertfordshire Way which you now join goes between them: note the fingerpost is not on the road but across the grass of the Green virtually between the two houses. The track between the two houses comes to an iron gate, where it turns right and then left to a kissing gate. Go straight on to another kissing gate in the field corner and then along a fenced path twisting between paddocks through yet another kissing gate. Here go slightly left to a gate leading out to a track. Cross the track through the kissing gate on the other side and over the field, aiming for Sandon church tower which can be seen ahead over the trees. As you cross the field a double kissing gate comes into view in the corner of the field slightly to the right. From here, go slightly right again across two fields to a red brick house where you come out onto the road. You may have noticed some clapboard houses in Roe Green. These are rare in much of Hertfordshire, but to the right of the red brick house are two more examples, one with a pink wash suitable for a greetings card.
Turn left along the road which goes past The Chequers. (Don't get excited - although still shown as PH on recent OS maps, it is a private house.) Follow the road as it swings right past the village school and comes to the village green. Half left across the green is the church with its lych-gate. The 14th/15th Century church is well worth a visit, and the route passes through the churchyard to the north of the church and out at its NE corner along an enclosed path to reach a lane. Turn right along the lane and at a right angle bend left leave the Hertfordshire Way (which turns right) to continue with the road until reaching Public Byway 18. Here turn right along a clear enclosed track which when it emerges continues along a field edge - hedge on left. Continue straight on as it becomes enclosed again and past a track coming in from the right. This is the Hertfordshire Way which you have now rejoined and soon after look out for a hedge gap on the left with a finger post up on the bank. (If you miss it don't worry too much; you will continue along the enclosed track until a track T-junction. Turning left here the track will soon become a tarmac lane lined with an interesting mix of old and new houses and after bending left will arrive at the village green - see below.) But if you find the hedge gap, turn left up the bank - through nettles in summer - and go along the field edge - remains of hedge on left which becomes a mere field break when the path bends right. Ahead go through a hedge gap, over a strip, through a bridle gate, straight across a paddock, through another bridle gate and across a track. Going through two more bridle gates either end of a fenced path and then straight on up the field - fence on left - brings you to a gate opposite the church.
The church may be visited, but the Hertfordshire Way goes past the East end and out of the churchyard at the NE corner along a path between gardens to the road. Turn left and then right to come to the village green (minimal) with remains of an old cross (also minimal) and a new informative millennium cross with views across to Therfield. At the village green, turn left past the village hall and walk along this road passing not only ancient cottages and Georgian buildings but a modern movement house which also looks comfortable in its setting. Just before a pink thatched cottage, turn left on a public footpath, initially an enclosed path and then along a field edge - hedge on right. Once through a hedge gap the path goes straight on now with hedge on left and into an enclosed path which leads straight into Therfield churchyard. The church was virtually rebuilt in 1878 but incorporates some interesting features from the previous 13th Century building. Exit from the churchyard through a gate on the East side which gives onto a lane leading to the village centre and "The Fox and Duck". Turn right and walk down the road (Police Row) back to Hay Green.