Clothall & Roe Green from Wallington
Walk Route Description
This Hertfordshire walk starts and finishes in Wallington, a village where George Orwell lived for some four years. The pretty little thatched cottage, marked by a plaque, is in Kits Lane at its junction with The Street and parking can be found in Kits Lane going up from the cottage (Grid ref. TL292338).
Continue up Kits Lane, past one sign post for the Icknield Way, until you reach a second signpost for the Icknield Way pointing left down a public bridleway to Clothall 2. Take this broad track which remains obvious as it becomes grassier and enclosed then, with extensive views on the right over Bedfordshire, follows a field edge -hedge and bank on left - and field breaks to reach a cross track just before a rather derelict barn. Cross this track, go past the barn through a wood and along a field edge -trees on left - to a road. Turn left along this quiet road which after a right angle right bend comes out at the A507 (Grid ref TL272322). Cross the A507 and walk up the lane to Clothall. (Notice on the right the Old School House 1859 with a truly magnificent horse chestnut at least as old as the school which must have supplied generations of schoolboys - did girls ever play? - with conkers before Health and Safety was invented. A little further on, again on the right, a rather concealed notice points back up a track to the parish church of St Mary the Virgin. This lovely ancient village church well repays a detour and time spent on a visit).
Continue up the lane and at a right angled bend turn left on a footpath up a bank, with nettles, to emerge into a field. You have now joined the Hertfordshire Way. In the field turn left and follow the field edge along a wood. Where the wood edge turns sharp left, you turn right and follow a rather indistinct path along a field break: you are heading for the fingerpost off the A507 which soon becomes visible ahead. This turns out to be at grid ref. TL277319, not quite where you might expect from the OS map, but it means you can WITH CARE cross the A507 and continue straight on up the tarmac lane opposite. This soon becomes gravel and then grass and goes straight on along the edge of two fields - woods on right. At a hedge gap swing right to wind through woods. On leaving the woods, go straight on to follow the field edge - hedge on left. At the end of this long field you go through scrub to a T-junction.
Here leave the Hertfordshire Way by turning right down the green lane and after about 200 yards turn left to follow a field edge with woods on the left. After going over a crossing footpath, the field end finishes with a wire fence and a kissing gate. Go past the kissing gate and across the field aiming for a white thatched cottage on the other side where you emerge into a road at Redhill (Grid ref TL299329). Here turn left and walk through this little hamlet which has several more attractive thatched cottages. After passing several footpaths going left, you come to a crossing footpath by Bridge House cottage. Here turn right, rejoining the Hertfordshire Way (and Icknield Way), to follow Public Footpath 33 Roe Green 1. This goes straight uphill initially on an enclosed path (we saw a solitary deer grazing) and then on field edges - hedges on left - and field breaks. As farm buildings are approached, the path turns left over a bridge, through a kissing gate and then across a field to a gate to the left of a white bungalow. Go down the enclosed path to reach Roe Green. This is a vast green space surrounded by a mixture of houses and cottages of a whole variety of periods, styles, and size; there are even some clapboard cottages which are not common in most of Hertfordshire.
Cross the Green to the road. Turn left and follow this quiet road for about a mile to a T-junction. Turn left and in a hundred yards or so turn right up the road which with a couple of twists and turns brings you back to Wallington. On your way you might like to detour left to the ancient village church where George Orwell was married. And as you come into the village Manor Farm (Animal Farm?) with its big black barn is on the right.
(For more about George Orwell in Wallington you could try the lively account at article 5 on www.orwelltoday.com/wallingtonhouse.shtml with links to articles 6 and 7.)
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