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Bowman's Lakes & Colney Heath

Pub Walk + Lakes + Woodland

County/Area - Hertfordshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km    Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres

Time - 4 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Bowman's Lakes & Colney Heath
Click image to see photo description.

Circular walk from London Colney exploring the area west of the village. The route includes Bowman's Lakes, former gravel pits, with varied birdlife, countryside, the River Colne and woodland. The walk passes the Plough Inn which makes a suitable stop halfway round the walk.

The start is the car park at St Peter's church (grid ref. TL181037) off Barnet Road in London Colney. After parking, face the River Colne and turn left with the river on your right. Continue beside the river crossing a lane, and briefly following a road. Continue ahead to pass under the A1081. At the next bridge turn right across the river and then left through a gate. Walk past Willow Farm and follow the path as it bends right to pass the playground on your right. Continue ahead to pass through the parking area and nearing the boundary, walk half-left across a field. The path heads past a small group of trees to reach a track (grid ref. TL193043).

Turn left along the track and after 150 metres fork right off the track to join a field path. The path soon runs beside a wood on your left before entering Garden Wood. Keep ahead through the trees to exit at a track. Go straight across to follow a path between lagoons. The path then heads half left and then veers right to cross a field along a grassy strip. Maintain direction across the next field and enter trees. Exiting the trees turn right and then fork left to follow a path across grass to Coursers Road in Colney Heath (grid ref. TL205057).

Turn left and continue to a roundabout. Go straight across and almost immediately turn left down an enclosed footpath between houses. The path leads across a field soon veering left. Continue to the hedge and turn right. Go straight across a cross path and continue to pass a row of houses on your right. Just past the houses turn right and then left along a clear track. Follow the byway for a kilometre to reach the A414. Cross with care to the track opposite and continue to reach a disused railway (Alab Way). Turn left and continue to a bridge. Just before the bridge turn left. The path runs parallel to a road on your right and then crosses a field diagonally to reach the Plough at Sleapshyde (grid ref. TL202070).

Keep the Plough on your left and continue ahead. Turn and just past Cherry Tree Cottages on your right, turn left in front of houses. Continue ahead and veer left to reach the A414. Cross with care to the signed footpath opposite through a hedge. The path leads into woodland into a field. Turn right across the field and continue to High Street in Colney Heath (grid ref. TL201060). Note there is also a path running beside the wood. If you have followed the path across the field, turn right on High Street and then first left along Park Lane. If you have taken the beside the wood, then turn right and then left into Park Lane. Continue along the lane to Church Lane and turn left. Continue ahead to just before metal gates and turn right to join the signed Watling Chase Trail (grid ref. TL1898058).

After following the trail for 700 metres you reach a complex junction with several tracks and paths (grid ref. TL193054). Leave the trail and cross the River Colne. The path bears right with a group of buildings on your left. Bear left around the buildings and take the first path on the right. The clear path runs beside lagoons (Bowman's Lakes) on your left. After passing through trees the route joins a track. Follow this the end of the lagoons to reach the bridge crossed earlier in the walk. Do not cross the bridge. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the start in London Colney.

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