Moor Park to Rickmansworth
Walk Route Description
This is a linear Hertfordshire route between two adjacent tube stations on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground. The route includes sections of the London Loop, the Hillingdon Trail and the Colne Valley Trail. The route passes through a residential area initially, then through the woods of Bishop's Wood Country Park before featuring undulating countryside leading to Hill End. Next it descends to the Grand Union Canal and then it passes the lakes of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome before reaching Rickmansworth.
From Moor Park station go west down Main Avenue and turn left down Astons Road as far as Batchworth Lane. Turn right here, following the pavement until the Prince of Wales pub comes into view ahead. Leave the road to the right to follow a path across an area of grass in front of another pub, on the right, Ye Old Greene Manne. Next, cross with care the very busy Batchworth Lane to reach the common on the other side with its reed-fringed pond. Locate the London Loop route running alongside the road called White Hill initially. The London Loop logo on a post scenario applies at points of possible uncertainty as you pass through the woods of Bishop's Wood Country Park. You can expect a few muddy sections and in places it may be a tight squeeze between encroaching vegetation. There are two significant changes of direction, in each case turning right when a T of paths is reached. When the path reaches the end of the wood, you emerge into the open to a scene of sloping fields with hedgerows and woodland and a golf course seen in the distance. The route bears left here to cross a couple of fields and then pass between fences to reach a road where the Rose and Crown pub comes into view.
At this point, there is an either/or choice. If you bear right here along the road you have about a quarter of a mile along a road which, while not a main road, can be fairly busy and there are not always convenient places to get off the road either side. If you take the road to the right past the pub, this offers a different option, though whether it is better being debatable. For about 200 yards, the road is followed with rather better options for getting off the road when traffic appears. Then there is a public footpath sign off to the right "Public footpath 57 Harefield". The route now follows a course around two sides of a field in a clockwise direction before passing into the next field, going through a gap in the hedge on the left, then skirting around the next field in an anti-clockwise direction to the right before reaching a farm track that continues the route.
You are now on the Hillingdon Trail northern link and the route passes Fieldways Farm on the right to reveal, after the next stile, a fine view ahead of sloping fields with hedgerows. Follow the route as it goes down into a dip and up the other side and ahead across fields to emerge on Plough Lane at Hill End. Turn right at the T junction opposite a pond which is barely visible due to tree cover. After about 100 yards, the waymarked Hillingdon Trail continues to the left with a sign for Maracus Cottage. Between here and the canal, follow the signs for the Hillingdon Trail with a mixture of fields and country lanes. The route reaches the canal at Springwell Lock, a suitable place for a stop with a wooden bench by the canal.
Follow the canal as far as Stocker's Lock. At this point there is an optional detour. You can complete a circuit of Stocker's Lake, returning to the same point by taking a path on the left. This lake has about fifty islands and these provide some pretty views from time to time between tree cover and this lake is the site of the largest heronry in Hertfordshire. A leisurely hour should be plenty if you are adding on this extra detour. Back on the main route, there are different ways to get to Rickmansworth station. If going via the Cafe in the Park, Bury Lake and Batchworth Lake, look out for a gap in the hedge on the left leading to a car park.
Otherwise follow the canal as far as Batchworth Lock and follow the main road to the left into the town centre.
Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.
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|Anquet OS Explorer 172||Digital Map||1:25k||BUY|
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