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|The Kings Arms Berkhamsted and Canal Trail|
|Author: Claire, Published: 02 Nov 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 3 mile circular pub walk from the Kings Arms in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. The Kings Arms restaurant, bar and rooms provides the perfect place to eat, drink and relax in a stylish setting. The walking route takes in the highlights of historic Berkhamsted, including the town hall and castle remains, as well as exploring a pretty stretch of the Grand Union Canal. There’s a short climb to reach the countryside to the north where you will be rewarded with great views over the town and may even have the chance to meet some donkeys. |
The route follows a mixture of pavements/towpath and field/woodland paths, the latter of which can be fairly muddy after rain and in winter. There are several steady ascents and descents throughout. You will need to negotiate some flights of steps and several kissing gates along the way. There are public toilets in the car park at the start of the walk. Dogs are welcome in the castle grounds as long as they are on a lead. Approximate time 1.5 hours.
Berkhamsted is located on the western edge of Hertfordshire, just north of the A41 between the towns of Aylesbury and Hemel Hempstead. The walk starts and finishes from the Kings Arms on the High Street in the centre of the town. There is a convenient car park just opposite, the Water Lane pay and display car park, which costs £1.90 for 3 hours (correct Oct 2014). Approximate post code HP4 3FG. Alternatively, Berkhamsted Station is on the walking route, so you can adjust the walk to arrive by train.
|Start to Grand Union Canal|
Start point: 51.7604 lat, -0.5633 long
Leave the Water Lane car park via the vehicle entrance, passing the public toilets on the right and the superstore building on the left. At the end of Water Lane you will come to a T-junction with the High Street. If you look diagonally to the left you will see the Kings Arms, the host for today’s walk. You can enjoy some refreshments here before or after your walk, the choice is yours.
|Grand Union Canal to Billet Lane|
Start point: 51.7623 lat, -0.5637 long
Turn left along the towpath, passing Broadwater Lock (Number 53) on the right. Continue along the towpath, with the canal on the right. Down to the left, but probably hidden by undergrowth, is the River Bulbourne, a chalk stream that runs for 7 miles from Dudswell to the River Gade. The marshy land alongside the river was used in the 1880s to grow watercress. The industry continued until the 1960s.
|Billet Lane to Footpath 25|
Start point: 51.766 lat, -0.5781 long
Turn sharp right along the pavement and follow this over the canal and then over the railway. As you draw level with gates for the allotments on the right, fork right onto the path that veers slightly away from the main road. Cross over the side road, Princes Close, and keep ahead along the pavement. Cross over the next side road, Bridgewater Road, and turn left along the pavement which leads you up the hill, Bridle Way, signed for Bridgewater School.
|Footpath 25 to Berkhamsted Castle|
Start point: 51.7721 lat, -0.5757 long
Follow this level path ahead. As you reach a gap in the fence on the right, take a moment to enjoy the views south across the town of Berkhamsted. From this vantage point you can understand the important geography of the town’s site within the valley. Berkhamsted was an important medieval town, guarding the strategic gap in the Chiltern Hills cut by the River Bulbourne. The main road through became a thriving trade route, indeed the Kings Arms itself is an old coaching inn dating from the 1700s and had the capacity to stable up to 40 horses. Dominating the skyline today is Berkhamsted’s Victorian water tower, a white tower with conical red roof.
|Berkhamsted Castle to End|
Start point: 51.7634 lat, -0.5608 long
A few paces into the grounds, turn left up the concrete steps to join the grass path around the outer ramparts. NOTE: There are steep slopes each side here which lead down to the inner and outer moats. Even if these look overgrown they are likely to be holding water so please take care with children and dogs.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Pleasant walk through the town and pretty stretch of canal. Road and rail traffic is close for much of the way so not the quietest ramble.
|By Colin S on 20 Feb 2017|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Nov 2014
173 High Street was thought to be just a Victorian chemist shop
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 02 Nov 2014
Avenue of lime trees that once led to the castle. Taken in October 2014.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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