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Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North

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Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North
Author: Clive Thompson , Published: 19 Aug 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford Northstar0 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford Northstar0 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford Northstar0 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford Northstar0 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North
Hertfordshire, Watford
Walk Type: Garden or park
Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North
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0001_sunny Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford NorthToday's weather
4 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 9 mph SE
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A short linear walk of around 2.5 miles in Hertfordshire, from Watford Junction rail station to the next stop on the Abbey Flyer Line, Watford North. Around half the walk is along residential streets with the remainder leading you through parks and woodland trails. This section runs alongside the River Colne through Waterfields Recreation Ground and both the Radlett Road and Knutsford playing fields. The return leg is a simple train journey, or you could walk back instead. It is an easy walk along pavements and designated paths with just a couple of gates (including a kissing gate) and no difficult obstacles. There are a couple of short gentle inclines. Allow 1.5 hours.

Watford Junction is on the mainline from London Euston to Birmingham and the North. It is also the terminus for the Abbey Flyer branch line which runs to St. Albans Abbey station. The next station on the line is Watford North and a single fare between the two stations is around £2.50 (correct Summer 2018). Watford Junction is also served by numerous local buses including the 724 Greenline that runs from Harlow to Heathrow Airport. The 324 bus currently serves both stations on this walk (this becomes the W1 bus on a Sunday). There is paid car parking in an underground car park alongside Watford Junction but no designated car park at Watford North. Approximate post code WD17 1ET.

Walk Sections

Start to Radlett Road
Start to Radlett Road

Start point: 51.6634 lat, -0.3968 long
End point: 51.6592 lat, -0.392 long

As you leave Watford Junction rail station, turn left and walk around the side of the bus station down Woodford Road. If you are lucky you might catch sight of the special shuttle bus that takes Muggles to The Making of Harry Potter Experience in nearby Leavesden. Continue down Woodford Road, passing between two pubs and going straight over a roundabout into Queens Road. Follow this road and take the first left turn into Radlett Road. Follow this round to the right and then left as it snakes under the railway bridge.

Radlett Road to The Diving Man
Radlett Road to The Diving Man

Start point: 51.6592 lat, -0.392 long
End point: 51.6557 lat, -0.3894 long

As you pass under the railway bridge, the road continues under a second bridge. Do NOT pass under that, instead turn immediately right into Ebury Road. Walk on the right-hand side of the road and follow it round as it veers right into Shaftesbury Road. At the end you will come to the Waterfields Recreation Ground.

Enter through the main gates in front of you and follow the path with the children's playground on your left. You will shortly come to an island with a sculpture of a diving man. This recognises the fact that there was a fresh water lido on the site in the late 19th Century where Watfordians came to swim and play.

The Diving Man to Link Road
The Diving Man to Link Road

Start point: 51.6557 lat, -0.3894 long
End point: 51.6625 lat, -0.387 long

Turn left at the diving man and follow the path alongside the river towards the railway viaduct, which carries mainline trains to and from London. Just before you go under this, you will see a stone obelisk on your left, a coal tax post. This dates back to the 1860s and was one of 300 erected by the City of London to mark points on the coal routes into London where duties were payable. It is now a Grade II listed structure.

Walk under the railway and follow the path as it ascends up to Radlett Road Playing Fields. Here you will see what looks like a rugby pitch, but a closer inspection will show that the crossbar on the posts are lower than you would expect. This is because this is the home of Glen Rovers Gaelic Football Club, and that is the game played here. The path skirts around the edge of the playing fields and exits on to Link Road.

Link Road to Knutsford Conservation Area
Link Road to Knutsford Conservation Area

Start point: 51.6625 lat, -0.387 long
End point: 51.6684 lat, -0.3842 long

Cross Link Road and follow the footpath signs as they take you on a (sometimes overgrown) paved path alongside the river, with allotments to the left. You will come to a small car park and the path drops down to the right - you should follow it under the road bridge. Go through the second metal kissing gate and enter Knutsford Playing Fields. There is an asphalt path that skirts around the side of the rugby pitches. On the other side you will see the clubhouse for Watford RFC and a children's playground which is popular in the summer.

At the end of the field you will reach a conservation area with a few benches to rest. Information boards tell you a little about the project and you can descend down onto wooden pontoons to get a better look at the wetlands.

Knutsford Conservation Area to End (Watford North Station)
Knutsford Conservation Area to End (Watford North Station)

Start point: 51.6684 lat, -0.3842 long
End point: 51.6755 lat, -0.3899 long

As the path ends you will see a yellow gate that takes you out of the playing fields and onto a main road. Turn right here, follow the road and very shortly you will come to a three-way junction with a footpath sign for Munden Drive Open Space in front of you. Do NOT take this path (we will use that on a different walk), instead continue following the road as it veers left and rises up to become Bushey Mill Lane.

Follow this as it passes a tudor-framed public house and the Greycaine Road trading estate and you will soon see Watford North rail station with its level crossing. This is where the walk ends and you can catch a train back to Watford Junction if you wish. Going the other way, trains will take you to Bricket Wood, Park Street and St. Albans Abbey among others. This is a single track line and trains run at intervals of around 45 minutes during the week and hourly on Sundays. You can check timetables on the abfly.org.uk website.

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network Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author CliveT and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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4 Gallery Images for: "Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North"

11303_0CliveT1533973468 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North Image by: Clive Thompson
Uploaded: 11 Aug 2018
The Harry Potter shuttle bus takes Muggles from Watford Junction Station to The Making of Harry Potter exhibition 15 minutes away in Leavesden.
11303_adminv1567 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North Image by: Clive Thompson
Uploaded: 19 Aug 2018
This obelisk marks the boundary where taxes and duties were payable on coal going in to London. It is Grade II listed and dates from the 1860s.
11303_0CliveT1534676387 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North Image by: Clive Thompson
Uploaded: 19 Aug 2018

11303_0CliveT1534676463 Abbey Flyer: Watford Junction to Watford North Image by: Clive Thompson
Uploaded: 19 Aug 2018
Part of the conservation area at the top of Knutsford Playing Fields

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