Walks And Walking – Hertfordshire Walks Hatfield Forest Walks
Hatfield Forest is the perfect area to visit to explore ancient trees and meadows of a Medieval Royal Hunting Forest, and is owned and operated by the National Trust. This is a great place in Hertfordshire for walks and has a few way marked walking routes that are easy to follow, both of which are quite an easy 1.7 miles long. Hatfield Forest is at the end of the Forest Way from Epping Forest and also sits along a section of the Flitch Way, 5 minutes from the M11 in Takely, Bishops Stortford.
Today Mary, Tedi and I met up with some family to go for a 3 mile walk from the top car park to Portingbury Hills, around the tracks and trails of Hatfield Forest to the Lakeside Facilities and then walking around the lake and back to the car park.
From the top car park at the entrance sign we walked to the opposite side of the car park to a metal gate to a wide grassy path that crossed over a small ditch. We then took the left wide grassy path and walked passed the big oak tree to the road where there were two long wooden beams on either side and a red rubbish bin.
We crossed over the road and continued our walk with the dense woodland on our left hand side to a clearing where there were three gates, of which two were padlocked so we walked through the one that was open (obviously). We then walked left along a track known as Halfway Ride and after a short while we walked right and over a wooden stile up to another area called Eight Wantz Ways.
The sun was dazzling through the trees along the path and as we walked along this track we saw some well crafted bivouacs on our right hand side so Tedi stopped for a short play before we continued our walk to Eight Wantz Ways and another clearing with two wooden gates. We walked to the right hand side and the second gate where we walked over another wooden stile and turned left crossing over a track and then walked right to cross a small wooden bridge. We then entered the wide open meadows and grassy paths to start following the way markers, with the first one being yellow and marked with the number 10.
After the next way markers we continued our walk ahead to reach number 12 where we then walked left at the next way marker with the next way marker at 13 turning us left along a much wider grassy path. We then walked right at the next yellow way marker, straight ahead in the meadows at the next way marker all the way to the lane.
As the lane bent round to the right we kept straight ahead across the grass to the wooden gate which lead us to the Lakeside Facilities. We then stopped and had some home-made pork burgers, cheesy chips and drinks before setting off again towards the lake.
At the lake we walked right and around it where we walked passed the yellow way marker, marked 2, before we entered the forest onto the duckboard. From here it was plain sailing all the way, keeping right at the fork all the way to the wooden gate where we then joined the road and walked right all the way back up to the car park. This walk took us 2 hours and covered just under 3 miles.