Studham Common to Redbourn via Briden’s Camp

Yesterday (Thursday, 29th January 2009) I did a new walk, starting from the car park on Studham Common, 2-3 miles from my home in Kensworth. By starting there, I was able to reach an area just north of Hemel Hempstead that I’d not explored before. The start and finish of the walk was on familiar paths, but the middle half of the walk was entirely new to me.

I am not going to give a detailed description, but I have created a map showing the route:,-0.460396&spn=0.09403,0.2211&z=12&msid=112467863617014694733.000461b316bfe1da962e0

The start of the walk followed part of my Kensworth-Little Gaddesden walk (and Walk 2 of the Chiltern Chain Walk), from Studham Common to the scout hut and on towards Gaddesden Row. But just before reaching the lane into Gaddesden Row, I turned left, and followed some field paths, crossing the lane at a different point and then continuing on further paths parallel to the minor road through Gaddesden Row. Near the Golden Parsonage I briefly followed a bit of the Chiltern Way, but soon diverged from it to follow paths to the intriguingly named hamlet of Briden’s Camp.

From Briden’s Camp, I followed a long series of bridleways that were entirely new to me, following a sequence of hedgerows and not passing any buildings at all. The countryside was gently undulating hills, typical of this part of the Chilterns, the brown fields interspersed by occasional woods.  I spotted two Buzzards at one point.

I crossed over a lane, and continued on a similar bridleway, before turning left and reaching the lane from Gaddesden Row to Redbourn. I turned right for a few yards, then turned left down an even narrower lane. After half a mile or so I took a path on the right, which after about a mile took me to Flamsteadbury. I dithered about cutting my planned route short here, but eventually carried on as planned. I followed the lane across the M1 to the edge of Redbourn, then turned left along the very edge of the village and re-crossed the motorway.

A delightful path then led through the edge of a wood, and then alongside hedgerows. I briefly followed a bit of the Hertfordshire Way towards Flamstead (passing the spot where I met a boy fishing for Alligators), then following a bridleway into Trowley Bottom.

The rest of my route followed the return section of my Kensworth-Redbourn walk, from Trowley Bottom to Friendless Lane, along the path parallel to the lane, and then from the edge of Markyate to Roe End. I followed the bridleway that is the continuation of Roe End Lane, following it to its conclusion at Studham Common (rather than turning off near Byslips Wood and heading back to Kensworth!).

This was a very enjoyable walk, it had been a while since I’d walked anywhere new. I enjoyed the new parts of the walk very much – the paths and bridleways were all very clear and well sign-posted, and the countryside was pleasant though unspectacular. The walk was 17 miles long (according to Google maps) and took me 5 and 3/4 hours to walk, which was good considering how muddy all the paths were (although I took hardly any photos). I chose not to record the walk for my web site, as the morning started out quite grey, but I’m sure I’ll do this walk, or a variation on it, again sometime when the weather and season is more conducive for photography.

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