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27 Mar: Hatfield to Puckeridge

posted 13 Apr 2011, 02:45 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 03:07 ]
It was a chilly morning when we set off from our Hatfield start aiming for Ware. Heading out past the QE2 Hospital we soon, for a change of route, cut through the woods at Panshanger.  Immediately confusing, because of the numerous forking paths between the trees.  However, a helpful dog walker pointed us in the right direction and we soon emerged on the lane to the airfield.  Then we crossed the Mimram valley, climbing to Tewin and on to Bramfield.  Here we turned back south to Hertford, and passing Hertford North Station, turned left along the River Beane meadows, climbing steeply through the Bengeo side streets to emerge at the top of Bengeo Hill.  Here we took the road, soon becoming a bridleway track along the ridge overlooking the Lee valley and the Kings Mead nature reserve - the largest grazed flood meadows in Herts, with brilliant views across the flood plane crossed by the A10 viaduct.  Emerging in Ware and passing the pharmaceutical factories, we arrived at our excellent morning stop, always good value.  Here Tracey, who obviously had trouble getting up on the first day of summer time, joined us.
Judy taking a short cut along the Cole Green Way
Gathering at Esem Cafe in Ware

After refreshments, Peter, who somehow knows the back streets of Ware like the back of his hand, led us out to the road north to Babbs Green and then on to Much Hadham.  Passing along the splendid main street of the village, we continued north following the old London to Cambridge road, heading for Furneaux Pelham.  I was planning to go around through Patient End, but when we got to Aldbury, Carol could no longer contain her appetite for a bit of rough and suggested an alternative off road route turning west through Albury village and then along a bridle way, soon turning into ploughed fields. However, it hadn't rained for ages, so the going was bouncy not muddy.
North of Little Hadham
Rough track to Braughing from Albury

Passing a water tower, we emerged onto lanes again at Braughing Friars, and so on to Braughing and lunch at Puckeridge.  A pleasant pub with nice food, which included striking corkscrew shaped chips. 
In the Crown & Falcon, Puckeridge

From lunch, we headed north again along the A10 path, then to Westmill, looping around to Nasty, Haultwick, Green End, Stonyhills and so back to Hertford.  By now it was 4.00 and our usual tea stop was just closing, but there are plenty of alternatives in the area and a refreshing tea was taken before the trip back home.  From Hertford we headed off back to our various homes.  It had been a longer day than we had been used to since last autumn, but a great day out blessed by good weather.