Take a walk around Harpenden's beautiful countryside
PUBLISHED: 15:13 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 01 August 2018
The warm weather provides the perfect excuse to get out and about in Harpenden, so why not visit one of the town's parks and nature reserves, or take a walk through the beautiful countryside?
Stretching for over a mile and covering 238 acres, the Common is one of the town’s cultural hubs, with golf, football, cricket, and the annual Classics on the Common car show among the events that take place there throughout the year. The Town Council holds a communal walk on the Common, usually in June, taking in the work that has been done on the common in the past year.
Why not pack up a picnic and head down for a lazy Sunday afternoon spent watching the cricket - few sounds beat the thud of leather on willow! - feeding the ducks (but not any bread please!) and then grabbing a refreshing pint at The Silver Cup?
Lydekker Park, opened in 1998, is situated off the High Street in the middle of Harpenden and provides a break from the business of the rest of the town. Within the park, there is a mixture of shrub beds, a seating area, and a mature pond with a focus on wildlife and nature conservation. It’s a hidden gem which definitely deserves exploring, and definitely don’t miss the annual teddy bears’ picnic!
The park’s name comes from the Lydekker family, who owned Harpenden Lodge from 1857 to 1987. Hilda Lydekker, the last remaining member of the Lydekker family, decreed in her will that the land Harpenden Lodge was situated upon should become private open space.
Following her death in 1987 at the age of 100, St Albans district council entered into an agreement with the executors of her will to retain three acres as public open space with a car park.
If you’re feeling more energetic, then why not try the Luton Airport Parkway to Harpenden walk?
Over the course of almost five miles this wal takes in sights including the former Luton Hoo Station House – once used by Edward VII –. East Hyde church, and plenty of scenic countryside. It is also possible to take a diversion in order to pay a visit to Batford Springs nature reserve – the perfect spot to take a break from the heat. This route also takes walkers past the silhouette statue of Harpenden legend Eric Morecambe.
The Nickey Line, once a railway line connecting Hemel Hempstead and Luton, runs from the centre of Harpenden’s residential area - a short distance from the gates of St George’s School - round to the back of Rothamsted Park and on to the Redbourn roundabout.
Beginning from just under Hollybush Lane, this path is a favourite of runners and cyclists for its ease of access, having many entrances at points of the track that intersects with the roadside.
It winds in between and over and under various roads, along the back fences of gardens, before breaking out onto the open farmland, the urban now out of sight, behind Rothamsted Park.
A tree-encrusted straight and narrow, Swan Walk runs from just behind the Amble Inn in Batford, through Crabtree Lane and ends Cherry Tree Lane, at the halfway point between Batford and Wheathampstead.
The path runs alongside the River Lea and Aldwickbury Golf Club, seen from the small bodies of water and marshland or mid-morning golfers visible through the groves of trees on either side as
Swan Walk is perfect for dog-walkers or for casual mid-afternoon strollers.
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