The 5 Chilterns countryside walks you need to tick off during lockdown

We’re now (hopefully) halfway through the November lockdown, which means that you’re most likely climbing the walls and have already exhausted your usual walking routes.

Thankfully, there’s plenty to explore around Hertfordshire and along its borders.

Few places are better for a winter walk than the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which draws plenty of people during lockdown for peace and quiet as well as some much needed fresh air.

The hills stretch out across four counties but we’ve kept to the routes which are inside the Hertfordshire border, or within a short distance.

Many of the businesses in the towns and villages will of course be closed, but if you’re just wanting to fight screen fatigue and stretch your legs, we’ve got you covered.

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Flamstead Farmland Walk

Flamstead is just on the north eastern boundary of the Chilterns and is an interesting village itself, dating back to at least Saxon times.

The walk covers all that history before going further into the countryside, with both a 4km short walk or 10km long walk option for walkers.

Both walks begin at the car park on the junction of Friendless Lane and Mill Lane, and a footpath makes it easy to follow.

The walks diverge quite early on, but both are marked with signs and paths.

The long walk heads towards Pietley Hill and away from the village, with the route offering a leafy trek through the countryside towards Greenlane Wood.

It then returns to Flamstead where it joins back up with the much shorter route, for a lap of the village.

Find out more here.

Berkhamsted Waterway Walks

(Image: flickr / Alan Hitchcock)

There are three walks that help you follow the Grand Union Canal through Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, no matter how long you have, including a more accessible route.

These allow you to get a view of one of Herts’ most loved towns, a sight of the castle ruins and plenty of wildlife along the canal and river.

There are some big hills to climb on the longer two loops, but it’s all worth it for the downhill finish right back into Berko.

Find out more here.

The Iron Age Fort Walk

Inside of Cholesbury Camp
(Image: Prioryman/CC3.0)

While unfortunately the guides sell this is a pub walk over lockdown you will have to rely on the fort – which is still exciting in its own right.

The walk starts in Cholesbury, a small hilltop village between Chesham and Tring, at the Full Moon pub.

The fort can be seen on the shorter walk and was probably constructed in the Middle Iron Age (between 300 and 100 BC).

There are plenty of footpaths for you to choose your own detours while spotting the wildlife in the woodland.

Just off Cholesbury Common is the Cholesbury Camp, with the fort consisting of a large ditch with ramparts crowned by beech trees.

The ten-acre area includes the Holy Pond and St Laurence Church, although the original Norman church was rebuilt in 1872.

Find out more here.

The Box Moor Trust Walks

Hemel Hempstead
(Image: Ricci Fothergill/RMC)

Slightly away from the Chilterns, but still ideal for people in the area, this walk helps you explore parts of the countryside near Hemel Hempstead.

There are a handful of different routes, but for those able to walk up hills and want a longer walk there’s the Red Walk, which is around three-and-a-half miles.

The walk starts at Plough Gardens near to Hemel Hempstead Cricket Club, crossing the canal and railway line onto the moor.

A signposted route should make this one easy to follow, with the route entering Upper Roughdown wood, which is ideal for a winter stroll through the fallen leaves.

Find out more here.

Pitstone Hill, Ashridge and Aldbury Walk

Ivinghoe Beacon is part of the beautiful Ashridge Estate
(Image: Buckinghamshire Advertiser)

If you’re wanting to see the best of the county then it makes sense to go for a walk through the Ashridge Estate.

It’s ideal for just strolling around and getting lost in, but if you do want to plan your weekend walk, this route adds in views from the top of Pitstone Hill as well.

It’s around six miles long and starts at Tring railway station, before walking past Aldbury Nowers and up the hill, which if you pick a clear day will give you stunning views over miles of countryside.

It then cuts through the woodland on the Ashridge Estate before passing through Aldbury – a village known for being the quaint country escape people are desperate to move to.

Find out more here.

HertsLive – Hemel Hempstead