indicates every 2 miles
|Cycle Route Details|
|Route Name||Bushey to London Colney Off Road Loop|
|Distance : miles (km)||20.39 (32.81)|
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|First, this is quite a long predominantly off-road route that uses footpaths and bridal ways, and is not ideally suited for young children. the route should be broken down for younger cyclists. Care is also required, as many people use the footpaths and bridal ways, including families with young children, dogs, horse etc. Also, in the winter months, it can be very muddy and slippery in places and takes longer to complete, ( it has taken us over 5 hours, with stops, previously.). In the summer months it is a blast and very fast!( 2 hours of pure boostin').
The starting point we use is the Toby Carvery just off the A41/B462 roundabout at Bushey/Watford. Out of the car park take the pavement for approx,( all my distances are approximated!), 200mtrs, under the M1 bridge towards Aldenham/Radlett. Immediately after the bridge, on the left hand side, you will see the public foot path that leads up over the field towards the little dell of trees. Ride up the foot path and as soon as you arrive at the tree line take the track that leads into the trees on your right. Follow this track, keeping to the right at all times. The track then bends around to the left and takes you along next to the Aldenham golf course. Follow the track until you come across the wooden gate/ stye on the right. Go over the stye and follow the track, down and up a little dip.
Once you have crested the lip , 50 mtrs on the right you will just make out, (not so easy to make out in the foliage thick trees, bushes of the summer.), a narrow track that follows the boundry of the golf course. Take this track, slippery roots in the winter, lots of little jumps, until you arrive at cross paths, they have recently cleared/ cut down many trees here. Take the right path, field on your left, trees to your right. Keep to the path until you come to the metal gate, go around the gate and follow the path to the right through the trees/ public footpath that takes you through the middle of the golf course. You will eventually, 400mtrs, come out on another public footpath/ bridle way, T junction. Take a left here and follow the bridle way towards Otterspool Lane. Once at the gate at Otterspool, turn right towards the Brown Castle looking building, ( I believe this may be Wall Hall House?). Ride up to the front entrance of the house,(gravel driveway.), and you will see a small pathway straight in front, (left hand side), follow this path around to the right and up towards the trees. You will come across another metal gate with a stye to the right, pass through this gate and follow the track to the right and up the hill. You will see a narrow path through the bushes that climbs up the hill. Once the hill levels out,(200 mtrs.), the track will bend to the left.
This is a regular stopping point for us to take on board some water! The previous hill is a lung burster for us smokers!! LOL!! Here you can take the left or right track.If you take the slightly more difficult ,left track, you will travel down a steep hill,(approx 100 mtrs.), turn sharp right, fast down hill with hidden holes,( BE CAREFUL..!!), after approx 100 mtrs take the left fork, (can easily miss this if you are traveling at speed) drop down a steep, slippery incline, approx 40 mtrs, turn sharp right towards gate/ stye.
On the other side , take the bridle path towards your right and follow this to the next gate/stye, (this is an unusual stye, more like a water jump?). Keeping to the bridle way for approx 1000 mtrs, up hills down fast slopes, past fields and the odd big house until you arrive at Watling Street, (between Radlett to your right and Park Street to your left.). You will know you are in the right place as this junction always has a strong smell of gas, no matter what time of the year..!!
Here you turn left towards the industrial estate, travel down the slight hill until you come to the first, new/ modern looking indutrial unit, (Beckos) on your right. Cross the road here, (being careful once again, very fast , main road). Take the gravel foot path past the front on the industrial unit and follow it around the side of the unit and along past the other industrial units. The path turns sharp left , you are now behind the warehouses, (to your left), and next to the main railway link, (to your right). Follow the path up to the, very seldom used, road bridge.
Turn right and follow the road, (bad, uneven , pot holed surface), down the hill and you will see a big detached house to your right and gates to the fishing lakes to your left. Straight in front you will see the public foot path, follow this, (narrow track past bushes), you will see the path goes under the M25 and opens out into a field. Keeping to the track/path to the right follow this until you see the farmers track/ road on your right. Take this track through to the gate/ stye. Follow the tarmac road in front until you arrive at Shenly Road, London Colney, (nearly half way there..!!). Cross the road, (again this can be a fast, busy road, so be carefully and aware of the traffic).
Turn right and follow the path until you come across the blue, wooden, community single storey pub/club house. Once you see this building turn left into the gravel car park and head towards the right, rear of the car park. Here you will find a path (you may have to get off your bike and walk it at this point) that encircles the lakes. Follow the path to the bridge, cross the bridge and turn left. Follow this path, approx 250 mtrs, until you see another path that leads to the left through the bushes, (not the first path, the second path, you will know if you are on the"correct" path because if you take the first and WRONG path at any sort of speed you will end up with wet feet..!! Take it from some one who knows, you end up in the lake!!). Once you find the correct path through the trees/ bushes you go over a very small bridge, (blink and you miss it), and this opens up onto a grassy bank next to the river. Go across the narrow foot bridge, turn right, and take a well earned rest at the Green Dragon Pub.
At this point you are half way, the onward route will take you back on your return trip. So take a long rest, take in the beautiful surroundings, even feed the many ducks, swans wild life with the bread that you alway pack..!!
The food at the Green Dragon is second to none. It is not your typical , mass produced slopp that most places seem to serve up these days. This is true home made cooking, some might say a little on the pricey side, (Â£10.00 Sunday roast). However we always treat ourselves to some, goose fat roasted potatoes, with cheese and gravy. They are the best roast potatoes that any of us have ever had, (even better than your mum's!!). They pull a decent pint to boot.
Ok, you have had a good long rest, fed yourselves some carbs, hopefully not had to many to drink, (could never condone that behaviour! Its not big and its not funny! smirk.).
Follow the same path that lead you into the Green Dragon, over the foot bridge, right over the grassy bank , through the trees, bushes, to the foot path. Turn right follow the footpath until it forks,( 100 mtrs.), STOP.This is where to return leg takes a different direction. Take the foot path to your left, up the slight hill through the shrubs, (towards the M25. Eventually, 250 mtrs you will see the footbridge that takes you over the M25). Follow this path over the M25 to Bell Lane. Cross the road using the pedestrian crossing. Ride towards the houses and up the tarmac driveway/ entrance to Arsenal and Watford FC's training ground. In front you will see the automatic gates for Arsenal's training complex, (good opportunity to see the players if that sort of thing floats your boat). To the left is a public footpath that takes you between the two football clubs training grounds. Follow this to the t-junction.
Turn right and follow this footpath/ bridle way to the very end where you will see a new, (very small), industrial/ business park. Take the road, approx 150 mtrs, until you come to the main road, (Shenlybury). Across the road you will see the public foot path carry on through the fields. As you pass through the fields you will eventually end up at the top of the old Shenly Hospital site, (to your right you will see the buildings). Once you are here, follow the public foot path that leads off directly in front of you. This takes you over some pretty rough, slippery, muddy ground. It follows the perimeter of the disused hospital around to the right and has a fast, semi-technical down hill part, only 200 mtrs or so long.
As you follow the path an opening/ gateway thing, will come up on your left that leads into a field. Take this opening and travel down through the field until you come out on Harper Lane. Once you are out on Harper Lane, turn left towards Radlett. Following the foot path, (this road is very dangerous, fast, busy road that has many HGV's from the local Industrial park using it), until you arrive, once more over the railway bridge, at Watling Street. If you look to your right you should see where you came out on your initial route up to London Colney.
Here you can go many ways. We like to turn right and go past where we come out earlier, follow Watling Street towards Park Street/ St. Albans, down the hill until we go past the main entrance, (on your right), to the industrial park. Once you go past this entrance you will see a public footpath on your left between the cottages. Follow this path down through the trees until you come to the end by the horse paddocks and out onto Smug Oak lane. You go across the bridge, and turn immediate left onto the public footpath at Drop Lane. Follow the footpath with the river next to you, go past the car park, on your right, rear of the caravans, back next to the river, over the foot bridge and eventually back out onto Drop Lane. Turn right and up the slight hill, Drop Lane, and follow this lane all the way to its end until you come out on Station Road, Bricket Wood.
Turn left onto Station Road, following the road all the way , around the sharp right hand corner, under the arched railway bridge and up the very slight hill, (woods on your left , houses on your right), until you come to the mini roundabout, (approx 400 mtrs from bridge.).
Just before the mini roundabout on your left, (at the end of the woods, if you see Bucknalls Drive you have gone too far), you will see yet another public foot path leading into the woods. Take this foot path, keeping to the right, this weaves and meanders through the tree's until you see the foot bridge that take you across the railway line. You will have to carry your bike up the steps and push it across the bridge and carry it down the steps the other side, (the steps are extremely big/steep and uneven,slippery in the wet, take it from someone who has tried!).
Here you will see a very fast down hill section directly in front of you, be warned, at the bottom you have to travel across a series of wooden planks, (with wire mesh wrapped around them), to traverse boggy ground. Once at the end of the wooden planks, (extremely slippery in wet conditions!), take the path to your right and head out to the opening, Bricket Wood Common. Follow the path to the right, around the outside of the open ground. You will see a newly created gravel footpath. Turn left on the footpath and follow this out onto School Lane.
Turn right onto School Lane and follow this lane up a slight hill until you come to the Lazy Fox Pub. This is a good opportunity to take a breather, possibly some liquid refreshment.
Once nicely inebriated, sorry, I mean refreshed, follow the footpath to the right as you come out of the pub car park. You now will experience a very fast, narrow foot path, (totally dependant on how many refreshments one had at the previous watering hole!, depends on how fast it actually seems..!!), on a serious note, be careful, many people use this foot path, with young children, dogs and horses. At the bottom of the steep footpath you will see the M1 motorway bridge in front of you. Do not go under the bridge, turn left along the gravel foot path until you come to the gate/ stye.
Through the stye into the field and turn right on to the drive way and across the cattle grid. Follow this drive way, approx 1000 mtrs, over the M1 bridge, down through the trees to the big gates. Go through/ around the gates and turn immediately left and ride along next to the A41. As the A41slip road splits off to go up to the M1, Junction 5 roundabout, turn left on the footpath and down towards Otterspool Lane. Follow this lane, (left), back under the M1 motorway, as you go around the left hand bend just as you passed under the bridge you will see a public footpath on your right. Take this footpath, up the hill, and keep following this , some times quite muddy/slippery, footpath straight until eventually you will recognise this track as the very same footpath you travelled on when you started this ride. Following the footpath down through the trees, out through the field to the gate at Hartspring Lane. Turn right, keeping to the path, under the M1 motorway bridge until eventually you are back where you started, the Toby Carvery.
There we have it, it is a great ride, especially in the summer months, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do....Take care , ride safe..!! Gulf917.
|Landmarks/Pubs for lunch/Sites to see?|
|Toby Carvery. Aldenham Golf Course. Wall Hall House. Watling Street. Various Lakes,Woods,Rivers,Manor houses. Wildlife, plenty of! Green Dragon Public House. Food second to none! Arsenal Football Club Training Ground. Watford Football Club Training Ground. Bricket Wood Common. Lazy Fox Public House.
|Near By Cycle Shops|
|Cycle Tech Hertfordshire|
|Cycling Clubs located in this region|
|Bishop's Stortford Cycling Club|
|Herts Cycling Club|
|South Herts Cyclists|
|Watford Velo Sport|