We'll be walking a scenic route taking in the countryside around Hertford, passing through the villages of Stapleford and Chapmore End and stopping for a swift half at the lovely country pub, The Woodman. Hertford dates back to 673 and has retained its medieval layout in the centre, it has a Norman castle, McMullens Brewers, a small gallery/theatre/indie cinema and a lot of independent shops.
We'll head north out of Hertford and walk up the River Beane to Stapleford, where we'll break for a picnic lunch. Then we'll cut country to Stonyhills and pop into the pub at Chapmore End. Then we'll loop back into Hertford via Bengeo, Hartham Common and the River Lea towpath. We'll probably finish between 2-3pm, depending on how long we decide to spend in the pub!
This is an easy, mostly flat walk at a moderate pace - you should be able to walk around 3 miles an hour and have done similar distances before.
I'll meet you at 10.18am at Hertford North Station (outside its only exit) off the train departing from Finsbury Park at 9.41. Anyone who wants to meet a bit earlier in order to get the Group Saver ticket and save a third on the rail fare should go to the ticket office, just left of the entrance at Station Place. Wait for 2 more hikers and start queueing for tickets at 9.25, then go to the train. If you get there later than 9.25 then please just buy your own ticket and go straight to the train. Bring exact change as it'll make it easier for the person buying all the tickets. I'll message everyone my phone number so we can all find each other at Hertford North. Buy an off peak return (valid on this train but no earlier in the day). Group Saver Tickets cost £7.70, regular ones £11.60. Oyster cards are not valid on this route.
Please wear hiking boots (no trainers!) and bring a rucksack with cash, water and/or thermos, snacks, a packed lunch, full rain gear and a jumper. Bring a head torch if you own one, just in case. I will bring the map, compass and first aid supplies.