We're sort of running out of obvious places to walk (that we can easily get to for a reasonable starting time). But a circular walk from Berkhamsted seemed a reasonable idea.


From the station we crossed the canal and passed by an enormous private school. After that we came to the high street and the impressive church. It had a new-looking organ with matching choir stalls, which impressed Mum (who sings in a church choir).

And this very shiny plaque by one of the altars.
1/30 at f4, 23mm, ISO800 51°45′30″N 0°33′45″W

After going along the high street a little way, we turned south through expensive-looking, bland suburbia.

Bland suburbia with a pretty cool water tower, mind you.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′15″N 0°34′50″W

We diverted for a closer look at the water tower and then reached the edge of town and headed out on a footpath across farmland.

South of the canal

Nice tree in wheatfield.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′21″N 0°35′29″W

Marlin Chapel Farm was reputed to have a moat, but we didn't really see it. However we did see the supposedly medieval fishpond... and the chapel. The chapel is in a fenced-off area and is somewhat ruined. It only has four corners left and is otherwise mostly nettles.

One quarter of the chapel remains, looking across the rest of it.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′16″N 0°36′23″W

We followed a lane past a fairly impressive old house, now divided into expensive flats (and its stables, also divided into expensive flats). Bizarrely, this complex also included a kind of business park with several small companies; there was even a scuba-diving company van parked. Berkhamsted is pretty much as far from the sea as you can get, and we don't think you can scuba-dive in the canal.

Car park and storage.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′26″N 0°36′47″W

We left the area down their rather impressive tree-lined drive (it's gated with entryphones, but if you're on foot there's an open side way). The tree canopy is so thick it's practically a tunnel. Anyway, our route continued along more country lanes.

A small estate around an ex-farm (now stables, plus expensive housing) had a model-railway track running alongside part of the road. Neat. No trains though. After that, a slight change of scene: our footpath crossed through an estate of what looked like kind of 'mobile' or at least system-built homes.

And a field and this woodshed. I didn't increase the colour at all...
1/30 at f5, 23mm, ISO640 51°45′54″N 0°37′41″W

We stopped for lunch not long after in a field with several large circles of dense trees (trees of all different kinds). Odd, but a nice place to eat. After that, we walked along roads for a little way.

Speed limit sign.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°46′28″N 0°38′18″W

More roads, footpaths, across the main road, fields, and then toward the canal again at Cow Roast Lock.

Fields (presumably) sown with poppyseed.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°46′53″N 0°36′54″W
A canal building (which I've photographed before).
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°47′0″N 0°36′42″W

North of the canal

We crossed the railway line on a footbridge.

Stencil on the bridge.
1/250 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 51°47′0″N 0°36′29″W

A pretty lane led up to National Trust land north of Berkhamsted, which was most of the rest of our walk. Basically woodland with way too many marked paths (we got lost a bit).

Sign on lane.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°46′55″N 0°36′3″W
Mossy tree.
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO1600 51°47′5″N 0°35′42″W
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°47′13″N 0°35′37″W
Foxgloves significantly taller than Mum.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°47′38″N 0°35′39″W
More sun.
1/500 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°47′38″N 0°34′30″W

Finally we followed a path down into Berkhamsted again.

Gap in hedge, and me.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°46′28″N 0°33′15″W

Berkhamsted again

Under the railway bridges.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′47″N 0°33′40″W

We ate dinner at 'Pizza et pizza' which seemed a slightly odd language mix; Mum asked, apparently it was set up by Italian and French people. After that we walked around the town and canal a little more.

Nice house number.
1/30 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′46″N 0°34′10″W
Duck formation.
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′47″N 0°34′9″W
'Spirited Away' narrowboat (named after the Miyazaki film). Shiny!
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′45″N 0°33′59″W
Road bridge.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′44″N 0°33′49″W
Coloured graffiti under bridge.
1/30 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 51°45′44″N 0°33′48″W

That's it. Was actually a pretty nice walk even though we didn't manage to fit in the disused airfield. :) Maybe next time.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.