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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Wednesday Walk - St. Margarets (Hertfordshire) Circular

Length:  19.5 km/12.1 mi or 25.6 km/15.9 mi
Ascent/Descent:  230 or 300m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¼ hours or 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  3 out of 10 or 5 out of 10
Take the  09.42 Hertford East train from  Liverpool Street (Hackney Downs 09.48, Tottenham Hale [Victoria Line] 09.55, Ponders End 09.59 etc.), arrives  St. Margarets 10.21.
Return trains are on xx.17 and xx.47.

This walk leads along ancient tracks and green lanes through some very quiet, rolling East Hertfordshire countryside defined by wheat fields and woods, in-between extensive stretches along the Ash, Rib and Lea rivers. Cold Christmas hamlet and a haunted, ruined church are passed just before lunch, taken in one of three recommended pubs, either in Wadesmill or High Cross (Long Walk). Long parts of the afternoon route are spent in the scenic Ash valley, before passing through Amwell Nature Reserve, a bird watcher’s paradise. The final stretch leads along the Lea Navigation back to St. Margarets.

[Short Walk] The White Horse or The Chequers Inn in Wareside (12.9 km/8.0 mi).
[Long Walk] The Anchor or The Feathers Inn in Wadesmill (10.9 km/6.8 mi). The White Horse in High Cross is now shut for conversion into dwellings.
Tea: The Jolly Fisherman, The Oak, The Red Lion, all minutes from the station.
For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.165.a


Marion said...

This walk is not suitable for a mid-week winter walk where the short version is 12 miles long with lunch after 8 miles. As a founder member of the mid-week walkers could I remind walk posters that the group mainly consists of senior walkers who prefer a more leisurely pace using senior railcards which cannot be used until after 9.30 or10.00 am if using a Network card for our younger walkers on a day off from work.

Thomas G said...

I disagree, and on several accounts. (I) It is autumn, not winter. There is light until 17.00 hours. (II) The train posted was at 9.42 (ie after 9.30) and the full price rtn ticket was - at £11,80 - below the minimum threshold of £13.00 for the Network Railcard, so the 10 o'clock cutoff for that didn't matter. (III) And, arriving in St. Margarets at 10.21, it meant that there was ample time for slower walkers doing the short walk to get to a pub 8 miles away, had they tried.

Thomas G said...

As it was, the delayed 9.42 was terminated at Broxbourne "to regulate the service", so we had to wait for the 10.12 anyway, and were half an hour behind the posted schedule upon arrival at St. Margarets.
n=7 walkers were up for this ramble in w=overcast-later-sunny conditions, which featured gently rolling fields, plenty of small woods showing autumn colours, streams and rivers, grassy valleys, a haunted ruined church, a birdwatchers' paradise, the Lea Navigation and just one stile and only 500m of arable field crossings. What's not to like?
4 opted for the main (long) walk with lunch at The Anchor, which proved to be exceptionally good value: main course plus drink for £15 for two people, and tasty it was as well, and the beer was delicious! The other 3 took Shortcut II, cutting all of 1 mile from the main walk (ie no one walked the short walk). The 4 long walkers caught the 'shortcutters' mid-afternoon and we arrived back in St. Margarets as one group. As we turned from the Lea Navigation onto the road, the level barriers were down for the 16.47 train, and one tried (but failed) to catch it, the rest went straight into The Jolly Fisherman for a bevvie. A jolly good day was had by all.

Anonymous said...

A day return fare from Tottenham Hale to St Margaret's using an Oyster pay as you go is £9.70.

Sandy said...

Same price as my ticket from the machine then!

Sean said...

To be pedantic about the fares, there is no such thing as a day return on Oyster. A paper day return ticket is £9.70, as Sandy says. If you use Oyster you'll probably pay £3.60 out (off-peak, touch-in after 9.30am) + £5.70 back (peak, touch-in 4-7pm) = £9.30, so slightly cheaper.

If you have a Senior Railcard the paper day return is £6.40. If your railcard is linked to your Oyster card the fare out is reduced to £2.40 but there's no discount on the peak fare back. In this case the paper day return is cheaper (£6.40 vs. £8.10).

For other journeys the prices will obviously be different, but in general if your return journey is in peak the paper day return will be cheaper if you have a Senior Railcard and Oyster PAYG cheaper if you don't.

Sandy said...

Thanks for all this detailed information Sean. It only came up because we were surprised to see Oyster card readers at St Margarets and I wondered if I needn't have bothered buying a paper ticket. I'm inclined to think if you have to do that much research to know the answer, I'll be sticking to old tech for a while yet.