The November morning had been overcast but the sun was promising to make an appearance. I felt good as I made my way along quiet roads and bridleways towards the first wood of my hike.
The countryside looked and smelt young and vibrant as the morning clouds began to clear, it was impossible not to whistle a happy tune as I walked.
The idea was to head southwards towards the town of Cuffley which stands on the very outer edge of the London. The walk would take in six woods of varying sizes.
I also intended to use the hike as an opportunity to find some new wild camping locations for Spring 2014, never too early to start looking!
I found the entrance to Bramfield wood a couple of miles south of Watton. It’s a lovely piece of woodland, I saw horse riders and a couple of dog walkers and not one trace of litter, wow, a really good sign.
I passed through the village of Bramfield and crossed a muddy field to Park wood. This was another gorgeous wood and again no litter, I strolled slowly under the trees, no one else was about, just the odd daft Pheasant flapping in terror at my approach.
Leaving Park wood I crossed the lovely River Mimram and headed on south towards Bayford. This section of the walk was wood-less and I managed to get lost, which is always somewhat embarrassing and always frustrating..
Once back on the right path I stopped to chat to a friendly looking horse.
Occasionally I found my path blocked by trees blown down in the storms of the previous week.
At last I reached Bayford wood. I stood at the entrance for a while, stunned by the beauty of the wood in her autumn colours.
A small stream ran through the wood, I was very tempted to leave the footpath and venture deeper into the trees but time was against me. I’ll have to come back another day (or night!).
The route to Blackfan wood from Bayford wood (less than half a mile as the crow flies) follows a road and I didn’t fancy that. I checked the map and noticed that a only couple of fields stood between me and Blackfan. Time for a quick bit of trespass!
I hopped over a gate and walked quickly across the fields, I felt somewhat exposed in my bright red jacket. Finally I reached the barbed wire fence that ran between the fields and Blackfan wood. I gingerly stepped over the fence and slipped on the muddy surface, tearing a gash in my trousers. Oh well, I was over the fence though and otherwise unharmed.
I can’t remember that much about Blackfan wood but I’m sure it was lovely.
I was starting to tire by the time I reached Wormley wood.
I found a bench in the middle of the wood, took my brew-kit out and made a wondrous cuppa tea. I sat there for half an hour or more and not a single other person passed my way. Just me, the trees, the breeze and the birds. Perfect.
Wormley wood blends into Derry’s wood at some point, I was tired by this and didn’t pay that much attention to my surroundings, which is a shame as I’m certain Derry’s wood has much to offer.
I let Derry’s wood and arrived in Cuffley after a mile or so of road-walking. London was only a few miles to my south, dusk was falling, the train station was a welcome site.
Hertfordshire, a county of many fine woods and these are only six of them.