Watford to Aldenham Country loop walk via Colne River

The Watford to Aldenham country loop walk takes you along the banks of the River Colne and to the pretty village of Aldenham with its 13th C church. Start close to Watford centre, but immediately leave the hustle of the town and head out along the banks of the calming River Colne. Spend a couple of hours in the country along this trek.

The path is easy to follow especially if you use the linked map on your mobile to guide you. The 7 mile wander through the country near Watford will take between 2 ½ to 3 hours.

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Begin the route at Water Lane at the junction with the Colne River. During the early 1900’s the Colne repeatedly flooded and locals reportedly had to enter their houses on the upper floors from boats. There is a small statute that reminds us of this time.

Begin the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
A reminder of Watford’s flooded past

Follow the map and keep the river Colne on your right. Go under the road bridge and into Waterfields Play Area.

Continue along the path and cross under the railway bridge into Radlet Road Playing Fields

The river is still on your right. At the end of the playing fields cross Colonial Way and enter another set of playing fields, the home to Watford Rugby Club.

Watford Rugby club on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
Watford Rugby Club

When you leave the rugby playing fields the route keeps close to the river but follows a section of Radlet Road. You soon move away from the road and enter Munden Road Open Space.

The Colne has moved off to the right but continue along the path until you arrive at the A41.

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Munden Estate

Cross the road and pass through the large gates ahead of you. This takes you onto a track that crosses the M1 and leads onto Munden House.

This route turns off before you reach Munden House which has an interesting history. The estate has been in the same family since 1607. The house and estate (1050 acres) frequently appear in films and on television. Some recent examples include The Crown, The Windsors, The Outcast, Midsomer Murders and Granchester.

Our route turns off before reaching Munden House. Use the map to determine where to turn right.

The Route to Aldenham

Keep to the footpath as it rejoins the River Colne heading back towards Watford.

Cross a small stream and continue until you arrive at a bridge crossing the river proper.

Cross the Colne on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
Crossing the Colne

The track rises after you cross the river and passes through a wood called Binghams.

Binghams wood on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
Binghams Wood

It was nice to see the bluebells out in force, reminding us all that spring is here and Covid has not stopped nature asserting her power of rejuvenation.

Bluebells on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
Spring bluebells

The footpath crosses Aldenham Golf & Country Club.

At the end of the path turn slightly left and avoid the right turn. Immediately afterwards turn right. Continue along the route to Aldenham.

In the centre of the village lies St John the Baptist church. The site may have been the site of pre-christian worship. Written documentation from 1267 show a vicar’s appointment to the parish church. Parts of the church still retain work from the 14th, 15th & 16th centuries.

Aldenham church on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
St John the Baptist church Aldenham

Head back to Watford

Continue along the route out of the village along the road. At the t-junction cross and enter the field opposite.

Wheat field on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop

At the end of the field turn left and head towards the Three Compasses public house.

Only pub on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
The Three Compasses

You maybe tempted in for a quick drink or a bite to eat. It’s the only refreshment point on the walk.

Turn right into a new estate and exit via the footpath that crosses the M1. After passing through some open ground descend and cross the A41.

Jewish Cemetery

On the other side of the A41 you’ll find yourself walking between two fences and on either side there are a massive number of gravestones. These two plots of land serve northwest London’s United Synagogue community. The original cemetery was founded in 1947 and a new cemetery was added in 2017.

Exit the cemetery path at Little Bushey Lane and continue straight on.

This long path offers wide open vistas on either side. Parts of this path were very muddy during the winter but have now dried out and are easy walking.

The final part of the route

When you exit the path turn immediately right.

Behing Masonic Boys school on the Watford to Aldenham Country loop

You pass behind what used to be the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys.

This large gothic construction built at the very beginning of the 20th century housed up to 800 boys. However, by 1977 numbers had significantly dropped and the school closed. The site has now been redeveloped into private housing and flats.

If you want to see the main building don’t turn right at the track but continue along the road when you leave the path and turn right into The Avenue.

The old Boys Masonic School

Whichever route you take you’ll arrive at Aldenham Road. Keep on this main road until you arrive at Grove Road.

The final leg of the Watford to Aldenham Country loop
Grove Road

Follow Grove Road to the bottom and turn left. This will take you back to the start of the Watford to Aldenham country loop.

What next?

If you enjoyed the Watford to Aldenham country loop trail then you can find a lot more interesting walks at Find a walk – Britain.

Do you have a favourite walk? We are always looking for new walks that everyone can enjoy. Please go to Share your walk and find out how to add your favourite route to the web site.

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2 thoughts on “Watford to Aldenham Country loop walk via Colne River”

  1. Right at the start it should say that the River Colne should be on one’s right, not left.

  2. Hi Peter, Thanks for spotting the mistake. It would be a lie to call it deliberate. I have corrected it now.

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