Therfield Heath and Village

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Therfield Heath is often called Royston Heath because it is closer to Royston. It is frequented by many of the townspeople enjoying their leisure time, from walking the dog to kite-flying on the often windswept face of the hills. It was favoured by King James I for its excellent hunting. From this busy patch the walk rises quickly within 15 minutes to give vast views over Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. On through beechwoods to the treetop views of the Pen Hills, where the most extensive barrow cemetery in the Chilterns lies. The butterflies and birds in the wood can be wonderful. Then over the next 4km we meander through the ups and downs of the chalk hills and less populated valleys on the way up to Therfield. The grassy mounds are like desert dunes but covered with lush green grass instead of sand. A short detour round the outskirts of Therfield and Kelshall takes us along medieval trackways worn down to below the field height. Finally we reach the ancient Icknield Way, giving views to the west on the way back to the Neolithic long barrows of the heath.

England - East England - Cambridgeshire - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife
22/03/2019 - Jim Leigh

Point 7 (end): ruined brick hut has been demolished and virtually all traces have gone. Point 8 (start): make sure you turn right (cross the stile and go diagonally across the field).

10/04/2016 - Kevin Briggs

Walked this on 10/4/16. Found our way fairly comfortably although some stages could do with updating as the area has changed over the years since the original post/ last update. Loved the splendid views, quaint villages and Tudor houses along the route. Finished off with refreshments at Royston Rugby Club. Without a doubt will be returning

07/05/2013 - Daron Wild

Although, it was a nice long walk, I only took along the instructions ( no navigation aids or maps ). You need a map really, as the instructions on a number of the waypoints were confusing or a bit vague. I ended up in Therfield village, not Kelsall ( pleasant mistake though, as there was an excellent pub for lunch ) This walk is over 6 years old now, and would benefit from a revisit - the landscape has changed since originally written.

23/03/2012 - Ted Hollingdale

Absolutely fabulous walk through chalk downland. I have lived within 15 miles of this walk for over 30 years and just discovered it!!

13/11/2011 - Alan Sturges

Superb. Rolling Hills, woods, friendly golfers. Free and safe parking at the start. Highly recommended at any time of the year.

28/08/2009 - Margaret Baldry

16.08.09 Repeated the walk on a glorious clear windy day - exhilarating! Short of time, we cut out the bit via The Thrift (between 10 and 13) but the walk was poorer for it.

03/03/2009 - Margaret Baldry

01/03/2009 A most enjoyable walk which we will certainly do again in better weather when we can see the views! Therfield church porch is good shelter at lunchtime. At 19 the farmer has placed a low fence along the field edge (preumably anti-rabbit?) which we stepped over - and were grateful for the advice to head for the electricity poles and follow the tractor tracks. Many thanks to all concerned. (Please would you check point 24 on the map and on directions - should it be 345375, indicating the left hand turn in the path?)

27/11/2008 - Walkingworld Administrator

Walk updated in November 2008 thanks to Adrian Perkins.

04/10/2006 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks to Adrian Perkins for updating this walk September 2006.

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