Saturday, 26 August 2017

Hertfordshire Way Day 7 - 24 August - Reed to Bishop's Stortford

Started walking 7.10am
Distance walked 15 miles
Finished walking 7.30pm

After only a few minutes walking, I came across a bee hotel!


I reached Barkway at about 7.30am, a delightful place despite the road passing through it. In the churchyard, I found a small wooden cross leaning against a wall. The lady I met at Reed yesterday told me about it so I was curious to see it. She told me that it commemorates a man (a hermit, I suppose) who lived in a nearby wood for many years. The cross appeared to be deteriorating and I couldn't make out much of the carved lettering. I can't find anything online about it.




At Nuthampstead, I stopped by the pub, The Woodman Inn. It wasn't open for business but I went in and they kindly filled my water bottles. Outside The Woodman is a large memorial stone dedicated to the United States 398th Squadron which was based here from 1944-1945 from where Flying Fortress missions took off.




After Little Hormead at a remote farm, Mutfords, I saw what appeared to be a graveyard for several Austin A40s.



I hadn't been to Patmore Heath for a very long time. I remember Sunday afternoon drives there from home with my family. At a house overlooking the green, a lady sold home made confectionery. I particularly remember coconut ice.

Approaching Hadham Hall, there were official notices posted at field edges here and there. They were giving notice of proposed compulsory purchase orders relating to land which is to be acquired for a bypass to the north of Little Hadham, a nearby village on the A120. This is lovely countryside here and the works will seriously diminish this part of the Hertfordshire Way. I suspect the occupants of the rather posh houses and apartments in the nearby Hadham Hall aren't very happy about it either.

Just past Hadham Hall, I stopped to get the stove out to make tea as I had time to spare before meeting Amanda at Bishop's Stortford Tesco. 

I really enjoyed the eighty or so miles of the Way. I didn't meet anyone else also doing it, just the odd dog walker, which was a real shame as it is quite delightful. The only other blogs featuring it are either cumulative day walks or continuous walks but ending at maybe a B&B each night. I was keen to see how easy wild camping would be (because that is what I do) and there were so many opportunities. However, water has to be sourced and carried along the way.

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