STOOP Walk 4. 2.7 miles
You walk on good footpaths on this (just under) three mile walk and there are fine views to enjoy as you make the gentle climb to Datchworth. Approaching Woolmer Green through wide fields where ponies graze there are more views, and two stiles to climb as you descend to the village for the bus home. You can follow your route on OS Explorer Maps 193 and 182.
Good bus services serve this short walk and All Saints Church at Datchworth is well worth a visit – with its twelfth century nave and bedhead graveboards in the church yard. Once you reach Woolmer Green there are welcoming pubs too.
Link Bus: SB8 from Bus Station, Stop A
Alight at the Ashdown Road Stop
Turn right on leaving the bus and walk on up to the hill a little way to a finger post pointing across the road and indicating a bridleway. This marks the start of Link Path 4 .
Link Path 4: Stevenage (Hertford Road) to Datchworth. 1.5 miles. Start Point TL257213.
Cross Hertford Road here and follow through Cardiff Close, bearing left to take the signed bridleway ahead through the trees. Continue along this track, under the railway arch and keep straight ahead to follow the clear, well used track up the hill. This brings you to a road. Cross and Turn right on to a broad grassy verge. After about 100 yards, just beyond a stand of trees, you meet a finger post by the road edge (261207). This indicates Public Bridleway 003 to Keeper’s Cottage and you Turn Left to follow the direction indicated.
The track is broader now, pleasantly tree lined and you can catch glimpses of Datchworth Church spire across the fields, diagonally to your right. Keep on as the track begins to climb and comes out into the open and follow it along a field edge, with a hedge on your right. There are fine views across the countryside here, do remember to look back if you pause for breath a while as you steadily gain a little height. This track eventually emerges at Bury Lane.
Go right here and follow Bury Lane on to Datchworth Church. Ignore the right turn to Knebworth but continue steadily up the hill to go past Hollybush Lane on your right and farm buildings on either side, eventually to pass the wooden Datchworth sign by the roadside. You reach All Saints Church on your right. Just past the church look for a public bridleway signed to your right. This marks the end of Link Path 4 (268193).
You now join STOOP
STOOP Four: Datchworth to Woolmer Green. 1.2 miles.
Turn right along this bridleway. After a few yards you come across a thoughtfully provided bench, from which there are pleasant open views across the fields to the hills beyond. Note - but do not take – the well used footpath crossing the field in front of you. You now continue as before along the bridleway, with the hedge on your right, eventually bearing right to walk along the road for a short way.
As you are passing the school, (266192) be on the look out for the next waymark. It is on your left, on a metal gate post, at the entrance to a field. Go through the gate and follow in the direction indicated, along the edge of the field, again with the hedge on your right. This leads you across an open field, heading towards trees. At its end, climb the stile, turn right and beyond the curved brick wall opposite, almost immediately left. Go through the kissing gate here (262190). Ahead you will see two kissing gates, each situated under the power line. Cross the field to the left hand gate, go through and on in the same direction to a stile beneath a tree.
Woolmer Green is now clearly in view as you climb the stile and descend to Woolmer Green on the clear path ahead. At the bend, go down steps to a lane (256188). Turn left here and then right into Garden Road. Follow the footpath round to the flats on your right. At the flats, look for a fingerpost directing you to a footpath to the left of the flats. Take this path now, passing through a small play area to emerge at the main road. This is the B197. Turn left here. The zebra crossing is a few yards ahead to your left. Cross the road safely here. The Red Lion (254187) is on your immediate right and the bus stop for the bus home is only a few yards further on.
Link Bus: 300/301 To Stevenage Bus Station