Book 1, Walk 7 - Garston to St Albans
Length: 14 km (8.7 miles)
Toughness: 1 out of 10 (more when muddy)
: 09-54 hrs Northampton service
Arrive Watford Junction
: 10-09 hrs
Leave Watford Junction
: 10-24 hrs St Albans Abbey Service
: 10-29 hrs
Return: St Albans Abbey
to London Euston
, via Watford Junction: 15-22, 16-07, 16-54 and 17-42 hrs.
Rail ticket: but a day return to St Albans Abbey.
SWC Wags call this walk "Ghastly to St Albans" and whingers bemoan the traffic noise (verily, the walk is sited between two motorways). Add in some serious mud at the start of the walk as you try to negotiate Bricket Wood Common, and you might wonder why anyone would want to venture out on this walk.
But the walk does have some redeeming features which I like and methinks the Festive Season is the best time of the year to give it a spin: there is usually a good Christmas fair in the precincts of St Albans Abbey
and if you are lucky you might catch a carol service in the Abbey. Even if not, a visit to the Abbey at walk end is de rigueur - and it has a very good cafe for your tea stop.
Having walked through Bricket Wood Common you pass Munden House and head along quiet tracks and over fields to Moor Mill
for an early(ish) lunch at a Beefeater pub-restaurant, sitting snugly under the M25 motorway. You then head for Park Street via the only hilly bit today, on the Ver Valley walk passing some lakes en route. Onwards then over water meadows and a leg beside the River Ver and on into St Albans.
After visiting the Abbey you head downhill into Verulamium Park
, on the way passing an excellent pub for beer lovers, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. It's then a pleasant walk through the Park to St Albans Abbey railway station for your journey home.
Recommended - but whingers should stay away.
Walk Directions here: L=1.7