HarpendenSt Albans

Harsta four
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Slow Way not verified yet. Verify Harsta here.

By Jane Taylor on 15 May 2022


Distance

12km/7mi

Ascent

-

Descent

-

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Description

This route is based on Harsta Three. I found the lengthy walk between Sandridge and St Albans alongside the B651 tedious and unpleasant, and I figured an alternative pleasant off-road alternative might improve the overall Slow Ways experience. So here it is!

From Harpenden, leave town on the common, and then follow waymarked paths along the golf course. Fields alongside the railway line, and then a bridle path through Heartwood Forest to Sandridge (refreshments). Leave Sandridge through the churchyard and take a footpath to the end of Jersey Lane, a shared foot and cycle way which leads to Jersey Farm Fields, a large recreational area of grass and woodland. Finally, footpaths and residential streets to St Albans. This routing swerves the B651, but it does add c. 800 metres to the Harsta Three route. It's still about 2.5 km shorter than Harsta One though!

This route is based on Harsta Three. I found the lengthy walk between Sandridge and St Albans alongside the B651 tedious and unpleasant, and I figured an alternative pleasant off-road alternative might improve the overall Slow Ways experience. So here it is!

From Harpenden, leave town on the common, and then follow waymarked paths along the golf course. Fields alongside the railway line, and then a bridle path through Heartwood Forest to Sandridge (refreshments). Leave Sandridge through the churchyard and take a footpath to the end of Jersey Lane, a shared foot and cycle way which leads to Jersey Farm Fields, a large recreational area of grass and woodland. Finally, footpaths and residential streets to St Albans. This routing swerves the B651, but it does add c. 800 metres to the Harsta Three route. It's still about 2.5 km shorter than Harsta One though!

Status

This route has been reviewed by 3 people.

There are no issues flagged.

Photos for Harsta four

Photos of this route will appear when they are added to a review. You can review this route here.


Information

Not verified

Route status - Live

Reviews - 3

Average rating -

Is this route good enough? -  Yes (3)

There are currently no problems reported with this route.

Downloads - 7

Surveys

What is this route like?

Surveys are submitted by fellow users of this website and show what you might expect from this Slow Ways route. Scroll down the page to read more detailed surveys.

Grade 4X based on 1 surveys Sign up or log in to survey this route.
Description Note
Grade 4: Route includes very rough surfaces including deep ruts, steep loose gravel, unmade paths and deep muddy sections. Wheelchairs may experience traction/wheel spin issues.
Access grade X: At least one stile, flight of steps or other obstacle that is highly likely to block access for wheelchair and scooter users.
Grading is based on average scores by surveyors. This slow way has 1 surveys.
Full grading description

Only people who have completed our training can become Slow Ways surveyors and submit a survey. We do not vet contributors, so we cannot guarantee the quality or completeness of the surveys they complete. If you are dependent on the information being correct we recommend reading and comparing surveys before setting off.

Survey Photos

Facilities

Facilities in the middle third of this route.

Not present at time of survey Public toilet (1)
Present at time of survey Wheelchair accessible toilet (1)
Present at time of survey Supermarket (1)
Present at time of survey Restaurant (1)
Maybe present Vegan restaurant (1)
Maybe present Accommodation (1)
Maybe present Accommodation < £50 (1)
Not present at time of survey Campsite (1)
Not present at time of survey Bothy (1)
Not present at time of survey Free wifi (1)
Maybe present Public phone (1)
Present at time of survey Mobile phone coverage (1)
Not present at time of survey Train station (1)
Present at time of survey Bench (1)
Present at time of survey Picnic table (1)
Present at time of survey Bus stop (1)
Not present at time of survey Ferry (1)

Challenges

Potential challenges reported on this route. Some challenges are seasonal.

Not present at time of survey Scrambling (1)
Not present at time of survey Wading (1)
Not present at time of survey Swimming (1)
Not present at time of survey Climbing (1)
Not present at time of survey Stepping stones (1)
Not present at time of survey Very slippery (1)
Maybe present Very muddy (1)
Not present at time of survey Very icy (1)
Not present at time of survey Likely to flood (1)
Present at time of survey Long grass sections (1)
Not present at time of survey Crops encroaching on path (1)
Not present at time of survey Diverted path (1)

Obstacles

Obstacles on this route.

Not present at time of survey Stiles (1)
Present at time of survey Step and kerbs (1)
Present at time of survey Possible to avoid steps, if applicable (1)
Not present at time of survey Flights of steps (1)
Not present at time of survey Gates (1)
Present at time of survey Kissing gates (1)
Present at time of survey Locked gates (1)
Not present at time of survey Disables access gates (1)
Present at time of survey Cycle barriers (1)
Not present at time of survey Ladders (1)
Not present at time of survey Cattle grids (1)
Not present at time of survey Fords (1)
Not present at time of survey Narrow bridges (1)
Not present at time of survey Ferry required (1)
Present at time of survey Acceptable road walking (1)
Not present at time of survey Unacceptable road walking (1)
Not present at time of survey Dangerous road crossings (1)
Present at time of survey Walking on paths beside roads (1)
Present at time of survey Walking on verges beside roads (1)
Not present at time of survey Railway crossings (1)
Not present at time of survey River crossings (1)
Not present at time of survey Cattle possible (1)
Present at time of survey Horses possible (1)
Not present at time of survey Tidal area (1)
Not present at time of survey Potential falls (1)
Not present at time of survey Exposed to elements (1)
Not present at time of survey Remote area (1)
Not present at time of survey Mountainous area (1)
Not present at time of survey Military training area (1)
Not present at time of survey No visible path (1)
Not present at time of survey Seasonal nesting birds (1)
Not present at time of survey Other hazards (1)

Accessibility

Is this route step and stile free?

Present at time of survey Free of stiles (1)
Present at time of survey Free of single steps/kerbs (1)
Present at time of survey Free of flights of steps (1)
Not present at time of survey Free of other obstacles (1)

Measurements

Surveyors were asked to measure the narrowest and steepest parts of paths.

The narrowest part of the path is 55.0cm (1)

The steepest uphill gradient walking East 9.0% (1)

The steepest uphill gradient walking West 9.0% (1)

The steepest camber gradient across the path 2.0% (1)

How clear is the waymarking on the route: Unclear in places (1)

Successfully completed

We asked route surveyors "Have you successfully completed this route with any of the following? If so, would you recommend it to someone with the same requirements?". Here is how they replied.

Small Pug-sized dog (0)
Small Labrador-sized dog (0)
Large St. Bernard-sized dog (0)
Standard pram (0)
Off-road rugged pram (0)
Standard wheelchair (0)
Off-road rugged wheelchair (0)
Standard mobility scooter (0)
Off-road rugged mobility scooter (0)

Recommended by an expert

We asked route surveyors "Are you a trained access professional, officer or expert? If so, is this route suitable for someone travelling with any of the following?" Here is how they replied.

Small Pug-sized dog (0)
Small Labrador-sized dog (0)
Large St. Bernard-sized dog (0)
Standard pram (0)
Off-road rugged pram (0)
Standard wheelchair (0)
Off-road rugged wheelchair (0)
Standard mobility scooter (0)
Off-road rugged mobility scooter (0)

Terrain

We asked route surveyors to estimate how much of the route goes through different kinds of terrain.

15.0% of the route is on roads (1)

20.0% of the route is lit at night (1)

30.0% of the route is paved (1)

20.0% of the route is muddy (1)

10.0% of the route is over rough ground (1)

15.0% of the route is through long grass (1)

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1 surveys

Information from verified surveys.

4X January 2023 by Strider
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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Harpenden
Grid Ref TL1369614210
Lat / Lon 51.81497° / -0.35201°
Easting / Northing 513,696E / 214,210N
What3Words fast.mutual.lifts
St Albans
Grid Ref TL1556907084
Lat / Lon 51.75054° / -0.32722°
Easting / Northing 515,569E / 207,084N
What3Words drew.tender.soil

Sorry Land Cover data is not currently available for this route. Please check back later.

reviews


Strider

13 Jan 2023 Winter

I walked from St Albans to Harpenden on a bright sunny winter day with a bitter wind.
There was far more green than I expected from this walk by looking at the map, the paths are off set from the road where it looks as it you walk beside them. A nice bonus.
Street walking along quiet suburban roads for about 1.5km then green practically all the way. A mix of open common land, farms, woods and golf courses. The Woodland Trust Heartland Forest is a highlight with views and traditional hedging. Sandridge offers a nice pub and a peaceful church, both offered warmth and quiet from the cold buffeting wind. A perfect lunch stop, benches to sit. Follow the white wooden bollards with a horseshoe near the Harpenden end which will take you through the golf course and common to the town.
Clarence Park near St Albans station is closed sun-set to sun-rise, but most of the walk is not lit so it's a daylight walk. It had been very wet recently so the ground was water logged and muddy, more slippery than sticky, but still passable with good footwear, shallow puddles. Narrow (55cm) entrance to Sandridge churchyard, but you can walk around. Not passable for wheels in winter due to soft waterlogged ground, Summer will be different. The bluebells in the spring are said to be fantastic.
I took a while with this walk, pausing here and there, and the odd branch to see views. Really nice even on a short winter day. You could take all day to do 12km.
A stunning walk. 4*+.


Jane Taylor

31 May 2022 Spring

Walked both directions.
This is a fabulous route which makes the most of Harpenden Common and Heartwood Forest, and then delivers a great refreshment stop.at Sandridge.

From Sandridge it finds a quiet green route into St Albans' outskirts, and then residential roads and a park before arriving at the railway station.

I'm marking my own work quite hard here - I took the star off for deviation, and also because St Albans' suburbs are pleasant but go on a bit; this route is 800 metres longer than Harsta Three - but it is so much nicer between Sandridge and St Albans! It's really a 4.5 star!.


Jane Taylor

31 May 2022 Spring

Added some photos.


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Overall ratings

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Other Routes for Harpenden—St Albans See all Slow Ways

Harpenden—St Albans

Harsta one

Distance

14km/9mi

Ascent

105 m

Descent

100 m

Harpenden—St Albans

Harsta three

Distance

11km/7mi

Ascent

153 m

Descent

142 m

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