Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Green Walk

What started out for us chilling out in the park, we soon found ourselves wandering off on a ramble… Climbing uphill away from the enchantment of the park, the landscape soon changed around us. Dark towering trees soared above our heads, obscuring the any of the sunlight that was trying to breakthrough. The path, however, was not too difficult to negotiate as it was not particularly muddy as it had not been subjected to a large amount of rain the previous few days. A large gap suddenly opened up in the trees where there was a Golf Tee, which seem stretch out for yards! The West Herts Golf Club seems to merge in out of these woods, if I was a golfer I dont think I would like this course imagine if I lost a golf ball! A bit difficult to locate don’t you think LOL! Once we had finished climbing the hill, we were faced with walking across the golf course which was quite a nervy experience. This was particularly as there were plenty of golfers around and I was waiting for any minute for them to shout at us to get off the course! (even if we did have a right of way!)

From 2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

Once we had safely reached the other side of the course we were were walking in the depths of “Whippendell Woods”. These Woods, appear on the silver screen, the trees and vegetation would have been known as the planet “Naboo”. These woods were used in a small sequence in “Star Wars Episode 1 – Phantom Menace”, for Princess Amidala home planet Naboo!. Continuing to follow the path, it took us downhill, were the path divided onwards over the lane or to it could have been continued either way in these famous woods. We decided to investigate the public footpath the other side of the lane, which was too take us to “Redheath”. The public footpath was part of the Sarratt Parish Footpath network which I have discovered previously.

From 2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

In contrast to most of the paths that I had encountered over the early part of the year the trail was extremely dry and dusty. The footpath was led us through a farmers field and onto the edge of yet another set of woods. We were faced with a choice, either take the path through Woodland or take the path to circumnavigate it. We continued with the path that would follow the open space around the woods, which was very pleasant. It was not a dusty track and nor was dark with shadowy tall trees towering over the trail, it was quite enjoyable! The path had just taken us past “Dell Wood” and was set to continue on past “Newland Spring”, a very unusual name for a wood, all very curious! Is there a spring of water in there? I am likely to find “Newlands Spring” bottled water at some point? We followed the path onwards until we reached “Cherry Tree Lodge Farm”.

From 2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

I will admit that the paths here were quite difficult to located as it said “Private Road” and it felt quite awkward to walk around. But we still managed find the gate to the public footpath, which was to take on us past farmland and through into “Harrocks Wood”. It was then I remembered that I had walked past these woods “previously and promised myself that I would investigate them! The trees were not as dense and it definitely not as dark as some woodlands that I have walked. However I think this was mainly down to the fact that the trees were not in full leaf and despite the green and spring foliage all around, the trees still had an bare autumnal look. Once we emerged from the wood, we found that we had reached Chandlers Cross, the pub that I had discovered before had now sadly closed down. Pity as there was no chance of a stop for a drink!

From 2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

We crossed the road towards the pub so we could join another public footpath, which was to hopefully take us round to Croxley Green. The path was quite an odd sensation to walk – On one side there were horses stables and countryside, on the other behind a large wooden fence was the M1 Motorway! As we progressed onwards, the path did not seem to be taking us to where we wanted to go. I resorted to a phone map and noted that I should have read the sign properly as we were headed towards “Micklefield Green” and not Croxley Green! We took a detour off the path which was to take us across fields and out onto lanes. As we followed them around, we came across a very grand and imposing building just off the road, the “York House School”. With fine sash windows, large chimneys and imposing front door it really did look like an Mansion House rather than a school building.

From 2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

This grand house was built in the very early C18th for a local family, by Charles Finch, this was in addition to the Tudor house that already existed on the site. It has been rumoured that Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral, may have been involved with this particular building although it is not confirmed! The whole area we were walking was involved with this mansion, mainly as in the 1920s the family purchased 475 acres of extra land surrounding the house! In the following years however, the family soon decided that they did not want to retain the additional land. Therefore, they decided to sell off the surrounding land for development. However, the planned “high-class estate” did not aspire to anything and the area was designated as green-belt land instead. The estate passed out of family hands and in the mid C20th York House school moved into the house and made home here and has been in the area ever since…

We continued onwards down the lane and away from the School, eventually finding a public footpath which was to lead us out onto Croxley Green. When we reached Croxley, we decided to end our short walk for the mid morning and walked onwards to Croxley Station to where we caught the bus back home 🙂 . It was a lovely walk for a Sunday mid morning! For all the photos for the walk please click on the photo below –

2015 – 12.04.2015 – Cassiobury Park Watford – Croxley Walk

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