Saturday Walkers Club

Hitchin Circular Walk

Grassy lanes and woods across the most north easterly Chilterns ridge to Pegsdon Hills and Knocking Hoe. A motte-and-double bailey and an abandoned medieval village, alder and willow woodland, Oughton (chalk river), Hitchin’s old town with Tudor and Georgian buildings

Length 25.6 km (16.0 mi), of which 6.0 km (3.7 mi) on tarmac or concrete (3/4 of that in Hitchin). Cumulative ascent/descent: 414 m.
OS Maps OS Landranger Map: 166 (Luton & Hertford) OS Explorer Map: 193 (Luton & Stevenage) Hitchin station, map reference TL 194 297, is 13 km north east of Luton and 7 km north west of Stevenage, 73m above sea level and in North Hertfordshire.
Toughness 7 out of 10
Walk Notes This Hertfordshire walk covers the hilly area west of Hitchin. The morning route leads along farm tracks, field boundaries, shaded grassy lanes and through a few woods across the most north easterly ridge of The Chilterns, in Great Offley, to the steep chalk downlands of Pegsdon Hills and Knocking Hoe, dissected by quiet flat bottomed valleys, which form the scenery around the lunch stop in Pegsdon, where the terraced pub garden provides stunning views overlooking the hills. From Knocking Hoe the ancient Icknield Way leads to the pretty village of Pirton, with its impressive remains of a motte-and-double bailey and traces of an abandoned medieval village. On the outskirts of Hitchin, Oughtonhead Common is a mature alder and willow fen woodland, whose diversity of habitats is surprisingly large. From there the route follows the high quality chalk river Oughton all the way to its wellhead. The final stretch leads past a very charming farm gate café to Hitchin’s old town, which has kept its medieval market town feel and has many fine Tudor and Georgian buildings. Pass St. Mary’s Church, the largest parish church in Hertfordshire and evidence of how Hitchin prospered from the wool trade, and brave a final steep ascent through a park to then re-trace part of the morning route back to the train station at the easterly end of town. This is a stile-free walk.
Transport Hitchin station is on the London Kings Cross to Peterborough East Coast Main Line. Journey times are between 30 and 46 minutes Mondays to Saturdays (four trains an hour), and from 30 minutes on Sundays (two fast trains per hour).

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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: SG4 9UL | Directions


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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Walk Directions  

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