Hertfordshire, United Kingdom


- Cottered & Wood End -



A walk along a Roman Road near Cottered - the snow might have gone but it's still chilly 'round the gills.

Cottered is a village and civil parish 3 miles west of Buntingford and 6 miles east of Baldock in east Hertfordshire. The Ordinance Survey map shows an old Roman Road, known as Back Lane, running north-west to south-east just south of the village towards the A10, itself once having formed part of Ermine Street, a a major Roman Road which ran from London to York, passing through Royston. Royston is where Ermine street crosses another famous Roman Road known as The Icknield way, which is said to have existed in prehistoric times. Back Lane runs towards the site of a Roman town near Puckeridge.

As one of a number of walks I undertook in January, 2010, during the cold spell of weather that had gripped the UK, on 17th, a glance at the map revealed an old Roman Road near Cottered that intrigued me. In some ways it formed part of my preparations for my long-awaited trip to Patagonia in March, 2010, as well as presenting me with an opportunity to acquaint myself with routes in this part of Hertfordshire and hone my OS map-reading skills at the same time.

I set out east along the A50 from the The Bull, a pub in Cottered, for only a short distance, before turning south near a telephone booth towards Brook End. Turning right again, I picked up a path that led across farmland via a series of gates and styles. Leading out from the back of the farm at Cottered Warren, I took a route along the circumference of the ploughed, muddy field rather than cross it as indicated on the map, still joining Chain Walk heading south to where it joins Back Lane (Roman  Road) on the edge of a small section of forest at Drinkwater Wood. Here I met a couple asking for directions. Much of Back Lane, a wide track running between hedges and trees, was muddy, a short section being totally impassable and submerged in water. A short distance further on (in the direction of the A10), I turned south once more just where Chain Walk joins the Roman Road from the north. Continuing in the direction of Moor Green and then along a path towards Lord's and St John's Woods after crossing a road I immediately as one  on a cycling route of mine that joined Great Munden and Ardesley, I reached Chain Walk once more and turned south-east towards Wood End. The dirt track reaches a road that leads into another passing through the town. Passing a cluster of thatched and Tudor cottages on the road, I stopped to take a few photographs. Just after Wood End, I turned north once more across farmland and after crossing the road to Ardesley once again, I found myself back on the Chain Walk heading towards Back Lane as the skies cleared, giving gave way to a sunbathed landscape. Turning north-west this time, I soon reached the impassable section and continued on, turning north just before the village of Hare Street. Soon I was on the B1037 and in Cottered once more, just as the light began to fade. Wandering through the grounds of the 14th century St John the Baptist Church with it's 18th century spire, a number of beautiful cottages in the village did not escape my attention either.


Grazing ponies near Brook End, Cottered, Hertfordshire, seem unperturbed though curiosity got the better of one of them.


The waterlogged path near Cottered Warren runs adjacent to and across farmland; Rejoining Chain Walk near Cottered Warren.


View of the farm at Cottered Warren after taking a wide berth around a field; View of the farm on my cycling route, near Moor Green.


On the Chain Walk towards Wood End.


Cold skies near Wood End, Hertfordshire.


Remaining snow near Wood End.


Ploughed fields just outside Wood End, Hertfordshire.



Cottages at Wood End.



Crossing fields just north of Wood End, looked on by bemused sheep.


Ploughed fields and clear afternoon skies heading north from Wood End along the Chain Walk.



On the Chain Walk, looking across ploughed fields.


Contoured fields on the edge of Back Lane (Roman Road).


Trees lining the Roman Road.


.St John the Baptist Church in Cottered; A thatched cottage in Cottered.


the 14th century St John the Baptist Church in Cottered, Hertfordshire.


[UK - index] [Home Page]

[Hertfordshire Index]


Links to other websites:

  • St John the Baptist Church in Cottered - a listed building

  • Walks along Back Lane (Roman Road) [1] [2]