Best Walks And Parks In Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire

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Wherever you live in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, you won't be far from a beautiful outside space, where you can walk while keeping your distance from others.

Here are some of our favourite walks, parks and open spaces in the countryside, which is perfect for families. We hope you enjoy them.

Some councils have different approaches to their response to the Coronavirus so we recommend checking to see for information on whether the parks and open spaces and their amenities are open on the day you plan to go.

Check out these ideas for outdoor games while you're out and about, and if you're trying to increase your step count on your walks, here are some more ideas for upping your numbers.

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Hertfordshire

1-Cassiobury Park

A popular destination with plenty of space for running around, Cassiobury Park offers three water-based activities - a canal for boat-watching, a river for tiddler fishing and a splash park for hot, sunny days. Nature lovers can explore the nature reserve, and you can search for a shady spot under the trees too. When it's open, a ride on the miniature railway is a must.

Where is it? Gade Ave, Watford WD18 7LG

Length of time to get there from London? About 45 mins from central London.

Is it buggy friendly? The park is mostly flat with good paths for buggies.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, lots of space for dogs to run around.

Is it bike-friendly? Great for bikes. Scooters are fine if they stick to the hard paths.

Where are the toilets? Toilets by the splash park, the cafe terrace and by Cassiobury Hub near the Langley Way entrance. Disabled and baby changing available.

What is the terrain like? Easily navigated. It's quite a long walk (and back!) from the 'town' end of the park down to all the leisure facilities.

Parking: Parking - free for up to two hours but you still need a ticket. You can park in some roads on the Hempstead roadside of the park, or use car parks in Rosslyn Road, Hempstead Road and the Town Hall car park.

Public transport: Watford Underground Station on the Met Line is two minutes' walk from the park. Don't get confused with Watford High St or Watford Junction, which are a good 20 minutes' walk away.

Outdoor amenities: Two cafes, sports pitches, two play areas, miniature railway, splash park, canal, stream, nature reserve.

2-Stanborough Park

With two big lakes, perfect for attracting ducks and geese to be fed, Stanborough Park, or Stanborough Lakes as it is often called, has lots to offer for all ages. Its 126 acres make a lovely place for a leisurely walk and a picnic, but if you want to be more active there's plenty to do, from fishing and water sports to nature trails and high ropes.

Where is it? Stanborough Rd, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6DF

Length of time to get there from London? About 45 mins from central London.

Is it buggy friendly? The park has good paths for buggies.

Is it dog friendly? Nice place for a dog walk but they are not allowed in the play area.

Is it bike-friendly? Great for bikes and scooters. Bike hire available.

Where are the toilets? Toilets by the splash park, the cafe terrace and by Cassiobury Hub near the Langley Way entrance. Disabled and baby changing available.

What is the terrain like? Easily navigated.

Parking: One car park on the south side of the park near the fishing lakes,  another on the north side. Both pay and display.

Outdoor amenities: Fishing, nature trail, play area, watersports centre, model boating, nature walks, orienteering trail, restaurant, coffee shop and kiosk. Bouncy castle in summer.

3-Aldenham Country Park

Go in search of Pooh, Tigger and the other friends in 100 Aker Wood at Aldenham Country Park, where you can play Pooh Sticks, find Eeyore's Gloomy Place and even get to the North Pole. Lovely lakeside walks go under the trees, which is perfect for hot days, and there's a great wooden play area for older kids. Don't forget to visit the farm when it's open. A taste of the countryside not far from Watford's shopping centres.

Where is it? Aldenham Road, Elstree, Hertfordshire WD6 3BA

Length of time to get there from London? About 45 mins from central London.

Is it buggy friendly? A good network of buggy-friendly paths across parkland, through woodland and around the lake.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, but they must stay on the lead.

Is it bike-friendly? Better for bikes than scooters. Bike hire available.

Where are the toilets? Toilets including disabled toilets and baby changing by the car park.

What is the terrain like? Easily navigated.

Parking: Big car park, pay on exit.

Outdoor amenities: Farm with animals, pony rides, playgrounds, special indoor and outdoor play areas for SEND children, camping, farm shop.

4-Tring Park

Discover ancient monuments, den building areas and natural play areas in woodlands and grassland at Tring Park. There are several waymarked circular walks to explore, each with a different theme.

Where is it? Use the entrance leading over the A41 from the joint Woodland Trust and Natural History Museum at Tring car park on Hastoe Lane so you can check the information board and site map. HP23 6AP. It's a two-mile walk from Tring Station.

Length of time to get there from London? Just over an hour from central London.

Is it buggy friendly? No

Is it dog friendly? Yes, but be aware cattle sometimes graze in the park.

Is it bike-friendly? There is one path suitable for cyclists. The park is quite steep in places.

Where are the toilets? Nearest ones are at Forge car park in the town centre.

What is the terrain like? Unsurfaced, woodland paths, which can be muddy and slippery if wet so wear decent shoes/boots.

Parking: Car park currently closed, park in town. When open, the car park gets full quickly.

Outdoor amenities: Den building, natural play area.

Buckinghamshire

1-Ivinghoe Beacon

Take a short steep walk to the top of this hill for a spectacular view over surrounding countryside, the Chiltern Hills, and villages. Movie fans should check out its film credentials - Harry Potter and Stars Wars movies have been filmed here. There are plenty of circular walks online that include Ivinghoe Beacon, including from the Bridgewater Monument at Ashridge and walks along the Ridgeway long-distance path.

Where is it? Off Beacon Road, Ringshall HP4 1NF.

Length of time to get there from London? Just over an hour from central London.

Is it buggy friendly? No

Is it dog friendly? Yes, but be aware sheep, cattle or deer may be grazing.

Is it bike-friendly? No

Where are the toilets? Nearest ones are the Ashridge Estate.

What is the terrain like? Grass and chalk, can be slippery when wet - wear decent shoes/boots.

Parking: Several car parks near the base of the Beacon.

2-Aston Clinton Park

This park has something for all ages, with a skate park, fitness trail, play park, multi-sports area and, best of all on a hot day, a stream running through that makes for perfect paddling opportunities. There's plenty of green space too, so you can enjoy your picnic away from everyone else. There's a cafe in the park and a shop across the road if you need to add to picnic supplies.

Where it is? London Road, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury HP22 5HL

Length of time to get there from London? About an hour from central London.

Length of walk? You can walk along the river and back in about half an hour - a lot longer if you stop for a paddle and a picnic!

Is it buggy friendly? The park is mostly flat with good paths for buggies.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, lots of dogs enjoy a walk and a paddle!

Is it bike-friendly? Great for bikes. Scooters are fine if they stick to the hard paths.

Where are the toilets? Toilets in the cafe.

What is the terrain like? Easily navigated - if you choose the path under the trees there are some roots to watch out for.

Parking: Plenty of free parking.

Outdoor amenities: Cafe, soft play, playground, fitness trail, multi-sports area

3-Brush Hill Wildlife Reserve

If you are after a nice walk, without playgrounds and cafes, head to Brush Hill Local Nature Reserve. Lovely for nature walks with little ones, there are two circular walks, neither of them too long. Spot wildflowers, butterflies and birds. Go in the evening and you may even spot glow worms! And don't forget to admire the fabulous views across to the Berkshire Downs.

Where it is? Peters Ln, Princes Risborough HP27 0LH

Length of time to get there from London?Just over an hour from central London.

Length of walk? There are two walks - 0.5km and 1.5km

Is it buggy friendly? The park is mostly flat with good paths for buggies.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, keep on a lead if sheep grazing.

Is it bike-friendly? Great for bikes. Scooters are fine if they stick to the hard paths.

Where are the toilets?  Nearest toilets are at Horns Lane Car Park, Princes Risborough

What is the terrain like? The short walk is fine for buggies, as it follows a level path to the viewpoint. The longer walk is uneven in places.

Parking: Parking in the Whiteleaf Hill car park.

Bedfordshire

1-Totternhoe Knolls

Enjoy wildlife and history in one walk. Discover Totternhoe Knolls' medieval motte and bailey castle, which offers wonderful views, and chalk grassland, home to a wealth of wildflowers and butterflies.

Where it is? Totternhoe, Dunstable LU6 1QG

Length of time to get there from London?Just over an hour from central London.

Length of walk? The circular route is about 1.8km

Is it buggy friendly? The walk up to Castle Hill is suitable for buggies, but the paths beyond are not.

Is it dog friendly? Yes.

Is it bike-friendly? Okay for bikes but the path is on an incline, so probably not for little ones.

Where are the toilets?  Nearest is in Dunstable town centre, or at the Chilterns Gateway Centre, Dunstable Downs. You could drive here and stop of refreshments, and kite flying! Note there is a fee for parking on the Downs unless you are a National Trust member.

What is the terrain like? Grass path to Castle Hill is firm when it is dry. If you are going further than that, make sure you have a decent pair of shoes or boots on.

Parking: Free parking next to picnic site off Castle Hill Road.

2-Woburn Deer Park

Look for deer, see a grand house, a racehorse by the lake as you discover the picturesque footpaths around Woburn Abbey, the birthplace of the Afternoon Tea! A longer walk might take you along the edge of the safari park too.

Where it is? Park by St Mary's Church, Woburn MK17 9PG (where Geri Haliwell got married!)

Length of time to get there from London?About 1 hr 10 mins from central London.

Length of walk? About 1.5 hours, but there are longer walks that use the Abbey as their base.

Is it buggy friendly? As long as the weather is dry.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, must be kept on a lead because of deer.

Is it bike-friendly? No

Where are the toilets?  Pay toilet, High Street, Woburn Sands.

What is the terrain like? Woodland, surfaced and grass paths, could get wet and slippery after rain.

Parking: Free parking opposite the Church in the village of Woburn.

3-Ampthill Park

Take a trek around Ampthill Great Park and enjoy some beautiful views from The Greensand Ridge, learn a bit of history - with its links to Henry VIII and Capability Brown - and look for a diverse selection of flora and fauna. Homeschool is done for the day!

Where it is? Off the B530 (Woburn Street) at OS Grid TL024382 and TL028382.

Length of time to get there from London?About 1 hr 14 mins from central London.

Length of walk? There's a short 1-mile circular walk that takes in the views, and some longer options as well.

Is it buggy friendly? No

Is it dog friendly? Yes.

Is it bike-friendly? No

Where are the toilets?  By the cafe.

What is the terrain like? Grassy and steep in places, it can get muddy in wet weather (the park is used for cross country competitions, so has lots of ups and downs!)

Parking: There are two free car parks.

Facilities: Tennis courts, play area, football pitch, cafe, mobility scooter hire

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Naomi MacKay
Mum of one

Mum of one teenage boy, near Leighton Buzzard, Beds. Born and raised in the Home Counties, Naomi has explored much of London, along with Beds, Herts and Bucks, with her son and husband. When she’s not driving to various skateparks around the UK, Naomi loves finding somewhere new to explore or a new activity they can all try.