Walks in Herts with kids: Watton at Stone circular walk

Perrywood Lane

Family friendly and buggy friendly walk in Hertfordshire

As a number of Hertfordshire friends have asked me to recommend a buggy-friendly walk, I thought I’d write up this circular amble along the country lanes and tracks of Watton at Stone, near Hertford. The walk passes through woodland and farmland and it’s great for a family stroll or as a refreshing morning’s walk if you’ve been awake half the night with a young baby. There are plenty of ways to extend it and there are lots of woods to dive into for den building, bluebell admiring (mid April to mid May) or welly-muddying.

Bluebells in Watton at Stone
Bluebells in Watton at Stone

Where to start the walk and where to park

You can start and end the walk at the Nigel Poulton Community Centre which has toilets and a play area. If the car park is full, try the High Street or the train station.

The route

Behind the play area you’ll find a footpath which leads up to St Andrew and St Mary’s Church. From the church, walk up the slope and turn right onto Church Lane. After a few hundred metres, you’ll cross a railway bridge, from here take the left hand fork in the lane.

St Andrew and St Mary's Church Watton at Stone
St Andrew and St Mary’s Church Watton at Stone
Church Lane Watton at Stone
Church Lane

Follow the lane, with views over farmland on either side, passing a farmhouse on your left and then a small wood and a pond on your right. After about 750 metres, you’ll reach a larger farmhouse. With the farmhouse ahead of you, the road becomes a track which you should follow round to the left past a small pond.

The track slopes down and then back up towards some woods. The track is usually quite muddy at its lowest point but I have managed to push a buggy across it on numerous occasions (it might be impassable with a buggy after particularly heavy rain). The track leads through the woods, which are usually full of snowdrops and bluebells in the spring, before reaching Perrywood Lane and a farm.

Snowdrops in Watton at Stone
Snowdrops in Watton at Stone

If you turn right, Perrywood Lane becomes a track which will take you into a larger and rather beautiful stretch of woodland, called Bramfield Woods. The bluebells put on a particularly impressive display here. This area is all managed by the Woodhall Estate. The woods are great for a wander if you’re not ready to head back to the village yet. If you have older children, this is a fantastic place for a bike ride. There are a couple of rewarding pubs in neighbouring Datchworth which can be reached along the woodland paths.

Perrywood Lane woods
Bramfield woods

Once you’ve had your fill of the woodland, follow the paved part of Perrywood Lane in the opposite direction as it winds its way downhill and then back uphill over the railway line towards Watton at Stone. In summertime the hedgerows are filled with wildflowers and it’s a joy to wander along here in the sunshine.

Farmland views in Watton at Stone
Farmland views

After about 1km, you’ll reach Watton at Stone Common on your right which is perfect for a picnic. From the common, the lane slopes steeply downhill to meet Church Lane where you can retrace your steps through the churchyard back to the community centre.

Watton at Stone Common
Watton at Stone Common

Further information

Length: approx 3.5km
Features: beautiful spring flowers, far reaching views over the countryside, woodland to explore.
Terrain: aside from a slightly muddy area (which I managed to get my buggy through) you’ll be walking mostly on farm tracks and quiet lanes.
Refreshments: The Bull in Watton is family friendly, there’s a good sized garden with a small play area and they do a decent Sunday roast. There’s also a decent cafe, Crumbs, and a second pub, the George and Dragon, further up the High Street. For more family friendly pub ideas, check out my post about pubs in Hertfordshire.
Parking and transport: There is parking at the Nigel Poulton Community Centre (postcode SG14 3SF) or the High Street (check restrictions on weekdays), otherwise there is free parking at the train station (SG14 2RJ). There are direct trains from London Moorgate via Finsbury Park and Hertford, plus a bus service to and from Hertford and Stevenage.

I’ve linked up with Bookshop.org to encourage people to support independent UK bookshops, if you’d like to buy a book about Hertfordshire walks (or anything else for that matter), here’s a link to their website (I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase).

More family-friendly walks in Hertfordshire:

Broxbourne Sculpture Trail

Heartwood Forest near St Albans

The best bluebell woods in Hertfordshire

Mardley Heath near Welwyn Garden City

Autumn walks in Hertfordshire

watton at stone circular walk

Have you done this walk? Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below. 



  1. pigeonpairandme
    29th March 2018 / 7:36 pm

    It’s not easy to find walks as picturesque as this that are also suitable for buggies. Thanks for sharing!

    • smudgedpostcard
      29th March 2018 / 8:12 pm

      I find it very therapeutic!

  2. Helen
    20th January 2022 / 2:12 pm

    Hi I was just wondering I take it this is a short walk under an hour perhaps if not less? Thank you anyway for noting down the walk great inspiration to go out see somewhere new

    • 20th January 2022 / 6:03 pm

      Hi Helen, thanks for getting in touch. If I’m walking quickly I can do this walk in about 45 minutes. So if you’ve not done it before it might be more like an hour.
      It is quite muddy around the farm at the moment so if you have a buggy you’ll need to lift it through that section.
      If you’d like a longer walk and you’re buggy-free there’s a walk of around 5 miles which takes you through Bramfield woods and back across fields – it’s lovely on a clear day but again it can be a bit muddy at the moment! It should be fairly easy to plot using the Ordnance survey website or equivalent map.
      The village is also pleasant to walk through – there’s a path running alongside the river through a field known locally as the Lammas – there’s a small parking area on Mill Lane. The local land owner has also created a walk through the Lammas which is signposted.

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