Saturday 30 May: Circular walk in Hatfield Forest

After a nice bus journey from Bishop’s Storford to Hatfield Broad Oak, 13 Polyramblers joined Sue and Geoffrey who had driven to the start of the walk.  In the sunshine, we walked through meadows and arable fields along the Three Forests Way following the Pincey Brook. Just before joining the Flitch Way, the line of the old Bishop’s Stortford to Braintree railway, we saw Gillian and Stuart who had come to meet us for lunch. We walked to The Green Man publichouse in Takeley Street where we had a very nice lunch. We then went into Hatfield Forest, which is said to be the best surviving example in Britain of an almost complete medieval Royal Hunting Forest. We stopped at the Shell House, which was used by the Houblon family for picnics between 1729 and 1923. The lake was created in 1746 and re-modelled by Capability Brown. We continued the walk along meadows and fields of wheat, rapeseed and potatoes before reaching Hatfield Broad Oak where we dived into the little shop to buy ice cream and then visited the church before catching the bus back to Bishop’s Storford.