Colne Valley Routes
72 km / 45 miles
Bucks, Herts, Gtr London, Slough, Surrey, Windsor M
To the west of London the Colne valley is the first major countryside corridor heading north of the Thames, beginning at Staines. Some of the southern part of the Colne valley lies in the Colne Valley Regional Park.
This group of linked walking routes is based upon the River Colne and some of its tributaries and extends to the north beyond St Albans and west into the Chitern hills, becoming generally more rural as it goes.
The separate Colne Brook, flowing parallel to the Colne river a little further west, initially has no promoted routes until the South Bucks Way is reached; the Brook eventually becomes the Misbourne, reaching Great Missenden. The Grand Union canal section between Yiewsley and Rickmansworth is close to the Colne and others of its tributaries, taking its water supply from them.
The southern part of the Colne valley up to Rickmansworth has a number of major reservoirs and many flooded gravel pits, havens to wildlife. Initially the Colne flows close to Heathrow airport and the M25, but beyond Uxbridge it has gained some separation. Between Yiewsley and Rickmansworth the Colne is paralleled by the Grand Union Canal. Also at Yiewsley the River Pinn joins the Colne. After Rickmansworth the Chess first leaves north west to Chesham and the Chilterns. The Gade next leaves to the north initially along with the Grand Union canal, passing west of Watford and Cassiobury Park, while after the canal heads west the Gade's final course is north to Gaddesden.
Beyond Watford the Ver runs north past St Alban's (Roman name Verulanium) to Redbourn while the Colne's final course is past London Colney to Colney Heath and Hatfield.
The Colne Valley Way covers the southern end of the Valley whilst the Colne Valley Trail (Sections 1 & 2) covers the north. The Colne Valley Way starts at the Thames Path National Trail and connects with the Colne Valley Trail at Colnbrook which then goes on to Rickmansworth, coincident for much of its length with both the London Loop and the Grand Union Canal Walk. From Rickmansworth a short link leads to the Ebury Way (3 miles; on OS maps as a cycleway) to Oxhey Park. From Oxhey Park it is a short distance to the waymarked Ver-Colne Valley Walk (15 miles between Watford and Redbourn and on OS mapping).
Also at Rickmansworth the waymarked Chess Valley Walk (10 miles and on OS mapping) goes to Chesham to join to the Chiltern Link, providing a link to the Ridgeway National Trail.
From Yiewsley the waymarked Celandine Route (12 miles) heads along the River Pinn to Pinner from the Grand Union Canal at Cowley.
Publications, Badges and Certificates:
|Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
||160, 172, 173, 182
|OS Explorer Active:
||160, 172, 173, 182