STOOP Walk 5. 6.3 miles
Walking from Woolmer Green on this 6½ miles ramble, you pass through leafy woodland, across arable land and through Knebworth Deer Park before heading back via Norton Green to the bus station in the Stevenage Town centre. This is a gentle walk on well used footpaths. There are three stiles. Follow your route on OS Explorer Maps 182 and 193.
Link Bus: Arriva Service 300/301- Stevenage Bus Station, Stop H
Alight opposite the Red LionPub.
STOOP Five: Woolmer Green to Knebworth Park. 3.2 miles. Start Point: TL254187
Cross the road – the zebra crossing is a few yards further along – then walk back past the Red Lion and turn left into Bridge Road. Pass under the railway and immediately take the signed bridleway to the left leading across open ground to the corner of the wood. Do not enter but keeping the wood to your left, follow the track along its edge for about 200 yards to the first waymark post. Turn left here into the wood, and then immediately right and continue on this clear woodland path to the next post. Keep straight on, on the permissive bridleway indicated, following the waymarks and eventually turning right to pass under the motorway (243186).
Emerging, you go past the buildings on your right and continue along the track (Normans Lane) to meet Spinney Lane. Here you Turn Right and follow the road. Where the road turns right (242192) turn left on to a signed footpath. Keep the hedge line to your right and follow the path to the corner of a field. Here you turn right to pass in front of the gate.
Note: A short diversion here through the gate will bring you across the field to the local pub.
To continue STOOP, follow the path, the hedge now on your left. Turn left at the T-junction to meet a road (236193). Turn right and after a good 200 yards look for a waymarked path on your right. Enter the wood here and follow the path indicated by the finger post. Continue through the wood to arrive at a large open field. Follow the path ahead across the field. After about 200 yards note but do not take a path crossing your route. Continue, and after another 200 yards or more, take the path left (229202). Follow this footpath across the field towards a cluster of buildings and a line of tall trees. This brings you to the side of the Lytton Arms and the road.
Cross the road and turn left on to the footpath. Walk on until you are slightly beyond Slip Lane. Here you take the path right to go by Park Gate House (227292). Following the gate waymark go straight ahead through the gap here, keeping the hedge on your right. Follow the path round, through the wooden kissing gate, over the footbridge and through the tall metal gate into the park. Keep the hedge on your left and follow the clear path, bearing right to reach another tall metal gate visible ahead. Go through and follow the fence leading downhill to meet a waymark post by a drainage ditch (221209). This marks the end of STOOP Five.
You now return to Stevenage on Link Path 5.
Link Path 5: Knebworth Park to Stevenage (Norton Green). 3.1 miles
Turn right here. You now follow a series of waymark posts leading ahead, then diagonally right up the slope to a post at a fence corner. Keeping the fence on your right descend here and cross the dam to leave Knebworth Park via the metal gate. Take the middle path of three, leading right, up to a waymark post. Follow the waymarked path ahead through the wood. Emerging from the wood, continue over the stile and across the field to Burleigh Farm (222217). The right of way goes through the farm yard, across the track and over another stile. Rounding the barn, cross the field diagonally right in the direction indicated by the finger post, heading towards a waymarked stile just visible on the far side of the field. Cross this stile and turn right.
Follow the field edge, bearing left to follow the path as it goes by the left hand side of the wood. Keep the wood on your right. Go through the kissing gate at the bottom of the field and take the broad woodland track immediately in front of you. This brings you eventually to Pigeonswick Cottage (225228), where you go through the gate, left.
Bear right round the tree and walk down the field to the kissing gate. Cross the footbridge and the strip of woodland to continue along the path to the left of the hedge. Bear right across the field to pass a wooded dell on your left. Continue in the same direction with a hedge on your right towards the houses of Norton Green. Follow this path around to the gate and along the right hand side field edge to another gate to emerge at a road at Norton Green. The Woodmans Arms (229233) is on your right. Directions for the short walk to Stevenage Town Centre follow, but at this point -
You have reached the end of Link Path 5.
To Stevenage Bus Station:
Note: About twenty minutes easy walking
Cross the road in front of the Woodmans Arms. Turn left. Pass under the underpass beneath the motorway and continue on the footpath straight ahead, bearing right at the junction to take the underpass. Turn left and left again to pass under the Road. (Gunnels Wood Road) and walk on to the next underpass. This gets you safely across Six Hills Way.
Turn right here to follow the footpath/cycleway towards the town centre, but very shortly turn left into Stevenage Leisure Park.
Walk straight ahead, past various leisure outlets, eventually to turn right to cross the zebra opposite the Hollywood Bowl. Follow the footpath round to the right. This brings you directly opposite the steps leading up to the railway station.
You now go through the booking hall and on to the walkway crossing Lytton Way. This leads to the town centre and you can follow the signs to the bus station a few minutes further on.