When we asked David and Ellie Brewer from Hertfordshire Walker to name 24 of the best walks from their award-winning site, David replied, ‘We only publish walks we both enjoy so it's hard to choose.'

The couple have been publishing free walks in the Hertfordshire countryside for more than 25 years. In 2022 their website hertfordshirewalker.uk won the CPRE Hertfordshire Gold Standard Award.

Its growing collection of rambles includes more than 240 walks around Hertfordshire which are all free to download and enjoy on any device. Each walk comes with detailed directions, photographs, maps, What3Word location references, and GPX navigation files so that you can follow the route on a smartphone in much the same way as sat nav works in a vehicle.

There are helpful tools designed to help walkers find the ideal route with walks categorised by distance and elevation. ‘Just pick how far you want to walk, or how high you want to climb, and there is a walk for you,’ says David. ‘If you have a buggy or wheelchair, or if you want a walk in the shade to escape the sun, there are pages listing walks that will meet your needs. Every pub passed along the way is listed, there are currently 220 pubs mentioned. Walkers can choose a circular or linear walk that passes by.’

The walks cover a distance equal to walking from Welwyn Garden City to John O' Groats and back, and a total elevation of roughly the equivalent of climbing Everest three times or Ben Nevis 18 times. And Ellie and David have walked every inch of every walk, sometimes several times.

David is keen to stress that the site has no connection with a paid-for subscription walking app with a similar name which launched in 2022.

‘There’s no need to register any personal details or pay a penny, just choose a walk, put your boots on, and you are all set,’ says David. ‘Hertfordshire Walker will never charge for sharing walking routes. Walking should be free and available to all; for us it's a hobby shared with like-minded fellow walkers.’

Great British Life: Crossing the River Lea on Lemsford west long loop. Photo David BrewerCrossing the River Lea on Lemsford west long loop. Photo David Brewer

Walk 246: Lemsford west long loop 4.9 miles (7.9 km)

For the first walk I have chosen the Lemsford west long loop; its is one of the most recent. The route crosses the River Lea four times, passes a Grade II listed fireplace and chimney that is said to have been part of a house where John Bunyan lived, and crosses a Grade II* listed bridge on the Brocket Hall Estate. The walk starts in the village of Lemsford then follows an ancient ‘Holloway’ west to Coleman Green before looping back via Cromer Hyde.

Great British Life: Sandridge bridleway on the Nomansland south loop. Photo David BrewerSandridge bridleway on the Nomansland south loop. Photo David Brewer

Walk 245: Nomansland south loop 6 miles (9.7 km)

If you like a walk with wide open views and stretches of native woodland then the Nomansland south loop is worth exploring. This is the sixth walk in our collection to feature Heartwood Forest, which is the largest continuous new native forest in England. The route starts on Nomansland Common then heads west before looping south then returning through Langley Wood in Heartwood Forest. It includes sections of The Ver Valley Walk and The Hertfordshire Way.

Walk 244: Stanstead Abbotts south-east loop

6.3 miles (10.1 km)

This next walk is ideal for those who enjoy walking near water. The route starts in the village of Stanstead Abbotts in the south-east of the county then crosses a high plateau of land before dropping down to the Stort Valley then returning through the picturesque lake area near Roydon Mill, and later cutting through a nature reserve alongside Abbotts Lake before returning to Stanstead Abbotts.

Great British Life: Pirton south-west loop. Photo David BrewerPirton south-west loop. Photo David Brewer

Walk 241: Pirton south-west loop 6.2 miles (10 km)

If you enjoy hill walking then you will like this excellent walk over the rolling Chiltern Hills in the north of Hertfordshire and west of Hitchin. The route offers some wonderful views along the way. It starts and finishes at Pirton then heads SW before looping back across the Pegsdon Hills along a section of The Icknield Way. Another walk in the same area is Walk 240: Hexton South-West Loop which explores another part of the Chiltern Hills. Both walks are particularly lovely in the summer when the hedgerows are ablaze with wildflowers and butterflies.

Walk 231: Gustard Wood west loop 4.7 miles (7.5 km)

The next walk I have chosen is in the middle of the county. It’s Walk 231: Gustard Wood West Loop - 4.7 miles (7.5 km). We love the area north of Gustard Wood and have many walks in the countryside surrounding Ayot St Lawrence. This walk offers views south over the River Lea valley and includes sections from five other routes in the Hertfordshire Walker collection, however, all the paths that appear in previous routes are walked in reverse, so the views are different and the whole experience feels new.

Walk 228: Tring long loop 10.2 miles (16.5 km)

Another route for those who like walking close to water is the Tring long loop. This walk is in the north-west of the county and is an area where we have created four loops. This particular route circles the town of Tring and has a bit of everything. You will walk alongside canals, through woodland, climb to view points, and follow quiet country lanes. The first quarter is flat, the second is almost all uphill, the third quarter is a mix of up and down, and the final leg is flat.

Great British Life: The ruined church at Ayot St Lawrence. Photo CPREThe ruined church at Ayot St Lawrence. Photo CPRE

Walk 224: Ayot St Lawrence west loop 4.4 miles (7 km)

As mentioned above, there are some excellent walks around Ayot St Lawrence. This one crosses rolling countryside with some great views in every direction. The walk starts and finishes at The Brocket Arms in Ayot St Lawrence and is one of 10 walks in the collection to feature the pub/restaurant. You will pass the ruins of the old church at Ayot St Lawrence, which is a Grade II* listed building, and you will pass the new St Lawrence Church, which is an eighteenth-century, neoclassical church and a Grade 1 listed building.

Walk 206: Waterford Heath north-east loop 4 miles (6.5 km)

The Waterford Heath Nature Reserve offers a wide variety of countryside in a short distance and is the perfect spot for a family walk. This route offers a wide variety of countryside in a short distance. It starts in the car park of the Waterford Heath Nature Reserve, then heads north-east to Chapmore End. The route then loops back over arable land with great views then returns along the banks of the River Beane before crossing the northern section of Waterford Heath.

Walk 219: Furneux Pelham south loop 5.1 miles (8.2 km). This lovely walk starts in the village of Furneux Pelham in the east of the county. It passes through woodland and crosses arable fields before reaching the Patmore Heath nature reserve close to The Catherine Wheel pub/restaurant at about a third of the way round. The countryside is undulating and there are great wide open views. The Brewery Tap pub restaurant at Furneux Pelham is close to the start/finish point.

Walk 211: Wormley west loop 3.7 miles (6 km) The Wormley west loop passes through Hertfordshire's only National Nature Reserve (NNR) which is also recognised as a Special Area of Conservation of European importance. You will walk past The Woodman & Olive pub/restaurant at Wormley West End. Look out for butterflies in the summer. You will pass a coal post, one of 250 erected following the introduction of the Coal Duties Act of 1851. In the last 19c tradespeople travelling to London would be stopped at the coal post by a tax collector and be asked to pay a fee to continue their journey.

Walk 208: Cottered north-east loop 4.4 miles (7 km)

This walk takes you over the rolling countryside north-east of Cottered. It starts and finishes at The Bull on Baldock Road, Cottered, then passes the hamlet of Throcking where it's worth taking time to wander round the churchyard of Holy Trinity church, which has sections dating back to the 13th century. This is another walk with great views to the north of the county and beyond.

Walk 201: Much Hadham north loop 6.1 miles (9.8 km) This is a lovely walk that follows footpaths, bridleways and byways on either side of the River Ash between Much Hadham and Hadham Ford. It involves a fair amount of up and down, but it's worth it for the great views along the way. One particular stretch towards the end of the walk was rich in blackberries, elderberries, sloes, and rose hips when we walked in late August. If you are planning to do this walk in the fruit season, and are into foraging, take some containers because you could be in for a treat. And see if you can spot the barn roof constructed 'from the upturned hull of a wooden ship'.

Great British Life: The Knebworth north-west long loop follows paths across the Knebworth House Estate. Photo Knebworth House The Knebworth north-west long loop follows paths across the Knebworth House Estate. Photo Knebworth House

Walk 199: Knebworth north-west long loop 7.6 miles (12.3km) This walk crosses rolling countryside north-west of Knebworth. The route follows well-defined paths crossing open farmland and passes through woodland. It starts and finishes at Knebworth train station and has been added for those who want to access walks via public transport rather than taking a car. You will follow public rights of way across the parkland of the Knebworth House estate.

Walk 191: Kimpton north-west loop 5.4 miles (8.6 km) I chose this walk because it offers great views across the rolling hills north and west of Kimpton. It includes some paths that feature in other walks in our collection, so regular uses of Hertfordshire Walker might recognise some of the sections from having walked other loops. The walk starts and finishes at The Boot, but can be adjusted if you want to start and finish at the village car park. There is a cafe attached to the village shop which you pass at the end of the walk.

Walk 192: Burnham Green west loop 3.5 miles (5.7 km) This walk offers a great mix of wide open views, at the beginning and towards the end, as well as shaded sections through woodland. It starts at The White Horse in Burnham Green then cuts through Harmer Green Wood before looping back via Harmer Green.

Walk 183: Walkern south loop 7.1 miles (11.5 km) A wonderful walk through the rolling countryside to the south and west of Walkern, a village which appeared in the Domesday book of 1086 as Walchra. The route heads south-west Aston End and then to Aston before returning along footpaths following the banks of the River Beane. There are pubs at Aston End and Aston and two in Walkern (check) close to the start/finish point.

Walk 178: Little Berkhamsted west loop 4.7 miles (7.6 km) This walk starts and finishes at The Five Horseshoes in Little Berkhamsted. It then follows bridleways and footpaths along ridges, through woodland and across fields with wide open views. This is a regular of ours because it is close to where we live. There is a lovely gorse lined ridge path along the way which offers excellent views to the north.

Walk 176: Breachwood Green short loop 4.3 miles (7km) This is a ramble across the rolling Chiltern Hills which starts and finishes at The Red Lion in Breachwood Green. Be prepared for some steep climbs. The route cuts through the beautiful Kings Walden Park. There are an estimated 300 oak trees in the park, many about 400 years old. One is called the Domesday Oak because it is thought to be more than 1,000 years old.

Walk 169: Burn's Green north loop 6.2 miles (9.9km) This is a lovely walk which starts and finishes at the excellent Lordship Arms in Burn's Green. It follows footpaths, bridleways, and byways over rolling countryside with wide, open views across north Hertfordshire.

Great British Life: Wilstone Reservoir part of the Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve. Photo HMWT/Tim HillWilstone Reservoir part of the Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve. Photo HMWT/Tim Hill

Walk 157: Wilstone loop 5.6 miles with 64m. This walk visits the four reservoirs that make up the Tring Reservoirs Nature Reserve, which is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The route follows towpaths along the Grand Union Canal and passes three rural pubs. There are two car parks to choose from. Our walk starts and finishes at the Wilstone Reservoir car park but you can also leave the car at Startop's End and join the route from there.

Walk 116: Frithsden north-west loop 5.9 miles (9.5 km) This is an excellent walk which mixes woodland, hills, valleys, cute hamlets, and open views across the undulating Hertfordshire countryside. It starts and ends at The Alford Arms which serves lovely food and superb beer. The route passes through Frithsden Beeches. Be prepared for several ups and downs; you need to be able to climb hills for this walk.

Walk 112: Sarratt west loop 5.2 miles (8.3 km) A lovely walk from the village of Sarratt down to the River Chess then following the river north-west and up through woodland taking in parts of The Chiltern Way and The Chess Valley Walk. There is a lot of up and down, so this walk is not for those unable to negotiate steep hills. There are two pubs in Sarratt close to the start/finish point, The Boot and The Cricketers, both serving food, and there is another pub along the way, The Cock Inn, which also serves food.

Walk 104: Standon south loop 5 miles (8.2 km) This is a lovely circular route along two sides of the River Rib valley, with wonderful wide-open views across the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. Along the walk you cross the river several times at footbridges adjacent to fords where there are opportunities for dogs, kids, and older folk to dip their feet in the water. It’s quite a hilly route, but the climbing is worth it for the views. There are several sympathetically placed benches along the way. The route includes parts of The Harcamlow Way and The Greenwich Meridian Trail.

Great British Life: The Woodman Long Loop. Photo David BrewerThe Woodman Long Loop. Photo David Brewer

Walk 14: The Woodman long loop 4.6 miles (7.3 km)

We have added this walk because it’s close to our home, we walk it regularly, and The Woodman at Wildhill is our local pub. It’s a pleasant circular walk which crosses fields, weaves through woodland, and passes through a shaded tree-lined valley alongside Essendon Brook before returning to the pub. It's one of 18 walks that feature The Woodman, Wildhill.

For more walks visit hertfordshirewalker.uk.

There's also a friendly, active Hertfordshire Walker Facebook group where walkers post reports and photographs of their walks.