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The Nickey Line cycle route - St Albans City & District Council

The Nickey Line cycle route - St Albans City & District Council

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Walking & Cycling

The Nickey Line

the green route from

Hemel Hempstead via Redbourn

to Harpenden

The Nickey Line was a 7mile (12km) branch

line that once linked the Midland Railway at

Harpenden to Boxmoor, near Hemel Hempstead.

Passenger services ended in 1947 but a section

of the line carried freight until 1979. Much of the

track bed still remained intact when it was bought

by Dacorum and St Albans councils in the early

1980’s and opened for walking and cycling.

The route now forms a pleasant green corridor

with a rural aspect along much of its length -

providing attractive countryside or woodland

walks as well as generally traffi c-free access to

school and work. Although there are steep

embankments or cuttings and several bridges

have been removed there is level access for

cyclists and wheelchairs along most of the route

(steps are shown on the map).

The Nickey Line forms part of Route 57 of the

Sustrans National Cycle Network which continues

through Harpenden to Wheathampstead and

Welwyn Garden City. From Harpenden, Route 6

goes south to St Albans & Watford, and north to

Luton & Milton Keynes.

Enjoy the route as a relaxing journey to work or

school away from the road network. Alternatively,

take a leisurely walk or ride looking out for the

abundant local wildlife. In addition, a number of

circular paths can be enjoyed incorporating rights

of way which cross the Line.

Relax in the he beautiful surro ou ound ndings di dings inng of Gadebridge G Park, Park Dacorum’s m’s principal p

pa park. parrk

Unwind by b the River Gade de or

r admire aaddm e the gloriou glorious fl ower ow display in the th historic

Walled ed Garden with viewws

o of St Stt

Mary’s Church, h, regarded re rega as one ne of the most

complete Norman churc rc rche hes es in n Hertfordshire. H Activities Activ including din bowls and craz azy

golf are available duri uri ri ring g the t e su summer, with a pla play area and d skate te park fo

for yo youn ung

The Cavendish School

people, open all yea ear ar ar. SSee

ee e ww www.dacorum.gov.uk ww www gov for or details ails ils of f special sp events events. events ev s.

Gade Valley JMI MI

Melsted Road

Leighton Buzzard Road

Marlowes

Paradise

Tudor Primary

School

A4146

Marlowes

Hemel Hempstead

General Hospital

Gadebridge

Park

Hillfield Road

Leighton Buzzard Road

Queensway

St Albans Road

Athletics Ground

Skateboard

BMX park

Leisure

World

High Street

Fletcher Way

Old Town

George Street

Primary

Chapel Street

Locker’s Park

St Mary’s

School Church

Randall

Park

Cotterells Hill

King Harry Street

Wolsey Road

Seaton Road

Water Gardens

Waterhouse Street

Park Lane

Deaconsfield Road

Warners End Road

Astley Road

Paradise

Wood Lane

Wood Crescent

Redwood Drive

Combe St

Bury Road

Dacorum Way

Library

Gadebridge Park

West Herts College

Dacorum Campus

Civic Centre

Dacorum Borough

Council

Midland Road

Alexandra Road

The Old

Town Hall

Alexandra Road

Crescent Road

Mayflower Avenue

Turners Hill

Old Crabtree Lane

Christchurch Road

site of

Hemel Hempstead

Station

Hemel Hempstead

Turners Hill

Lower Yott

Jarman Way

Adeyfield

Jarman Park

Herbert Street

St Mary’s Road

George Street

Downside

Keens Field

Road

Windmill

Windmill Road

White Hart Drive

Allandale

Townsend

Church Street

Grover Cl.

Queensway

St Paul’s Road

The Nickey Line

Broadfield

Wheatfield

Randalls Ride

Road

Cattsdell

Adeyfield Road

Lane

Smithfield

Allandale

Sawyers Way

Thriftfield

Bohemia

Longlands

Fletcher Way

Paston Rd

Thumpers

Woodhall Lane

Queensway

Cattsdell

Bellgate Primary

School

Neptune Drive

Everest Way

Fletcher Way

Ellingham Road

Jupiter Drive

Tedder Road

Montgomery

Avenue

Tenzing Road

Cambrian Way

Solway

Highfield Lane

Adeyfield Road

Leverstock Green Road

Jupiter Drive

JMI School

Jupiter Drive

Hemel He H Hempstead’s Hem d’s award rd winning winni town n centre cent boasts a

tremendous reme do range e of shops s and service services specifi pecifi cally cal desig ignned

for its many m visitors s within wit ith a family mily friendly f dly pedestrianis estrianised

sed ed

area. ea. Stroll Stro St through the town centre or adjacent adja djacent Water er Garden Gardens ns

and d admire admmire e the display pla planting and d wworks

of f art, a

tra tradition

begun egun n in the early eearly

y d ddays

of the e Ne NNew

w Town. T

Broadfield Infant

& Junior School Hobletts Manor Infant

& Junior School

Road

Newfield

Adeyfield

Adeyfield

School

Hemel H Old Town is steeped in history

i

p pprovid oviding a glimpse of days gone one n by with h

its s attr att attractiv active Victorian, Georgian n and Tudor

or

architectur ectur cture e ho housing many exceellent

lent le ppubs,

bs,

cafes, bistros os a and d re restaurants. nts. You will

also fi nd a diverse rse sselec electio ction n of specialist spec

shops shop including antiq tique que ques, , qu quality qu giftware, gif iftware,

furnitur fu ure and bicycles! cles! s! ! The Th he O OOld d To Town n HHigh

h

Street Stree is s hhome to the Old ld dTo

Town Towwn

n Hall H ll Th Theatre

with h art, musi usic and theat tre e produc productions ctio ctions.

Hemel Old Town

Allandale

Highfield

Hemel Hempstead

Westerdale

Mendip Way

St Pauls

Church

Wharfdale

Widmore Drive

Briery Way

Grove Hill Park

Hunting Hu Hu Gate

Wood Lane End

Aycliffe Drive

Primary School

Pennine Way

Playing Fields

Saturn Way

High Street Green

Playing

Fields

Maylands

Wood

Grovehill

Aycliffe Drive

first level access avoiding

steps & barriers

The Nickey Line

Dione Rd

Piccotts End La.

Yew Tree

Wood

Mark Road

Aycliffe Drive

Pennine Way

site of

Godwin’s Halt

Yew Tree Wood

Widmore Wood

Stevenage Rise

A4147

A4147

Maylands Avenue

Wood Lane End

Redbourn Road

A4147

an Eastman Eastman Eastma

man

n Way Wa Wa WW

ay ay

Washington Avenue

Household Waste

Recycling

Centre

Eastman Way

Industrial Estate

Boundary Way

Thames

Avenue

Eastbrook Primary

School

Yew ewTree e W Wood W has as the th the characteristics acteristi s oof

ann

ancient semi

natural natur ral wwoodland wwoodlan

and a and is pparticularly

ar y

no noteworthy orthy for the

group g oup of f yyew yew eww ttree eees

Taxus bacca accataa

that give the wood its

name. ame Th The e yew ye yew w is Europe’s longest li lived tree with so ome

individual in vidual als ls s seestimated

es est stimated mated to tto

be up to 4000 40 0 Eas

yyears

old.

St Agnells Lane

Cupid Green

Redbourn Road

Swallowdale Lane

The Dee

Astley Cooper

School

Adventure

Playground

Cupid Green Lane

Woodhall

Wood

site of

Hemelite Works

Thr e Cherry Trees Lane

Shenley Road

Cycle route to

Gaddesden Row

Wildlife along the Line

Holtsmere End Infant

& Junior School

Arkley Road

Shenley

B487B487

Hunters Oak

Redbourn Road

The Nickey Line

The NNickey

Line is a ggreen

corridor dor for wildlife

linkiing g the woodland dss

and fi elds ds along the track.

Fox oxes es are regularly se seen een and if

you are really lucky y

yo you ou may glimpse a bad dge ger on its dusk patrol or a

sparrowhawk fl ying ng aat spe speed.

eed In spring the warblers bler

arrive from their ir wwinter quaarters

and blackcaps, ps,

chiffchaffs and nd whitethroat

w atss

can be heard rd singi singing as

they establish blish territories andd

seek mates.

Look out ut for fo orange tip and db d brimstone brims mston ne butt butterfl ies

in early arly spring. s Peacocks, s, ma marrbled white whites, com commas m

and nd small sm tortoiseshells ells are

aalsso

fairly y com common mon

in the t summer sun. . In this t pictuure

left, t a sp speck speckled

wood w warms warm itself lf on o a bramblee

bush in the midday midd

sunshine su e – they th t y need ne warm stil ll ddays

for fl ight and

as they t y bask

they hey merge well inntoo the dappled ed light

of acl a clearing clea on onThe

Nickey Line.

Road

Shenley Road

Reservoir

Punch Bowl Lane

High

Wood

Brockswood Primary

School

Cherry Tree Lane

Holtsmere End Lane

Wood End Farm

Hemel Hempstead Road

N

M1

London

Little Revel End

Farm

History of the Nickey Line

1863 Act of Parliament passed pas for Boxmoor to Hemel Hempstead Railway ailwa

1866 Act of Parliament ent passed ssed extending line to Midland Railway y aat

Harpenden

Harpend

1877 Line opened ed between Heme Hemel Hempstead and Luton

1888 Harpenden Harpe Junction south curv curve opened, taking trains rain to Harpenden Station

1905 905 New Halts built at Redbourn, Cup Cupid Green and d HHeath

Park

1927 192 New Halt built at Roundwood, Harpenden arp

1929 92 929 Bus service replaced some trains

1947 Passenger service withdrawn, goods service serv continues

1950’s and 60’s Line gradually cut back for New Town construction nstru

1968 Hemelite Company bought the Line to transport port materials for the manufacture of

building blocks

1979 Line closed

1985 Line opened as a footpath and cycleway, becoming National tiona Cycle Network Route oute 557

The Nickey Line

National Cycle Network

Route Number

Pub / Restaurant

Supermarket / Shop

Cycle Shop

Tourist Information

Railway Station

Bus Station

Car Park

scale 1:11,500 approx

Museum

Toilet

Football Ground

Leisure Centre

Children’s Play Area

School / College

Hospital A&E

1 kilometre

Hemel Hempstead Road

Hotel

subway

The Nickey Line (traffic free)

The Nickey Line (on road)

The Aubreys Fort

(earthworks)

M1

Cycle Routes (signed on quiet road)

Cycle Routes (signed on quiet road)

proposed

Cycle Routes (traffic free)

Steps on route,

access steps off route

Footpath

Bridleway

1 mile

Dane-End Farm

Gaddesden

Flower’s

Farm

Track

Bridge

Main Road

Motorway

Railway

Lane

River / Lake

Building

site of

Beaumont’s Halt

Street / Minor Road

Bury

Wood

St Mary’s

Church

M1

Luton

The North

Hemel Hempstead Road

The Nickey Line

B487

Fields

Open Land

Parks

Woodland

Key

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved 100019606 2006

Residential area

Commercial area


Church

B487

M1

Luton

The North

Flamsteadbury Lane

Hemel Hempstead Road

Chequer Lane

Lybury Lane

Common

Redbourn

Common

Tassell Hall

North Road

Brooke End

The Ver Valley Walk

Redbourn

Village Museum

take care

crossing road

blind corner

cyclists

use ramp

to avoid steps

Tassell Hall

Redbourn village sits ts astride ide Watling Watl tlin ng Street, S the he

old o Roman Romma

road to Chester, now w thankfully by-passed. byy-p

sse Its compact co ct

High Street features es several hostelries host s and annd a variety va of

shops, while its spacious pacious pa ious Commo Com Common mmon

provides ovid vides ides a free ca car r park

beside the local cricket crric pitch, , close cl close se e to to the t the th villa v village Mu Mus useeum.

End

The Nickey Line

The Ver Valley Walk

The Walk traces the

river from its source

near Redbourn to its

conjunction with the Colne

close to Watford. A free

leafl et is available from

local Information Centres.

Snatchup

The Park

St Albans Road

Redbourn

Redbourn

Infant &

Jnr School

Lords Meadow

Fish Street

The Park

(Watling Street - Roman Road)

River Ver

A5183

Crouch Hall Lane

Redbourn

Footpath to

Redbournbury Mill

St Luke’s School

Lamb Lane

High Street

Bettespol Meadows

Library

High Street

WaterendLane

Linden Road

Aysgarth Road

Cavan Road

Redbourn

Industrial Estate

picnic area

site of Redbourn

railway station

Crown Street

Redbournbury Mill

Dunstable Road

Harpenden Lane

caravan site

River Ver

The Nickey Line

A5183

Ver Road

N

The Ver Valley Walk

A5183

The Ver Valley Walk

Dunstable Road

take care

crossing road

Powered by the River Ver - and latterly by a Crossley diesel

engine e - the 18th century Mill worked well into the 20th century. y.

It t was w restored after a disastrous fi re in 1987 and now produces

stoneground on fl our and bread. The Mill is open, with teas served,

typically ca on Sunday afternoons and special weekends.

(See back ba cover for contact details to check opening times).

Scout Spring

Redbourn Lane

Hammonds End

Farm

The Ver Valley Walk

Harpendenbury

Farm

Deacon’s

Spring

Golf Course

The Nickey Line

Knott Wood

Rugby Club

Golf Course

B487

Redbourn

Lane

Rothamsted

Experimental Farm

Rothamsted Manor

House

Hatching Green

The Nickey Line

Townsend Lane

Roundwood Park

& Primary Schools

The Jacobean Manor House at Rothamsted was the t

home of John Bennet Lawes who began agricultura ural ura

experiments in 1843, ultimately leading to the

establishment of Rothamsted Research.The House

provides ovides student accommodation tio and the Drawing Room

is i a popular venue for recitals. ls. Public rights of way cross

the estate, and a permissive ve path allows a view of the

17th Century south facade de of the house.

Rothamsted

When the Nickey Line was built in n the 187 1870’s the

Roundwood area was agricultural land, d, , but bu in the he

early 1900’s the fi rst houses were built, lt, and as mmore

followed there was an increasing dem emand n for a HHalt.

Roundwood ood Halt was oopened 8 August st 1927. 19 The Th

signal al and platform are two of the th he best surviv surviving viv

reminders rem of the former Line.

Rothamsted

Park

Claygate Avenue

Barns Dene

Townsend Lane

The Th T local council purchased the 238 23 2 238 acr cre Manorial

Common from the Rothamsted stedd Es Estate Es in 1929,

for the benefi t of the townsfolk. sfo fol An ann nnual nn horse

g event ceased in 1914, 14, and ndTThe Silver Cup C pub

s past triumphs. Golf, cricket and football all clubs club lub

se space for their pursuits, while the public ic has as

mpeded m access s to the whole Common. Anci cient

ghts ght gh also still permit pe traditional showman fair fairs.

Harpenden Common

NCN 6 cycle route

to St Albans,

Watford, London

Roundwood Halt

Maple Road

Longcroft Avenue

Skateboard

BMX park

Rothamsted

Research

Broadfields

Roseberry Avenue

Kirkwick Ave

West Common

Park Rise

Moreton End Lane

Rothamsted Avenue

A1081

first level access

avoiding steps

Amenbury Lane

St Hilda’s School

St Albans Road

Salisbury Avenue

Harpenden

Common

to Harpenden

Cycles

Town Hall

Leyton Road

Southdown Road

Roundwood Lane

Park Mount

Park Hill

Townsend Lane

St Nicholas

Primary

School

High Street

St Dominic’s

R.C. Primary

School

Harpenden Rise

St Nicholas’

Church

Asquith

Nursery

Luton Road A1081

Douglas Road

Public

Halls

Arden

Bull Rd

Luton Road

Bloomfield Road

Hillside Road

Clarence Road

Byron Road

Townsend Road

Sun Lane

Vaughan Road

Library

Station

Grove

Road

Crabtree

Lydekker

Park

Rail to St Albans

London, Brighton

Lane

Milton Road

Carlton Road

Harpenden

Station

Lambourn Gdns

The Nickey Line

Wordsworth Road

Carlton Road

Harpenden

Memorial Hospital

Breadcroft Lane

Station

Ambrose Lane

Ambrose Lane

Ho lybush Lane

H

Road

Tennyson Road

Harpenden

The King’s School

Ambrose

Wood

Sun Lane

Highfield

Oval

cutting

Harpenden

Musicale

St George’s School

Stewart Road

Crabtree Infants &

Junior School

H

BUPA Hospital

Highfield

Pre-School

original track of railwayline

Ox Lane

Harpenden

B652

Sauncey Avenue

Sauncey Avenue

Westfield

Wood

Westfield Road

Manland Way

West Way

Ox Lane

Manland Primary

School

Manland Avenue

The Lea Primary

School

St James Road

Lea Road

Sir John Lawes

School

Lying on the Chiltern C ter dip sloppe between en n the th t valleys of the

rivers Ver Ve Ver and a d Lea, a, Harpenden de was destined tinned

to bbecome

a

commuter commmu

town ow wwith

the com c ming of the e MMidland

and Main Line

in

1868. 68. It retains retain ns its s vvillage

cha c aracter r though, thoug gh, thanks t to its large ge

Common, mo its s ttree e lined High gh Street t aand period riod od cottages. cotta

Cross Way

Crabtree Lane

Rail to Luton

& The Midlands

NCN 6

Cycle route under

construction to Luton

and Milton Keynes,

and ultimately to

The Lake District

site of

Harpenden

East

railway

station

Waveney Road

Station Road

Coldharbour Lane

NCN 57

Cycle route to

Leasey Bridge,

incomplete to

Wheathampstead

and Welwyn

Garden City

Information

Dacorum Borough Council: www.dacorum.gov.uk

Redbourn Parish Council: www.redbourn.org.uk

Harpenden Town Council: www.harpenden.gov.uk

St Albans City & District Council: www.stalbans.gov.uk

Countryside Management Service: www.hertsdirect.org/cms

Sustrans: www.sustrans.org.uk

Friends of the Nickey Line: www.nickeyline.org

St Albans Cycle Campaign: www.stacc.org.uk

Ver Valley Society: www.riverver.co.uk

Redbournbury Mill: www.redbournmill.co.uk

History

Books available on The Nickey Line:

The Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Railway - The Nickey

Line by Sue and Geoff Woodward, 1996, The Oakwood Press

Branch Line to Hemel Hempstead - The Nickey Line

by Sue and Geoff Woodward, 2006, Middleton Press

Walking & Cycling

Hertfordshire County Council: www.hertsdirect.org/libsleisure

and click on ‘Enjoying the Countryside’

Further free maps & leafl ets in this series:

The Great North Way, The Ayot Greenway, The Alban Way,

The Cole Green Way, The Ebury Way, available from Libraries,

Tourist Information or Councils listed above.

Hertfordshire Rural Transport

Partnership

The Ordnance Survey mapping data included within this publication is provided by Hertfordshire County Council

under licence from the Ordnance Survey in order to fulfi l its public function to provide information relating to its

activities, services and plans. Persons viewing this mapping should contact Ordnance Survey copyright for advice

should they wish to licence Ordnance Survey mapping for their own use. Such mapping is based upon Ordnance

Survey material with the permission of Her Majesty’s Stationery Offi ce © Crown copyright 100019606 2006.

Cartography, photography, leafl et design and cycling by Stephen Wragg - Wragg Art House: www.wah.co.uk

© WAH 2006 Printed on environmentally friendly paper

walking & cycling

The Nickey Line

7 mile green route between

Hemel Hempstead, Redbourn

& Harpenden

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