The Three Springs walk is a wonderfully cute circular walk around Offley, near Hitchin. Located in the most northern part of the Chilterns, it was actually not what I had planned for this day. My plan was to go south and do a walk involving the River Thames. However, upon walking that morning I realised that I didn’t actually want to do a river walk. I live next to the river and have had so much river over the past few months of lockdown. I was bored of river. So after a bit of last minute research, I changed tactics.
I found this walk on the Chilterns AONB website, they call it the Three Springs. Why is it called the Three Springs walk? I have no idea. But if you know, then please do tell.
What was the Three Springs walk around Offley like?
It was simply lovely. As I mentioned in my last blog post, about the Ashridge Drovers walk, this was my first weekend out of London since lockdown. So any countryside would have gotten me excited.
So it’s hard to tell whether I loved this walk because it was a great walk, or whether it was because I had been starved of countryside for so long.
I have decided to go with the former, with a sprinkling of the latter.
The walk itself is pretty easy with no major hills, and lots of straight lines, making navigation a breeze. Lovely, pretty and quaint are the adjectives I would use to describe it.
The walk starts and finishes at the Red Lion pub, so this would make a lovely Sunday walk in the Chilterns before finishing off with a Sunday pub lunch. Or even the other way around.
Logistics for the Chilterns, Offley Three Springs walk
- Start: Red Lion Pub
- Finish: Red Lion Pub
- How to get there: By car, if coming from London, you could jump on the M1 then come off at Luton at J10. Then get onto the on the A505 and you should see signs for Great Offley. Or just enter Offley into the satnav/google maps and it will take you there.
- Distance: 5.4 miles
- Time: 1hour 50min at a gentle stroll pace.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Terrain: Road, grass, dirt trails.
- Time of year: I did this in Summer, but it can be enjoyed all year round.
Map for the Offley Three Springs walk in the Chilterns
(Click on the little box in the top corner to open in your google maps)
The Offley Three Springs walk – A circular walk near Hitchin in the Chilterns
The first thing I want to tell you about, is my arrival from London. The journey there was on motorway and some A roads. All a bit boring which was perfectly matched with the grey sky. Then as I turned into the Northern Chilterns, everything suddenly changed.
Everything was just so damn pretty. I had read that this area had some of the loveliest countryside in the Chilterns and I would say that description was spot on. Then right on queue, some blue started to peek through the clouds. As if I was entering some magical secret land.
The start of the Three Springs walk around Offley
From the Red Lion Pub, you need to walk along the road in the direction of the church. You then pass by what might be a rival pub, lots of cute houses and small road crossing to eventually reach the big road.
Having looked at the map before hand, I figured this would be a typical big road crossing.
This crossing was incredible. You cross high up on a bridge over the main road for an awesome view of the road below.
The country lane
Over the big road you will then find yourself walking on country lane. For those of you not familiar with country lanes, they are narrow winding roads (often with no pavement to walk on) with the national speed limit.
AKA death traps.
I have to say though, It wasn’t bad at all. On this stretch of road, only one car passed me…..And did I mention everything was so pretty.
When I realised I would be walking for a bit on a country lane, I had a moment of dread. However, that soon went a way and I actually felt pretty safe. Everything was just so calm and lovely.
Walking through the fields
When you reach this farm house, you continue straight and through the gate.
(the ‘no through road’ sign is for cars, not people.)
The colours today were different from yesterday. Yesterday the green was bright, luminous and in your face. Today it was pale and matte with some dark thrown in.
When you reach the end of this first field, there is a tree lined trail straight ahead. You don’t go that way. Instead you turn left and continue on a straight line until you reach the stump post with trail markings.
From here you go right and continue following the trail as it curves around and leads you into the woods.
The woods add a nice bit of variety to the open fields (although I was hoping I wouldn’t be in them for too long as it was a glorious day and the woods hid me from that).
Thankfully, the woods were a short little section. Just the right amount of woods.
When you reach the T-junction, take a left and the trail will lead you back out to the open fields again.
Back into the fields
This bit of the trail takes you in one long straight line again to reach the T-juntion at the end. It was on this section that I suddenly got deja vue. I had walked along here before. I don’t know when, but I was definitely here once. One might think I was mistaken. It’s all green fields and easy to mix up. But I’m telling you, this exact place is in my memory.
More little roads
At the T-junction at the end, you take a right and continue on until you reach a very small road. At the road, you turn left and follow it as it curves around and goes under a bridge.
After the bridge, maybe you will get to see a horse in the field to the right.
Just after the possible horse sighting you will hit another road where you turn left and take the immediate right back onto a trail.
This trail continues straight for a bit, passed some more fields. Then when you hit the next road, take a left.
Reaching Offley village and the end of the Three Springs walk
Ok, so that’s a lot of road. However, throughout all of this section, only one car passed me. And the roads are cute.
You will then walk along this country lane as it gently winds it’s way back to Offley. It is a slight walk uphill, but nothing too aggresive.
Make sure to look back as the views are quite lovely.
As you arrive back in Offley village, take the first right turn and follow this road as it leads you back to the church and the Red Lion pub.
Final thoughts on walks near Hitchin in the Chilterns
Having had a glimpse of an area near Hitchin, I solidly plan to go back and explore more walks around the area. I had read that Hitchin and the surrounding area is lovely, and from what I saw today, I would agree….and I want to see more. With place and street names like little Offley, Offley Hoo, Lilley Hoo and Lilly Bottom, how could you say no.
More walks in the Chilterns
Ashridge Drovers walk – 6.5 miles. A lovely walk with lovely views.
Hambleden and Medmenham walk – 6 miles through two very immaculate villages. Chance to see lamps and cherry blossoms at the right time of year.
Ivinghoe Beacon walk – 9 miles with some of the best views around.