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Cycling in Hatfield

Hatfield, Hertfordshire, is a mix of the old, including Hatfield House, and the modern new town which is home to the University of Hertfordshire. The newest part of the town, on the site of the former De Havilland aircraft factory, has an extensive network of cycle paths, connected via an off road link along Wellfield Road to the town centre. 

The town is at the junction between the Great North Way (National Cycle Route 12) and Alban Way (NCN61) which runs in from St Albans in the west.   There is a spur off NCN61 at the Red Lion junction to the railway station, which parallels NCN12 off road west of Old Hatfield.  The station now has extensive covered cycle parking (secure cage in the multistory for season ticket holders) and lifts suitable for bikes, but not longer tandems, to all platforms.

Useful routes:

University of Hertfordshire

Both University campuses are on cycle lanes or paths to/from the town centre and now the station, via the cycle path alongside Queensway.  The most challenging part of the route is on Queensway at a roundabout with a perhipheral cycle lane.  This can be avoided by going slightly up Woods Ave as shown in these two routes:

There is a cycle path via Woods Ave from the town centre up to the Bishops Rise entrance to the College Lane campus, ideal for the halls of residence.

Alban Way

  • The Alban Way, part of NCN61, takes you to the Roman city in Verulamium Park, which now has cycle routes.  There is also a link from the Alban Way to St Albans City station which features a zigzag cycle path worthy of an alpine ascent!
  • The Alban Way forms the southern part of the St Albans Green Ring.
  • The Alban Way ends at a junction with NCN6, heading south west to Watford (as the Abbey Way) or north to Harpenden. 
  • To reach Verulamium Park, turn left at this junction and the cross the railway at the level crossing.  Turn right and then follow the cycle path and shared use pavements round to the toucan crossing at the Westminster Lodge swimming pool. You can then cycle across the park to Verulamium Museum and the Inn on the Park cafe.
  • A map of cycle routes in St Albans is available.
  • A speeded up video of the route is available from Hertfordshire County Council.

Welwyn Garden City

  • Two cycle routes link Hatfield north to Welwyn Garden City, one via Mill Green Museum (see below) which is NCN12/61 and one via Stanborough Park, with a link to Stanborough School.
  • Routes north of Welwyn Garden City are described in the Cyclestreets area page for the town.

North west via Symondshyde

  • This route can be seen on RidewithGPS.
  • Cycle via Hatfield Garden Village, Great Braitch Lane (bikes only) and then after carefully crossing Coopers Green Lane, there is a stony and sandy bridleway to Symondshyde Farm and on via quiet country lanes to Wheathampstead or Harpenden. 
  • Note that there is no cycle route from Wheathampstead to Harpenden, so it is best to head to Harpenden direct using this route. 
  • If you go to Wheathampstead then a good route back to Hatfield is via the Ayot Greenway and Welwyn Garden City.   Charlie's cafe in Wheathampstead is a recommended stop for tea and cake.
  • Beyond Harpenden, there is an excellent rural off road cycle route to Luton Parkway Station.  On road, NCN6 then leads via Dunstable to Milton Keynes.  As a short cut you can also use the cycle path parallel with the busway.

Cole Green Way

  • If you are heading east to Hertford, there is a short cycle path from Mill Green to Gypsy Lane, Welwyn Garden City, alongside the A414, from where local roads via the QE2 hospital can be used to link to the Cole Green Way at Great Ganett.  The A414 has no cycle path and is a motorway speed road, so keep off it.
  • NCN61 takes a longer route through east side WGC, but on quieter roads.  If cycling with the kids, this may be preferred.
  • A speeded up video of the route east of Cole Green Lane, WGC, is available from Hertfordshire County Council.
  • The route is due for resurfacing over the next few years, the section from the A414 to Hertingfordbury will be a graded porous surface, but Hertingfordbury to Hertford will be tarmac.  This creates a surfaced route if the Old Coach Road (the former A414) is used east of the A414 subway.
  • Beyond Hertford NCN61 continues to Ware and then Rye House alongside the River Lea.

Great North Way

  • The Great North Way (NCN12) runs north-south across Hertfordshire from Hadley Wood to Arlesey.  It can be easily ridden in stages by taking the train to one of the stations along the line and riding back.
  • Going north, see the Welwyn Garden City page.
  • In Hatfield, NCN12 has a lovely section southwards via Stream Woods (How Dell), through Oxleys Wood to the spiral bridge over South Way.   However Oxleys Wood has two anti-motorbike gates which are not tandem or tricycle friendly.  
  • As an alternative, there is a cycle path from Hatfield town centre directly to the spiral bridge along side Woods Ave and Travellers Lane. This avoids the gates and is lit.
  • South of the spiral bridge, the Great North Way continues (lit) to Welham Green, South Mimms (unlit but with direct access to the M25 services for bikes and the European Bike Express pick up point) and Hadley Wood, where it ends at the railway station.
  • There is a direct cycle path from Waggon Road to the station avoiding the need to drop down into the housing estate and then come back up to the station. There is a ramp directly from this path to the northbound station platform for an easy return by train.  Southbound travel requires bikes to be carried down stairs.

Further south and east

  • NCN12 will eventually head east from Hadley Wood at the end of Wagon Road to Enfield and the Lee Valley cycle route south to Greenwich. This route is currently signed from Chase Farm to Enfield Lock, but there is no off road route east of Hadley Wood. (Map of proposed route.)  
  • From South Mimms there is an unsigned route south into London via South Mimms village and then down the A1 cycle path to Trotter's Bottom.  Here there is a bridge over the A1. Cross this and head south for Barnet, the Dollis Brook Greenway and Finchley. 

Maps of all the local cycle routes are available from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council as pdfs. 

Things to see and do

  • Hatfield House, just off NCN12 by the station, but sadly with no cycle parking near the house, since the car park moved.  Chaining to the fences is tolerated.
  • Mill Green Water Mill and Museum  which is just over the A1000 from NCN12/61. This is a lovely little museum with working mill on Sundays (and very nice afternoon teas on summer Sundays!). Very good for the kids, with plenty of events they will enjoy. Beatrix Potter visited and painted the building when on holiday locally.  They have cycle parking.
  • Stanborough Park. This is on the Hatfield to Welwyn GC cycle path east of NCN12 (via A6129).  The lakes are a nice open space with cafe and children's play area. To cross from the cycle path to the north lake for the play area, you can loop down and under the road via the river bridge. Beware of high tides!

Bike shop:  Hatfield Cycles 12-13 St Albans Road East, just off NCN61 at the Red Lion junction.

Staying in Hatfield

  • Premier Inn:  This is 1/2 mile north of the Alban Way at Wellfield Road.
  • Travelodge:   This is just off the cycle route along Comet Way.
  • Mercure Hatfield Oak:  On the cycle route south of the University College Lane campus.

The local cycling group is WelHatfCycling who run rides for families and lobby for local cycle paths.  Details of the monthly second Saturday social rides and current local route news are on the web site.

Updated 29.3.19

Other areas …

Latest photos of the area

See also a full list of photos in this area.

Segregated cycle track running southwards of spiral bridge in need of a little maintenance

Path was seriously overgrown dangerously restricting viability on the corner, this has recently been cut back and the pavement cleaned up.

Woods Ave path at crossing of Sycamore Ave.

Woods Ave new cycle route showing crossing of Chantry Lane. This really should be a raise crossing over the entry to this cul-de-sac road.

Bishops Rise looking north at the start of the 2018 built route along Woods Ave. This turns gets cyclists off the road ahead of the roundabout.

Woods Ave looking west up the new cycle route completed May 2018. Shows the initial section which splits round the trees

Access to Welwyn Garden City station is through a shopping centre - awful for cyclists. There's also a footpath on a bridge from the east (where there's cycle parking) - maybe this could be improved to allow cyclists to legally get their bi ... [more]

Access to Welwyn Garden City station is through a shopping centre - awful for cyclists.

Green line painted in car park to guide cyclists from Gresley Close to College Way, Welwyn Garden City. Very useful when the car park is full.

Unsigned junction at Mundells, Welwyn Garden City loking north: Turn left to continue on the cycleway on Bessemer Road. Straight ahead is a route off the road for southbound cyclists and is a dead end if followed north as in the picture. ... [more]

Cycleway at Mundells, Welwyn Garden City, showing route via subway to follow if heading for the cycleway along Bessemer Road in both directions.

Cycle path from Mill Green to Gypsy Lane alongside the A414, looking east at Mill Green.

Start of link through from Mill Green to NCN12/61 via bridleway (see map). Ths path was used by Beatrix Potter when staying locally at Bush Hall with her parents.

Start of cycle path alongside A414 at end of Gypsy Lane, Welwyn Garden City. Note abuse of cycle path by cars coming off the road over the verge.

A414 cycle path at junction with Gypsy Lane, Welwyn Garden City. There is no cycle path along the A414 east of this point.

Cole Green Way, Welwyn Garden City: The start of the old railway cycle path to Hertford. Watch out for the anti-motorbike device at the gate.

Junction, unsigned, where NCN61 goes left and the cycle path along Black Fan Road to Mundells and Welwyn Garden City town centre carries straight on. The signs are rather unhelpfully at the far left of the photo on the other arm of the t ... [more]

Entrance to obscure bridleway linking NCN12/61 to Mill Green Museum and then the cycle path along the side of the A414. Beatrix Potter walked along this route when staying at Bush Hall and then going to paint the mill, now Mill Green Mus ... [more]

Signal at Nast Hyde Halt, Ellenbrook, Hatfield. The signal has a short history of the railway and was erected as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations in 2015 by a local resident who has been restoring the station and keeping the ... [more]

Nast Hyde Halt, Alban Way, NCN61, Hatfield. Restored 2015 as part of the 150th anniversay celebrations. There is also a station clock, signal (see #74090 ) and information on the history. This is a project by a local resident who is ... [more]

Alban Way NCN61 subway under Cavendish Way, Hatfield. Subway avoids a crossing of a dual carriage way.

Sign misdirecting cyclist and pedestrians to go north from Hatfield station to get to the town centre. The town centre is 0.6 miles by walking or cycling in the opposite direction, yet this is only signed South Hatfield!

Subway from Batterdale linking to French Horn Lane cycleroute. This could be used as a better route for NCN12 avoiding the roundabout in #74069 but not allowed as subway is deemed too low. View from other end is in #74068. Note thi ... [more]

Shared use pavement extending cycle route past Hatfield station and then on to NCN61 at the Red Lion junction, see #74067 and #74075.

Red Lion junction Hatfield showing crossing to the cycle route south from NCN61 to the station, opened November 2015 see #74067. Despite lobbying by local cyclists the island has been constructed to pedestrian only standards requiring cy ... [more]

NCN12 where it joins NCN61 at the north end of Old Hatfield. NCN12 turns right to head north to Welwyn Garden City. Island crossing of road enabling each lane to be crossed separately with clear signs. View going south can be seen ... [more]

Junction where NCN12 leaves NCN61 and goes south via Old Hatfield. Central island big enough for bikes with clear signs. View in other direction on NCN12 in #74074

Hatfield station toucan crossing which allows all ways crossing for pedestrians but not for cyclists, who have to go round the sides following the square in two phases rather than one. An opportunity missed?

New cycle parking at Hatfield station intalled November 2015

Double decker cycle parking installed at Hatfield station November 2015.

NCN12 leaves Old Hatfield via this busy roundabout on the Great North Road. A much better route would be via the subway from Batterdale see #74068 and #74077.

Subway under Great North Road Hatfield. This could be used to divert NCN12 away from a busy roundabout, but rulled out because the subway is too low to be legally acceptable. Hertfordshire County Council should take the view this is s ... [more]

Shared use pavement completed November 2015 at Hatfield Station. Creates link to NCN61 and thence NCN12 at the Red Lion see #74025.

French Horn Lane Hatfield where NCN12 turns south. Note NCN12 goes onto the road to the left despite the wide island. Cyclists should use the waiting area on road not the island.

Alban Way bridge over Wellfield Road which also has a cycle route. A rare double decker cycle route. See #45254 for bridge from below.

Fore Street and the Eight Bells Pub on NCN12. Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Fans of Oliver Twist should note this is believed to be the pub Bill Sykes hides out in after Nancy is murdered.

Broken cycle stands outside public library in Hatfield. Over complex design which did not last and impossible to use with small wheeled bikes.

New pavement next to exit from cycle lane. Using this crossing then leads to the new cycleway on the opposite side of the road shown in #74054

Queensway Hatfield new cycle way approaching town centre #74054

Queensway, Hatfield, shared use path looking south. Now open and usable, February 2016.

Alban Way at Ellenbrook Lane, Hatfield

Alban Way at Ellenbrook Lane, Hatfield, a former railway level crossing.

Alban Way at Lemsford Road Hatfield. Route to left leads to steps, route to right is towards St Albans.

Alban Way at Ground Lane looking south west

Alban Way at Ground Lane

Spiral bridge on NCN12 over South Way, Hatfield. This was originally built to serve a School, now closed.

Gate at south end of Oxley Park, NCN12. Impassable for tricycles and disabled buggies. Difficult for tandems.

Gate on National Cycle Route 12 to stop misuse by motorbikes but which blocks the route for tricycles and disabled buggies. Located at north end of Oxley Wood, Hatfield.

Toucan crossing where Woods Ave cycle path west side starts

Start of cycle path on Wood Close leading to route on Woods Ave, Hatfield

Junction between NCN12, turning right, and cycle route to central Hatfield, straight on

Link to Lark Rise which is a quiet road to Hill Top and the University residences

Start of cycle path along east side of Woods Ave, Hatfield.

Cycle lane on Queensway Hatfield where it crosses the entrance to ASDA.

Oxlease roundabout approaching from the north

Oxlease roundabout looking north at end Travellers Lane

Toucan crossing of Queensway

End of cycle route on Queensway, Hatfield, showing link in to toucan crossing.

Exit from Knella Road, Welwyn Garden City heading east on NCN61. Cycle path then zigzags into gap in hedge in back ground squeezing past post just visible in background. Difficult if hedge overgrown.

Narrow cyclepath on bridge over A414. Southbound cyclists need to give way, as shown by sign.

NCN61 looking north showing where cycle route leaves main road to use Park View.

Welwyn Garden City station - the lifts are too small, as at Cambridge.

New Wellfield Road cycle path looking east towards Hatfield Fire Station

Wellfield Road cycle path looking west. Access to Alban Way NCN61 on bridge via ramp to left. View on Alban Way in #74065.

View of new cycle path west along Wellfield Road

The NCN 61 cycle route Location: , Panshanger Aerodrome (England, United Kingdom)

Bridge over the railway, Hatfield Location: Smallford, St. Albans (England, United Kingdom)

Cycle route signs, Hatfield Location: Smallford, St. Albans (England, United Kingdom) The sign to Welwyn Garden City is pointing in the wrong direction. It should be pointing in the opposite direction to the St. Albans sign.

Cycle path from Hatfield to Colney Heath where it goes under the A1(M). Old but well made.

On road cyclepaths on Queensway Hatfield make this a dangerous roundabout for cyclists. You need to cycle much more out into the road to be safe here. Yet this is close to 3 schools!

Junction on NCN12 where route turns off French Horn Lane to Old Rectory Drive

NCN12 Traveller's Lane Hatfield where the route turns off to follow the paths through Oxlease Wood and Streamwoods. (Note map is slighly inaccurate at this point. Photo marker is at the correct location where the cycle path crosses the roa ... [more]

Stanborough Park looking west showing the contraflow cycle path along the park entrance slip road. This contraflow path is a crucial link in the Hatfield to Welwyn Garden City cycle path which also connects to Stanborough School.

View from the bridge on NCN12

South end of Wrestler's Bridge Hatfield on NCN61 looking north. The original bridge here collapsed in 1966. Riders are about to set off on a ride to open a new cycle route in Welwyn Garden City led by Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum

Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum family bike ride along NCN57 (Ayot Greenway) about to depart on Sunday 10th July 2011. Photo is at the start of the route, just behind Roller City, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City.

View of the cycle path to north side of French Horn Lane. After the subway ahead it goes north to the rail station. NCN12 is on the road on the right, unable to use the cycle path due to a further lower subway.

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