East Hertfordshire Weekend Royston

Guided Walking Holiday - 2 Nights

Dates TBC

Next departures:

Key info:

Highlights:

  • Exploring the beautiful parklands around Wimpole. The woodland belts, the Chinese Bridge and the Gothic folly.
  • Spending your evenings in relaxing and comfortable accommodation whilst enjoying the variety of enticing, locally sourced food and drink Royston has to offer.
  • Walking the chalk heathlands on the final part of the elevated Chiltern escarpment.
  • Discovering the secrets of the area with a local, knowledgeable guide.

Prices (2022 prices):

The costs for this two-night holiday include dinner, bed and breakfast and are as follows:

  • Standard Double – £290 per person for single occupancy and £265 per person for double occupancy
  • Superior Double – £300 per person for single occupancy and £270 per person for double occupancy
  • Executive Double – £310 per person for single occupancy and £275 per person for double occupancy. 

(Unfortunately there is no twin room option available on this tour).

Royston:

Escape to the country this January and discover a different part of England with a weekend of walking on the Hertfordshire – Cambridgeshire border.  Our base will be the Hertfordshire town of Royston, which is a hidden gem for walkers and history seekers alike.

The town is the site of a crossroads, where the Icknield Way (one of the oldest known tracks in Britain) meets the Roman Ermine Street. It would have been an incredibly important junction at the time. There were Inns and Leper hospitals and a 12th century Augustine Monastery dissolved by Henry VIII. The market, still held on a Wednesday and Saturday, was established by Richard I in 1189. There is also a Royal Palace once owned by King James. Royston’s most famous attraction is, however, the enigmatic chalk cave which it may be possible to visit*.

The price includes dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and full breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Herts Map

© Chiltern Conservation Board

Daily Itinerary:

Here is the day-by-day itinerary, click on the day to learn more.

Check-in is from 15:00. We will meet at 17:00 in reception for an introductory orientation on foot around ancient Royston. During this one hour / 1.5 mile walk, your guide will introduce you to the town and its history. Following this, we will meet again at 19:00 at reception for a briefing on the following day’s walk. We will enjoy a glass of sparkling wine in the restaurant of Banyers House before dining.

Banyers
Banyers House
Royston
Royston

Distance: 9 miles/ ascent & decent 450ft

We use our cars today and drive the short distance (20-minutes) north to the village of Orwell, in Cambridgeshire.

Orwell is where we start our circular walk today taking in some of the 600 acres parkland surrounding the Mansion at Wimpole Estate (National Trust). Encompassing Hall, Gardens, and a working farm, the estate was bequeathed to the National Trust by Elsie Bambridge, the second daughter of writer Rudyard Kipling. It has a long history dating back to pre-Roman times. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed here for two days in 1843 at the invitation of the then owner, Vice Admiral Charles Yorke, the 4th Earl of Hardwicke. There is a lot to see here, including the Georgian mansion and a walk around the grounds. Partly landscaped by the famous landscape gardener Capability Brown, there is a serpentine lake, a Chinese bridge and a Gothic Tower to explore. 

* On our return to Royston, subject to numbers it may be possible to have a guided visit to Royston cave - please indicate on the booking form if you would like to be involved in this.

We will meet in the bar at 19:00 to discuss the following days activities Before sitting down for dinner.

Royston3
Wimpole folly
Royston2
Wimpole Park

Distance: 9 miles/ ascent & decent 450ft

Leaving the cars behind today, after a leisurely breakfast we do a circular walk from the hotel taking in Therfield Heath. This pleasant local walk takes us up into the hills beyond to explore local paths, tracks and the village of Therfield. There are multiple iron age and bronze age burial mounds which can be seen, and the Heath is also a sight of special scientific interest with rare flora and fauna. The Heath itself was used by King James I and it forms the same chalk escarpment as the Chiltern Hills and is the final part of elevated chalk escarpment giving way to the lower land further East.  

After the walk, we say goodbye until the next time.

Therfield Heath
View Therfield Heath

Please note that if weather conditions are bad, or conditions change locally then it may be necessary to diverge from a part of the programme at short notice.  Every effort however will be made to keep to the advertised programme.

Our Accommodation:

Banyers House. 16 Melborn Street, Royston. SG8 7BZ

Banyers House is one of Royston’s most iconic buildings. Located in the heart of the town opposite St. John’s Parish Church, it has benefited from a meticulous refurbishment by its new owners. Each of its nine en-suite rooms are individually designed to complement its 18th century heritage whilst providing all the comforts of the 21st century. The usual delicious a la cart food will be served for us at breakfasts and dinners, with many options available to cater for every taste.

Our accommodation has all things you’d want including: en suite rooms full of character, free parking, high speed wifi, tea and coffee making facilities in rooms and so much more..

To learn more about our hotels history: including about the the first owner the Revd Edward Banyer Vicar of Royston from 1739, the secret tunnel from Banyers House to the church and the story about the forged bank notes. Learn more here.   

Here are some photos:

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Additional Information:

To book, you may either ring me on 07979 501887 or if you prefer you may email me julian@wilkeswalks.co.uk and I will get back to you. 

You will need to pay a deposit of£100 to secure your place. The final balance will be due 8 weeks before departure. 

All payments can be made via BACS. Please ensure you put your surname and initial as a reference. 

Account details:

Sort Code: 11-03-67

Account: 13435862

Reference: surname and initial

 

This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the main requirements. Please note, some of the tracks can be muddy after prolonged rain.

Essential Items
  • Waterproof walking-boots. Properly worn in and which provide good grip
  • Waterproof jacket and over trousers
  • Rucksack
  • Gloves and a warm hat
  • Water bottle – 1 ltr
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Several layers of clothing – which can be added or removed as required


Recommended items
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sit Mat
  • Specialist walking socks


Optional items
  • Gaiters – these can be useful after rain
  • Blister kit
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Walking poles (can be useful)

By train: Railway station: is Royston (RYS): Kneesworth Street, Royston SG8 5HA.

The Thameslink service from London Kings Cross to Cambridge stops at Royston with no changes, the journey time approx 1 hour. To walk from the train station to the hotel takes 9 minutes. 

By car:

(1) Royston is just 8 miles and 11 minutes from junction 10 of the M11. 

(2) Royston is just 13 miles and 20 minutes from junction 9 of the A1(M).   

PARKING AT BANYERS:

There is free parking at the hotel, allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

Royston car parks are free after three. Click here for the car park info. 

Unfortunately there are three maps which cover these two walks, and they are covered by the following maps. The leader will have printed maps to show you of the routes.  

1:25:000. OS Explorer Map: 194 for Hertford and Bishop's Stortford.

1:25:000. OS Explorer Map: 209 for Cambridge.

1:25:000. OS Explorer Map: 208 for Bedford and St. Neots