A Fantastic Day Trip to Graftham Water. via amazing countryside B roads and lanes for anyone living in North London.
The route kicks off at Giant carpark of Costco Watford. An easy access from M1/M25 or A41.
From here the route takes you out and over the A41 heading to Radlett, then trough a first taster of a twisty back road to Shenley and London Colney. Take care around this large and quite often very busy round about.
Top Tip: If you need to top up your and bikes energy, McDonalds is just of the RoundAbout on the right and Fuel is To the right at Sainsbury's, on the other side of the hotel seen from the Roundabout.
From here the route takes you past the kids favourite, Willows Farm and towards the back of St. Albans. Then onto Wewyn and Eventually Coldicote. This is where the scenery and the calm and empty roads of this ride start.
Plenty of country pubs to stop for some late breakfast or lunch. Then carry on from here towards Bedford without going in. Route takes you over the top (beware of the prohibited entry both ways from A421 into Green End, Leading to Renhold, Mon-Fri 07:00-09:30am & 03:30-06:30PM) of Bedford and eventually well known B660 road. From here Head North towards a T-Junction with B645 just outside of Kimbolton. Turn right here, and make sure to pay attention not to miss a high turning into back lane. Failing that carry on till you get to a village and turn left there. Graftham Water car park is only a few miles up the road. It once was a free to enter, but recently a new set of Barrier have been erected. However bikes can squish by upon entry and will have to come out same way. you can obtain a ticket for a 15 minute free visit. but if you fancy a longer stay it'll cost £1.20 for 1 hour and £20.00 for a day.
Return trip, just follow it on your GPS. You will return back to the village and turn Left onto B645, a twisty bit of road with some tight bends. A quick hop onto A1 Dual carriageway to award riding through town and countless roundabouts and get off it at the next junction. You will soon find yourself riding through Hitchin and onto yet another bit of fantastic road that is B656, which will return you to Coldicote. Here in the village centre you swing right onto St Albans Road, heading for Wheathampsted, then at the T-Junction, turn Left onto B653 Heading for Welwyn. Take a Right turn onto Green Lanes which will eventually take you onto the Coopers Green Lane to retrace your steps from earlier on. Eventually you would return to Watford Costco car park
Allow 4.5-5 Hours Riding and a couple of hours for taking breaks, fuel stops, etc.
The Ideal bikes for this route are Adventure type but even such as BMW R9T types will be just fine. In fact any bike will do it, just some will be better than others.
Mainly Minor A & B roads with a few lanes thrown for good measure. Ideal Route for ADV Bikes
Quick escape route from Watford unto Berkhamsted via A41, a fast smooth road.
Once in Berkhamsted, it is a relatevly straight forward (depending on a time of day) ride through town before you turn right towards Ashridge Estate. This is where fun begins through a lovely sweeping lefthander (speed limit here is 40mph) as you climb up a hill. Once you are up at the top, the scenery is simply amazing especially in the evening sunlight. Beware, at this point you are riding though a nature reserve and as such plenty of wild life can step in to the road, watch out for pheasant and deer. quick descend through a hairpin into Aldbury, (a few nice pubs for some grub can be found here)heading towards Tring, this section has some tight corners and road is narrower than average (watch out for gravel in the bends). just before arriving at Tring train station turn right heading towards Pitstone, then at the roundabout turn right again heading towards Ivinghoe, great stretch of road this one (if clear of traffic), some cool hidden dips and a sharp lefthander at the end of the straight, as you approach junction on the right (signposted for Dunstable) turn right here and you are treated with the view of Ivinghoe Beacon in the distance ahead. After a mile and a bit up just at the foothills of the beakon, turn right heading towards (signposted Ivinghoe Beacon) Ringshall (mind the cattle grid), head up a hill through some rather tight but cool bends before reaching National Trust carpark, well worth pulling up here if you have time as panorammic views are simply fantastic. From here you can see a White Lion of Whipsnade and beyond. From Here you carry on towards Ringshall crossroads and turn left here (Take your time at this junction as it is hard to see) towards Dagnall, less than half a mile up the road, keep your awareness of gravel in the road as you go round a sweeping right hand bend. Arriving at the round about in Dagnall, head straight towards Dunstable and Whipsnade Zoo, this section has a nice straight road once you leave Dagnall, but keep your whits about you as there is a short tights bend to the left at the end of the straight. a little distance after, take a sharp right up the hill towards Whipsnade village and Zoo, some really cool bends here as you climb up. There is a 30 & 40mph limit through the village. carry on this road until you come to the roundabout, then take 1st exit to the left and powering up a gentle hill you will shortly arrive at your destination. Have an Ice-cream, (hot drinks and food available at the pavilion a short walk/ride to the left of the car park) chill out with your friends while watching kids and adults alike flying kites, observe glider taking off and landing from the airfield bellow, sometimes you can see paragliders doing their thing, trying to get of the ground. The view of a sunset is amazing from here.
I hope you will enjoy this short but fun ride.