Royston’s David, 87, takes on Hertfordshire Way in lockdown

David Allard from Royston walked the entire Hertfordshire Way in stages during lockdown. Picture: Co

David Allard from Royston walked the entire Hertfordshire Way in stages during lockdown. Picture: Courtesy of David Allard - Credit: Archant

A Royston rambler has completed the challenge of walking the Hertfordshire Way during lockdown – at the age of 87.

David Allard completed sections of the 194-mile walk mainly on the weekends soon after lockdown began on March 23. He doesn’t drive, so completed each leg by going to a starting point and walking to another point on the way where he could get public transport home. He would then pick up from that point on the next walk.

He told the Crow: “All together it was 16 and a half days. And I did it because I couldn’t go on any group walks, as they were all cancelled.

“Each leg went OK you follow signs but it’s quite easy to go wrong,” he said. “They are all about 11 or 12 miles, some are a bit longer.”

The first half of his route took in Royston, Buntingford, Hertford, Broxbourne and Cuffley among other places.

He said: “When I finished leg 10a – Broxburne to Cuffley – I decided to go the other end so I could start back in Royston.

“I did Royston to Wallington, and got the train home from Baldock, and the next day I did Baldock to Little Wymondley.”

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David’s journey took him onto St Albans, Markyate, Tring and Berkhamsted – where he popped in to visit family – King’s Langley, Shenley and back to Cuffley.

He said: “I was very pleased when I got to Cuffley, it’s a very nice walk. Leg 10a is the nicest part, it goes through Broxbourne woods.

“I normally took sandwiches – as at the beginning none of the pubs were open, of course – and I took a banana and a satsuma.”

“Sometimes it was pretty late by the time I got home, some days I was tired but I didn’t think to give up.”

David is a leader of the Royston Ramblers and has been going on walking holidays since he was 16. He said it “keeps him fit, and it’s interesting to see different places”.

He has lived in Royston for 52 years and is part of the town’s local history society and town twinning association.

When asked about continuing rambling in his older years, he said “You need to keep going for as long as possible – and lockdown would have been pretty boring otherwise!”

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