An easy-to-use app for walkers in Hertfordshire has taken off in a big way, with almost 30,000 downloads.

Hertfordshire Walks aims to help people of all ages and fitness levels find an enjoyable countryside walk - perfect for sunny weekends.

It offers 250 different routes across 91 locations, with various filters allowing you to select a walk in the woods, by some water, with a pub, or near a railway station.

The app is the brainchild of Paul, who heads up a small family business in Hertfordshire.

Back in 2018, Paul found that he wasn't happy with the existing options for walking apps. He says: "There were a lot of really good apps out there, but they were geared towards either technical people or hobbyist walkers.

"We wanted to create something that was really simple and bring walking to the masses - to the people who just want to go for a walk.

The Comet: The app now includes details of more than 250 walks, across 91 different locations in Hertfordshire.The app now includes details of more than 250 walks, across 91 different locations in Hertfordshire. (Image: Hertfordshire Walks)

"Our challenge was to develop a technology that would be pick-up-and-go. Simply choose one of the 250+ routes, drive to the starting point, and you're walking.

"You don't need to worry about a thing because it's a tested route. As the dot and arrow follows you as you walk around the route, you also see immediately if you take a wrong turn."

That's what the Hertfordshire Walks app offers. There is no need to register or to maintain phone signal as it functions completely offline.

It also integrates with Google and Apple Maps to give you car directions to parking for the start of each walk.

The technology has been picked up by some of the national parks across the country, including Snowdonia, the New Forest, and the Yorkshire Dales. But it's the Hertfordshire app that has really captured Paul's heart.

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"Coming out of Covid, local walking became massive, and that was where the idea came from for this app.

"Being based in Hertfordshire, I've taken our county as a personal mission - I've gone out and done every walk from top-to-bottom over the last five years, I feel like I know the county like the back of my hand now!

"It has been and is still a really fun thing to do.

"I've got a young family here so we go out and test the walks - my child has grown up with it over the last five years."

The app launched around Easter 2022, and has gone from strength-to-strength in the year since then, with almost 30,000 downloads and a supporting Facebook community (also called Hertfordshire Walks) where around 20,000 Herts walkers share their photos.

The Comet: The app launched in April 2022, and since then has been downloaded almost 30,000 times.The app launched in April 2022, and since then has been downloaded almost 30,000 times. (Image: Hertfordshire Walks)

Its members can also share timely information about which walks are best for the time of year, and suggest new walks through the group.

While Paul has developed walking apps for other counties, his focus on creating a community is limited to Herts - "I live here, and I've done every single one of these walks, so when people ask questions, I can answer them - I couldn't do that for other counties".

Regular updates mean there are now more than 250 walks available. More will be added in the future, as well as new features - Paul mentions the possibility of a 'walk complete' checklist and a total miles walked counter, as well as an option allowing you to select walks by seasonal interest, such as flowering bluebells.

Paul says: "It's a long-term project, and we want to find every single walk there is to find.

"It will take the next three years and beyond probably to keep growing it to where we want to be."

He's "ecstatic" about the take-up of the app so far, and says: "It's for the masses, it's for everyone.

"The benefits of walking for our physical and mental wellbeing are well-documented, so it's great to see so many people using it and enjoying the beautiful countryside we have on our doorsteps in Hertfordshire."

To download the Hertfordshire Walks app, search the app store on your phone or click here.

While the app is free to download, it requires a subscription of £1.99 per month or £14.99 per year to use the route maps. A one-month free trial is available.

Fancy a walk this weekend? Paul has recommended one from the app for you to enjoy.

Burnham Green Walk 3 - 3.75 miles

"This walk offers a wonderfully varied pub walk in this lovely area of Hertfordshire countryside.

"The walk heads out to the north from the White Horse pub and then takes you on an adventure through Barnes Wood and Harmergreen Wood where you'll possibly find some air outlets from the railway tunnels deep in the woods.

The Comet: A map of the Burnham Green walk, taken from within the app.A map of the Burnham Green walk, taken from within the app. (Image: Hertfordshire Walks)

"The youngest member of our team had no trouble believing that these outlets were goblin towers, especially when the train drove through the tunnels sending haunting sounds and winds into the surrounding forest.

"You'll also emerge out onto a clearing overlooking the dramatic entrance to the tunnel itself deep in the woods at one point, making the adventure even more fun.

"After that excitement, you will then follow the loop back round through a residential area and then through some pretty countryside until you reach the village and wonderful pub garden for your reward."

Refreshments are available from the White Horse in Burnham Green, and the walk is accessible using Welwyn North railway station.