Lives Cut Short with WW1 matron Sister Hannah Cottingham (walk ref 72)

13 October 2019 ~ 2:00 PM

Sister Cottingham was a much loved and respected Matron at the VAD Hospital in Berkhamsted.  She succumbed to 'Spanish Flu' at the close of WW1 at just 31.  She'll tell you about  others in the Cemetery who had their lives cut short and how, thanks to medical advances, this is mostly a thing of the past.

Route Details

1.5 miles
1-1.5 hours
Fairly easy (some gentle inclines, steps/stiles)


Under 18s free

Meeting arrangements

Meet outside St Peter's Church, Church Ln, Berkhamsted HP4 2AX. Nearest paid public parking is in Water Lane HP4 3AP (behind Tesco's) or free parking is available at Canal Fields HP4 2AL

Walk Leader

Friends of St Peters Berkhamsted - Rectory Lane Cemetery Project

Public Transport Links

The Church is 5 minutes' walk from Berkhamsted train station. West Midlands trains come out from London Euston taking under 40 minutes. The 500 bus from Aylesbury to Watford calls at Tring, Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley

Family Friendly

8 and up. We know that children enjoy the experience of being in this very different place, and going on a bit of time travel back to the WW1 era - listening to stories about people from the past from guides who are dressed up! They will enjoy the open green space.

Dogs Welcome

Dogs on leads welcome


This tour takes visitors up an incline. The ground can be uneven and the grass paths can be a bit muddy in wet weather so not currently suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters or buggies

Further Information

Step into this almost secret, peaceful green haven, tucked away behind the bustling High Street of the thriving and historical market town of Berkhamsted.  This 3-acre Victorian cemetery is being rescued from neglect by a dedicated group of volunteers as a Lottery Funded project with big ambitions.  With over 1,000 gravestones to past town inhabitants it is rich in social history and we will be bringing some of these personalities to life for you - (not literally but with dramatic storytelling and interpretation!)  From the topmost wildlife area there are splendid views across the beautiful Bulbourne valley.  Make a day of it and use the Cemetery tour as a stepping stone to visit the motte and bailey Castle where William the Conqueror received the crown in 1066, or follow the town's Heritage/Blue Plaque Walk.  Walk alongside the Grand Union Canal with its narrow boats and wildlife or go further up into the beautiful Chiltern countryside.  Or simply relax and enjoy the market, shops and cafes that Berkhamsted has to offer.  Please note: the nearest public toilets are in the Water Lane carpark (behind Tesco's).

How to Book

Apologies but advanced booking is now closed for this walk.
Share this page

Programme PDF

Download the May 2021 festival Programme 


Keep in touch

Register for the Chilterns Walking Festival newsletter:

* indicates required field 

The Chilterns Walking Festival is an initiative of the Chilterns Conservation Board. For any queries, feedback, sponsorship / press enquiries or suggestions for the programme please contact the festival Project Manager on

Our Sponsors


This project has been part funded by the The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development through the Chilterns LEADER programme. The grant received through this programme has helped make these festivals happen. 


A family owned and run Henley brewer and award-winning pub company which has been at the heart of British life for over 200 years. Many of the company's 132 pubs are located in picturesque rural and town centre settings across The Chilterns.


A membership organisation dedicated to conserving, celebrating and caring for all of the Chilterns’ unique landscape.





Could this be you? We are seeking additional sponsors to enable the festival to continue going from strength to strength - get in touch with if you'd like to know more!