Pretty enough to seduce me into a long walk just west of Hitchin anyway. This is not an area famed for its scenery and the weather forecast wasn't very encouraging either, but if you don't get out there you'll never know. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
Hertfordshire is full of surprises, just a mile or so from the bustle of Hitchin marketplace you can find yourself in a little slice of rural England-as-we-like-to-imagine-it.
If you've got to do a little road walking during the day then it's always encouraging to see an "Unsuitable For Motors" sign, and the lane soon deteriorated into a rough farm track - excellent!
Just a hint of the Chiltern Hills ahead, though we're not officially in the "Chilterns Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty" today. Looks nice enough to me.
A scattering of sheep on the distant hillside and grass green enough to conjure up Blake's "England's pleasant pastures". Lots of feet must have indeed passed this way "in ancient times".
If Vaughan Williams is more to your taste then there was a lark ascending too.
I'm making my way to the village of Great Offley, whereupon, having had a nosey around, I shall turn around and walk back by a different route.
Great Offley must have one of the daftest churches I've ever seen. The nave is of fairly standard "English country church" design, albeit with a porch that looks too big for it. The west end has an attractive red brick tower that looks like it belongs somewhere else. Then there's that chancel. You could be excused for thinking it might be a water tank, or a piece of 1960's brutalism, though it actually dates from 1777. What were they thinking about?
Down in the village was this attractive half-timbered building with red brick infilling. Long time readers might recognise this odd-shaped roof as being that of an old dovecote; it's very much the standard design for such buildings in these parts.
I'd hoped to treat myself to some chocolate, but found that the village shop had closed down a couple of months ago. My informant also told me that it would be opening again in a few month's time - I decided not to wait.
I had to make do with sweet scenery - a feast for the eyes at least.
The map calls this narrow track I'm following "Windmill Lane". Our ancestors certainly knew their land well; this was quite the windiest stretch of the whole walk. The windmill though is long gone - it probably blew away.
We're getting near to the end of the walk now. My steps led into the pleasant little hamlet of Charlton where I found a house with a Blue Plaque.
It told me that in this house in 1813 Sir Henry Bessemer was born. At first I couldn't place the name, though I knew I'd heard it before. He was the inventor who revolutionised steel-making with his Bessemer Convertor; I vaguely remember learning about it at school. This is hardly the sort of countryside you'd expect to be the birthplace of such a man.