A circular walk around the parish of North Mymms
10 miles (16 km)\
A half-day walk keeping, as close as possible using footpaths and tracks, to the boundary of the historic and picturesque parish of North Mymms in south Hertfordshire. You should be able to do it in about four or five hour. There are opportunities for refreshments at Water End, Bell Bar and Brookmans Park, although the first two will need short detours so take a map.
The route keeps, as close as possible, to the boundaries of the ancient parish of North Mymms, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It's a circular route along public rights of way and a few lanes through woodland, valleys, across fields and through villages, starting and finishing in the commuter village of Brookmans Park. The starting point is easy to reach by car or public transport.
Brookmans Park has a public car park (payment required), a mainline train station with connections south to central London (via Finsbury Park) and north to Welwyn Garden City, and some bus services. The village has a pub, a number of restaurants and cafes, and shops selling refreshments. Alternatively, you could always start and finish in Welham Green if that works better for you.
The walk involves some hill climbing, negotiating some paths that can be overgrown with nettles and brambles in the summer and early autumn, and using tracks that can be muddy after heavy rain.
Unfortunately, The North Mymms Way is not suitable for those using wheelchairs and prams - sorry about that; the paths are not wide enough, the surfaces are not flat enough, and some of the hills are far too steep. Be sure to take enough water and food with you because there are not many options for refreshments.
- Starting in the village of Brookmans Park, cross the railway bridge and head north along Station Road for a short distance.
- Just before you reach Bradmore Lane on your left, look out for a footpath running south. Take this path. Soon it passes Brookmans Park Station on your left and continues through a tunnel of trees and bushes.
- Continue along this path until you reach a small footbridge over Ray Brook. Cross the brook, turn right at the bachelor gate, and follow the path heading west with the field on your left and Ray Brook on your right. At the end of the field, cross the footbridge to your right and, as soon as you have crossed, turn left and head for a bachelor gate leading to a path through woodland. Continue along this path until it dips downs, becomes a wooden elevated walkway, emerges at a bridge across Mymmshall Brook, and ends on Warrengate Road. Note: There is an earlier left turn off this path that also leads to a bridge, but you ignore that one.
- When you reach Warrengate Road, turn left and continue walking along the lane until you reach the last house on your right. Here you turn right walking up a small lane which acts as a cut through to Swanland Road.
- Cross Swanland Road with care, it can be like an F1 racetrack at times. Take the footpath directly opposite, which turns sharp left and leads to a footbridge over the A1(M). At the other side of the motorway, continue heading west up the hill and then through pine woods, past a large house on your right, a small farm on your left and eventually dropping down to a small cottage on the right.
- Here the path turns sharp right. Climb the hill to the top. You will reach another cottage on your left just before a clearing. Continue along the bridle path as it dips down a secluded valley and continue up over the hill.
- The path drops down, through woodland and fields, to a quiet lane leading to North Mymms church. Continue straight with the church on your left heading down hill to a bridge over the river, which is often dry during the summer months. Pass the war memorial on your left and emerge on Tollgate Road.
- Cross this road with care; cars can come speeding round the corner. On the other side of Tollgatge Road turn left for a few yards looking out for a footpath sign hidden in the hedgerow on your right. Take this path through woodland until you reach an open field. Your way is diagonally left, heading north through the crop (the farmer cuts a path for walkers) and up the hill until you reach the side of the A1 (M). The motorway is to your right in a cutting behind the hedge.
- Continue until you reach a bridge over the A1(M). Cross the bridge and immediately turn left heading diagonally north through a field to the hedgerow in the distance.
- Go through the bachelor gate and turn right heading for Welham Green. The path (formerly a road and continuation of Dellsome Lane) veers right. Ignore the first path on the left and keep going until you reach a second path on the left. Take that path and continue straight, following the path as it weaves its way north and north east. At one point the path emerges in an open field. Continue with the field on your left and the hedgerow on your right. At this point it's worth picking up a stick to push back encroaching nettles.
- Eventually, you will emerge on the cycle track from Welham Green to Welwyn Garden City. Turn right on this path and continue south along the path until you reach a lane (Pooleys Lane) on the northern outskirts of Welham Green.
- Turn left and follow the road as it veers right, looking out for a path on your left. This path leads to the Welham Green industrial estate with units on your right and left. Continue until you reach a T-junction with the railway line straight ahead. This is Travellers Lane. Turn right, keeping the railway on your left and continue until you reach Dixons Hill Road, the main road through Welham Green.
- Cross Dixons Hill Road with care and turn left towards the station. Cross the road bridge and continue a short distance until you reach Foxes Lane on your right. Turn right on this lane. You will see a caravan park on your right and one on your left. Continue along the footpath for about 15 minutes until it veers right and climbs slightly to Bulls Lane. This path can be waterlogged at times, and walkers may have to scramble along the side to navigate this stretch. Hertfordshire County Council carried out extensive work on this bridlepath in 2017.
- When you emerge on Bulls Lane turn left and climb the hill until you reach a T-junction at Bell Bar.
- Here the way is right along Bell Lane, however, if you want refreshments, you could turn left and then right on the A1000 and pop in to the Cock of the North or pop into the garage on the corner. If not, continue along the lane at Bell Bar until it turns left and climbs to the A1000.
- Just before you reach the A1000 The Great North Road, take the path on the right, called The Drive, to the top of Pine Grove. Directly ahead you will see a footpath running behind Chancellor's School. Take this and continue until you reach Brookmans Park Golf Club on Golf Club Road.
- Turn left and continue until you reach the crossroads with Brookmans Avenue and Mymms Drive.
- Cross and continue down Mymms Drive passing Moffats Lane on your right, continue past The Grove on your right, and the look out for a footpath on your right between the houses which leads to Gobions Lake.
- Follow the path down to the lake, turn right when you reach the lake and, keeping the lake on your left, continue until you emerge in Gobions Open Space. Cross Gobions Open Space heading to the point where there is a gap in the hedge just south of the play area.
- Go through the gap and head west with the hedge on your right and the field on your left until you reach another gap. Go through the second gap and you will reach a gate leading to Bluebridge Avenue.
- Continue down Bluebridge Avenue and turn right at the end on Bluebridge Road and head back to Brookmans Park village centre and your starting point.