A circular walk skirting Brookmans Park
5 miles (8.25 km)
This walk might seem familiar to many, but it is surprising how different Brookmans Park looks when you circle the village by the paths and lanes around it. There is a fair amount of lane walking, although most are quiet and those that are busy have good footpaths alongside.
There are several good footpaths too, one with wonderful views across the countryside to the north-east of the village. Two of the paths can be muddy, the one that leaves Hawkshead Lane and travels north alongside the railway and the one between Bell Bar and Welham Green. The route takes you through the middle of Gobions Wood.
- Begin the walk at Brookmans Park station and head north along Station Road towards Welham Green.
- Just before you reach Bradmore Lane there is a path on the left which doubles back on the way you have just travelled to take you south, parallel to the railway track.
- Continue along this route until you reach a bridge crossing a small brook, which is often dry. This is a continuation of Ray Brook which flows through Gobions Wood.
- Turn left and head east following this path with the brook on your left and the field on your right
- Climb the steps and turn right as the path meets the railway. The footpath you are walking becomes a bridleway leading to Hawkshead Lane.
- Turn left on Hawkshead Lane, cross the railway bridge, and look out for a footpath sign on your left immediately after. (If it is very wet, ignore this path and continue down Hawkshead Lane, turning left at the end and walk downhill to the bridge, which is called Blue bridge, just before the entrance to Brookmans Park.)
- If you take the path, continue downhill with the railway track on your left.
- When you reach the small stream and the backs of the houses, the path veers to the right and joins Bluebridge Road at a set of wooden steps. This field is often ploughed, making it difficult to find the path. Just keep walking along the edge with the railway on your left and you will be okay.
- Cross the road (take care here, some motorists test their car's performance at this point) and head for a footpath sign to the south of the road bridge on the east side of the road.
- Walk down this path, keeping the stream on your left. There is a metal handrail to stop you falling in the river and a cottage on your right. Soon fields open up on your right and there are hedges and trees on your left. Keep the river bed on your left and the field on your right (watch the barbed wire at the top of the field fence). Keep following this narrow path as it follows the curve of the field.
- Ignore a stile on your right which take FP11 (Footpath 11) across the field (often occupied by friendly horses), and keep walking with the river bed on your left and the field on your right.
- This path continues until it reaches Gobions Wood. At a point where the footpath swings round to the right and starts to climb, look for a gap in the hedgerow to the left here and enter Gobions Wood. There is a sign marking the beginning of the conservation area.
- Keep following the path, with the stream on your left. Ignore the first wooden bridge on your left and keep straight over a few small plank bridges crossing streams.
- At the next fork in the path, take the route which curves to the right and climbs south-east before bending left at the souther boundary of Gobions Woodland.
- The path continues and skirts the south side of Gobions and twists and turns until it reaches the bridge over the ornamental ponds.
- Cross this bridge and head straight uphill, slightly to your left, to a small wooden bridge.
- Cross that small wooden bridge and keep walking straight. You should have an open field on your right with views over to the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station and views of the backs of the houses on Mymms Drive. A hedge with a small pond is on your left.
- Go through a metal gate and, keeping to the right, skirt the right hand side of Gobions Pond as it turns first right and then veers left to a fork in the path by a tree. Turn right.
- This path joins Mymms Drive where you turn left and continue uphill to Georges Wood Road.
- Turn left on Georges Wood Road and immediately turn right, down the Golf Club Road which leads to Brookmans Park Golf Club.
- When you reach the golf club, you will notice a track on the right going behind Chancellor's School. Take this path and follow it round until it meets the top of Pine Grove.
- Keep going straight, and slightly to your left, down a road called The Drive until you reach a lane where you turn left.
- At this point you have the option of walking down the main road a few metres to the Cock O' The North pub or the Dutch Nursery for refreshments.
- Alternatively, follow the lane until it turns right before a sharp right turn. Straight ahead and slightly to your left is a wooden gate. (Here you have the option of walking along a footpath straight ahead or, if it is too wet continuing down the lane until you reach Bulls Lane where you turn left and follow the lane down to the Welham Green railway bridge.)
- If you take the footpath, keep going straight with the woodland on your left and the fields on you right. This path has good views across the countryside to the north and west. Continue along it keeping the woodland on your left as the path goes through several well-maintained gates and across one small footbridge spanning a ditch.
- Eventually it meets a green chain fence and your way is to the right across a soggy piece of ground, before you reach a wooden gate leading to a footbridge.
- Cross this bridge and continue along this path until it joins Bulls Lane near Skimpans Bridge.
- Go under the bridge and turn immediately left down a gravel track which leads round to the right past North Mymms football ground and through woodland, before reaching a set of wooden steps leading down to a track.
- Turn right, and follow the track until it emerges in a car park behind North Mymms Youth and Community Centre.
- Continue until you reach Station Road where you turn left and walk along the footpath until you reach Brookmans Park where there is a pub, a couple of cafes, a selection of restaurants, and shops selling refreshments.