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A growing collection of free walks suitable for all ages, from an hour-long potter to half-day hikes. We have walking tips for those new to rambling and a comment box beneath every walk for your feedback - you may need to disable any ad blocker to add comments.

Walk 12: The Welwyn Loop

Undulating with marvellous open views and woodland

4.5 miles (7.3km)

Image from Walk 12 The Welwyn Loop by Hertfordshire Walker and released under Creative Commons

This is a great walk if you want to stretch the legs and enjoy marvellous open views and woodland. It can be muddy in parts, so pick a dry day. We do this quite often in order to lunch at one of the two wonderful Italian restaurants in old Welwyn, Vita Ristorante or the equally good Aqua Ristorante. There are also several pubs and cafes in Welwyn, so the choice is yours.

Map for Walk 12 The Welwyn Loop, created by David Brewer, map elements copyright MapHub and Thunderforest


  1. Park in the Ayot Greenway car park off Ayot St Peter Road and follow the footpath north-west as it traces the track of the old railway. Drop down the steps to the road and then climb up again the other side to continue along Ayot Greenway.
  2. When you reach the end of Saul's Wood turn right and follow the path north-east until you reach Ayot St Peter. 
  3. Cross the road and look out for a footpath just to the east of School Lane. Take this path and continue heading east and north-east until you reach Whitehill. 
  4. Turn left on Whitehill and head north-east until you spot a footpath sign on your right. 
  5. There are two choices here, one heads east but the one you want heads north-east diagonally downhill across the field (this can be muddy after rain). Continue down this path. You will pass playing fields on your left and a school on your right. Eventually the path becomes Ottway Walk. Continue until you reach Hobbs Hill.
  6. Turn left on Hobbs Hill and follow the path until it reaches School Lane.
  7. At this point you can leave the walk and explore the many pubs and restaurants of Old Welwyn. If you don't need a stop, continue south-west on School Lane, past the hospital looking out for a footpath sign on your right.
  8.  Take this path as it goes north-west and then heads west across the fields. (This can be muddy after rain).
  9. When you reach a footpath crossroads turn left and head south until you meet Ayot St Peter Road again. 
  10. Continue south-west along Ayot St Peter Road until the bend where you head straight on through a door in the gate to a country house.
  11. Go through the door in the gate, continue straight and follow the footpath signs to the left.
  12. Take this path and look out for a footpath on the left. The sign might have been knocked over.
  13. Take this path south-east across the field (again this could be muddy after rain) until it joins Ayot Greenway again.
  14. Turn left on Ayot Greenway and follow the disused railway track back to the car park.

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