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Walk 22: The North Mymms Way

A circular walk around the parish of North Mymms


11.5 miles (18.37 km)



Image from Walk 22: The North Mymms Way by David Brewer released under Creative Commons


A half-day walk, keeping, as close as possible using public footpaths, permissive paths, tracks, and quiet lanes, to the boundary of the historic and picturesque parish of North Mymms in south Hertfordshire, mentioned in the Domesday Book. Allow 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. This is a circular route along public rights of way, some permissive paths, and a few lanes. The North Mymms way passes 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 gentle ascent, 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 gates are too narrow. Be sure to take enough water and food with you because there are not many options for refreshments once you are on your way.


Map for Walk 22: The North Mymms Way created by David Brewer using elements copyright of MapHub and Thunderforest. Image released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Map for Walk 22: The North Mymms Way created by David Brewer
Using elements copyright of MapHub and Thunderforest
Image released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Directions


1: Starting in the village of Brookmans Park, cross the railway bridge and head north along Station Road for a short distance.

2: 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.

3: 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. 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 concrete bridge across Mymmshall Brook (stop here to try to spot the luminous blue of a kingfisher), 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.

4: 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.

5: Cross Swanland Road with care - it can be like an F1 racetrack at times - and take the footpath directly opposite, which turns sharp left and leads round to a footbridge over the A1(M). At the other side of the motorway, continue heading west up the hill and on through pine woods, past a large house set back on your right, and, later, a small farm on your left. Soon after you reach a small cottage on the right.

6: Here the path turns sharp right. Climb the hill to the top. You will reach another cottage on your left just before a clearing. Walk on past the cottage and continue along the bridle path as it continues north and dips down a secluded valley and up over the hill.

7: The path then drops down through woodland to a quiet lane leading to North Mymms church. Continue straight with the church on your left heading down to a bridge over the river. Pass the war memorial on your left and emerge on Tollgate Road.

8: 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 now 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.

9: 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.

10: Go through the bachelor gate and turn right heading for Welham Green. The path (formerly Dellsome Lane) veers right. Ignore the first path on the left, and keep going until you reach a second path on the left. Take this path and continue straight, following the path as it weaves its way north and then 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.

11: Eventually, you will emerge on the cycle track from Welham Green to Hatfield. Turn right on this path and continue south until you reach Pooleys Lane on the northern outskirts of Welham Green.

12: Turn left on Pooleys Lane 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, and, keeping the railway on your left, continue until you reach Dixons Hill Road.

13: Cross Dixons Hill Road with care and turn left towards the station. Cross the bridge over the railway 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 as it veers right and then 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 in an effort to alleviate the flooding problem.

14: When you emerge on Bulls Lane turn left and walk up the lane until you reach a T-junction at Bell Bar.

15: 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 o' 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.

16: Just before you reach the A1000 (The Great North Road) take the path on the right, which is a gated road called The Drive. Continue along The Drive until you reach the top of Pine Grove. Directly ahead you to the right 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.

17: Turn left and continue until you reach the crossroads with Brookmans Avenue, Georges Wood Road, Mymms Drive, and Golf Club Road.

18: Head straight across the junction and continue down Mymms Drive passing Moffats Lane on your right. Continue past The Grove on your right, and then look out for a footpath on your right between the houses which leads to a bachelor gate into woodland

19: Follow the path down until you reach Gobions Pond. Here you turn left and then head south towards a bachelor gate, which is once of the entrances to Gobions Wood, a Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust reserve.

20: Walk down this path, still heading south, with the fields on your left and hedgerow on your right. When you enter the wood continue straight heading south and cross a large wood and steel footbridge. Once over the other side, turn right and cross a second wood and steel footbridge. Once across, turn left and head south towards a bachelor gate into an open field.

21: Enter the field and keep left with the field on your right and hedgerow on your left until you reach a gate on your left. Go through the gate and head diagonally south-east up towards Folly Arch, keeping to the right of the arch.

22: Turn right on Hawkshead Lane and continue on the north side of the lane past Boltons Farm where you cross the road with care and go through the gate on the south side of Hawkshead Lane which leads to a permissive path running parallel to Hawkshead Lane heading west.

23: The path rejoins Hawkshead Lane at the junction with Bluebridge Road. Here you turn left, cross the road, and continue along another permissive path through the field on the north side of Hawkshead Lane heading west. Continue heading west along this path, with the field on your right and hedgerow on your left until the path rejoins Hawkshead Lane by the railway bridge. Turn right and cross the railway bridge.

24: After crossing the railway bridge take the footpath on your right and walk north with the railway on your right. Continue on this path until you reach a footpath sign on your left.

25: Take this path and descend down a steep flight of stairs heading west through bushes to a small stream at the bottom. Continue heading west with the fields on your left and the stream on your right until you reach the bachelor gate you went through towards the start of your walk

26: Turn right on this path and head north, retracing your steps back to Brookmans Park.





Image from Walk 22: The North Mymms Way by David Brewer released under Creative Commons



Note: In late 2017, the author of this walk, David Brewer, suggested that North Mymms Parish Council (NMPC) adopted The North Mymms Way as an official way-marked path. David was invited to give a presentation to councillors setting out the route and the features of the North Mymms Way. At that meeting he gave the local authority permission to use and adapt his directions under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.  Shortly after, the NMPC decided to recognise the route and make it an official NMPC long-distance footpath.



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