Woodland, quiet paths, open views
5.3 miles (8.5 km)
Rolling hills, wonderful quiet paths and tracks, woodland, views, and two pubs, one three quarters along the route and the other at the start and finish.
- Park in the lane outside The Brocket Arms and head east until you reach the bend. Take a left turn and head north down a driveway until you reach a fork with the drive going off to your left. You head straight on, continuing north.
- When you reach some cottages, turn right and head north-east for a short distance before taking a path on your left which continues north. Continue along this path with fields on either side until you reach Kimpton Road.
- Cross the road heading slightly to your right and take the lane almost opposite which continues north with the Mimram River on your left.
- At Rye-end cottages continue to the north walking to the right of the cottages and follow the path round until you reach the lane.
- Turn left and continue north-west along the lane a short distance before turning left down another drive which is open to walkers. Continue south-west along this drive, over an ornamental bridge and, soon after, as you leave the woodland, look out for a gate on your left to the side of the drive.
- Go through this gate and continue heading west up the field to the gate at the top of the hill.
- Keep walking west with the woodland on your right and the field on the left as the path leaves the woodland and, after another field, skirts Hoopark Wood (on your left).
- At the other side of the wood cross an open field and emerge on a farm road at Hoo Park Cottages. Turn left and follow the farm road down to Kimpton.
- When you reach Hitchin Road in Kimpton, go straight across and take the footpath round the back of the houses.
- You soon come to a footpath sign pointing left (south). Take this through a pleasant residential area until you emerge on Church Lane.
- When you reach High Street, the B651, you turn right and then first left taking a footpath up the hill. (At this point, if you want a break, you could turn left at High Street and head along to The White Horse (closed at the time of writing) for refreshments, or, alternative, turn right and visit The Boot.) Continue the walk up the hill with the rugby pitch on your left. At the top the track bends round to the changing rooms, ignore this and head straight on and up and follow the path through the hedge turning left when you hit the field.
- Follow this path round past Kimpton Recreation Ground on your left (hidden by trees) and continue west then south-west and then south as the path heads up alongside and to the left of the B651, Ballslough Hill.
- When the path emerges on the road take the bridleway opposite and head south-west over fields down to Claggbottom Wood. This field is sometimes sown with rape and, although the path is well-defined, it can be slippy after rain and the clay sticks to your boots. But don't worry, you can clean them up in the woodland.
- Walk through Claggbottom Wood, across an open field to the gate on the far side. Continue walking to the right (west) of the new St Lawrence Church and continue down the track.
- Look out for a path on your left cutting back, across the fields, to Ayot St Lawrence. When you reach the lane, turn left and head back to the car.