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Walk 62: The Ayot Loop

Good paths through rolling Hertfordshire countryside

7.5 miles (12km)


Lamer Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path through Lamer Wood
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

This walk starts and finishes at The Ayot Greenway car park, follows the track of the old railway almost as far as Wheathampstead, circles north and east through Ayot St Lawrence, and loops back via Ayot Place. We did it in early spring when the daffodils were out; impressive display.


Map of Walk 62: Ayot Loop Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons


Directions


1: Park in the Ayot Greenway car park north of Ayot Green and head east along the Greenway. The path is the route of the old railway branch line that once linked Welwyn Garden City with Wheathampstead, Luton, and Dunstable. The car park is the old Ayot St Peter station, apparently destroyed by fire in 1948 and never rebuilt. The path follows the track to what was a railway bridge where you drop down, cross the road, and then rejoin the track at the Ayot Greenway information sign and map. Continue walking east along the Greenway (for about two and a half miles) until you reach the Hertfordshire Way, a track also known as Sheepcote Lane, which crosses at a point just after another display board on the left showing a map of the route and information about the branch line (see image below).


Photograph of map of The Ayot Greenway. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


2: Cross the Hertfordshire Way and continue straight looking out for a footpath on your right climbing to a metal bachelor gate. Take this path and head north, with woodland on your right.

3: The path meets a lane. Cross it and your way is straight ahead, following a footpath to the right of a private drive. Continue north along this path until you meet a footpath T junction. Turn left and continue until you meet another footpath T junction.

4: Here you turn right for a few paces looking out for a path on your left. Take this path and head north-west through the woods and out over an open field continuing north-west.

5: At the end of the field you reach a footpath crossroad, head straight on walking north through Lamer Wood, carpeted in bluebells and daffodils in the spring. Continue north until you reach another footpath T junction.

Photograph of Lamer Wood. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path through Lamer Wood
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


6: Here you turn right and head due east through various gates and avoiding the paths to your right and left.

7: At the point where you reach another footpath intersection, continue heading east with the woodland on your right until you reach Bride Hall Lane.

Photograph of the path leading from Lamer Wood to Ayot St Lawrence. Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The path leading from Lamer Wood to Ayot St Lawrence
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

8: Turn left on Bride Hall Lane and follow it round, past Shaw's Corner and round to your right to the Brocket Arms. Here you can stop for refreshments if it's open.

9: Leave the Brocket Arms, turn right, and head east along the lane following it round to the right as it starts to head south-east. Looking out for a footpath on your left shortly after a house and just before open fields.

10: Take this path as it heads south-east over fields, eventually reaching a lane.

11: Cross this lane and continue heading south-east until you reach a second lane.

12: Turn right on the lane and head south until you see a set of metal gates straight ahead at the point where the road turns right. This is the entrance to Ayot Place. Look carefully at the left side of the gate and you will see a door in the wall with a footpath sign close by.

13: Go through the door and head south-west along the drive to Ayot Place until the drive turns right. At this point you will see a footpath sign on your left heading south.

14: Take this path and look out for another footpath on your left a few minutes later. Take this path as it heads south-east across the fields and back down to Ayot Greenway.

15: Join Ayot Greenway again, turn left and head east retracing your steps back to the car park.

16: Now, if you have time, please let us know how you got on and share any tips by adding a comment in the box below. You can also 'rate this walk' by checking one of the boxes below. Thanks, all feedback appreciated.




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