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Walk 62: The Ayot Loop

Good paths through rolling Hertfordshire countryside

7.57 miles (12.4 km)


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 and 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.

Directions


Map for Walk 62: The Ayot Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors See the interactive map below the directions for KML and GPX details
Map for Walk 62: The Ayot Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors
See the interactive map below the directions for KML and GPX details

1: Park in the Ayot Greenway car park, grid reference TL 22246 14380. The car park is the site of the old Ayot St Peter station, apparently destroyed by fire in 1948 and never rebuilt. The track was a branch line that once linked Welwyn Garden City with Wheathampstead, Luton, and Dunstable. A footpath from the car park heads NW for 120m before dropping down to the road. You cross the road and then rejoin the track at the Ayot Greenway information sign and map. Continue walking west along the Greenway 3.75km (2.3 miles) until you reach 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 Sheepcote Lane and continue heading W for 70m looking out for a footpath on your right which climbs to a metal gate. Take this path, Wheathampstead footpath 63, and head NNW for 380m  with the woodland on your right before reaching Codicote Road. Cross the road and take the footpath straight ahead, Wheathampstead footpath 39 and head N for 420m until you meet a footpath T-junction.

3: Turn left and head NW along Wheathampstead footpath 38 for 290m continue until you meet another footpath T-junction. Here you turn right and head N for 20m looking out for a path on your left. This is a continuation of Wheathampstead footpath 38, which you follow NW for another 530m through the woods and out over an open field. At the end of the field you reach a footpath crossroad.

4: Head straight on taking Wheathampstead footpath 85 for 810m as it heads NNE then NNW through Lamer Wood, carpeted in bluebells and daffodils in the spring. Continue  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
5: At the junction turn right and head E on Kimpton footpath 12 for 304m until you reach the end of Lamer Wood. Your footpath now becomes Wheathampstead footpath 36 and continues heading W for another 1.4km through various gates and avoiding the paths to your right and left 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

6: Turn left on Bride Hall Lane and follow it N for 130m to Shaw's Corner. Continue now along the lane heading NNE then NE for 250m passing Ayot St Lawrence old church on the left before reaching the Brocket Arms on your right. Continue ENE and then SE along the lane for another 470m until you reach a bridleway on the left.

7: Take this bridleway, Ayot St Lawrence bridleway 1, and follow it SW for 1.1km until you reach a Codicote Road. Cross the road and continue heading SE, now on Ayot St Peter bridleway 5, for 850m until you reach Ayot St Peter Road.

8: Turn right on Ayot St Peter Road and head SSW until you see a set of metal gates straight 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. Go through the door and follow the path, Ayot St Peter footpath 19 and head SW for 170  before the path turns to your left and heads SE and then S for another 170m before reaching a footpath on your left.

9: Take this path, Ayot St Peter footpath 18, and follow it SE for 350 back to Ayot Greenway where you turn left and follow the route of the old railway track SE for 640m back to the starting point. There is a pub in Ayot Green, The Waggoners, marked in yellow on the map.

Interactive map