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Walk 63: Gobions Wood

2 miles (3.2 km)


Photograph of Folly Arch taken from Gobions Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Folly Arch taken from Gobions Wood
A walk through what was once the 18th century pleasure garden belonging to the former Gobions Estate. The site is now a woodland reserve famous for its bluebells, wood anemones, fungi, and birdlife. It is managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, is open all year round, and entry is free of charge. There is free parking in the nearby local authority car park.

Directions


Map for Walk 63: Gobions Wood Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map at the foot of this page
Map for Walk 63: Gobions Wood
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map at the foot of this page
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words location references for those who use that system. If you print these walks you might want to use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of these directions to delete elements such as photographs.

1: Park in the North Mymms Parish Council car park at the bottom of Jonas Way off Moffats Lane, Brookmans Park (location https://w3w.co/chest.cowboy.drives). Take the southern exit from the car park walking past the play area on your right. When you reach the end of the play area turn right and walk to the gap in the hedge.

Photograph taken along walk 63 Gobions Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The NW entrance to Gobions Wood

2: You will see a footpath on your left with a sign for Gobions Wood (location - https://w3w.co/bravo.courier.humid). Take this path and head SSE for 400m until you see a footbridge over Ray Brook.

3: Cross the bridge, turn left and head ESE with Ray Brook on your left for 210m until you reach a clearing where the path diverges left and right.

Photograph of the footbridge over Ray Brook Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footbridge over Ray Brook (point 3)

4: Take the right fork, climbing slightly and heading SE, ESE, NE and then SE again along the southern edge of Gobions Wood for 400m until you reach a path going off to your right, an information board for the reserve, and a footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/heads.slimy.shelf).

The footbridge mentioned in point4 above  Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footbridge mentioned in point 4 above

5: Continue on the southern path crossing the first of the bridges and head E. At this point you are entering the main part of Gobions Wood, designed by Charles Bridgeman, a famous 18th century landscape gardener. Below is a sketch of garden by Michael Jonas, based on a map of 1735, and the directions for a walk written in 1774. For more on the history of Gobions Wood and the ornamental garden visit the North Mymms History Project, for a feature on the history and evolution of Gobions from 1718.

Sketch by Michael Jonas of the route taken by the author of a walk round Gobions written in 1774. Image from the former Gobions Woodland Trust
 

Scan of map of Gubbins Estate c 1774. Image from the former Gobions Woodland Trust
 
Continue heading NE, ENE, and SE for 200m until you reach a track crossing your way (location - https://w3w.co/basket.vocab.flag). You are now at what was considered to be the centre of the ornamental garden, where a statue of Hercules once stood. To the left is a brick bridge over Ray Brook, close to a line of redwoods. To your right you can see Folly Arch through the trees in the distance.

Photograph of the old brick-faced bridge in Gobions Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The old brick bridge in Gobions Wood

6: Continue heading S past another information board. Here you will have a good view out over the fields to Folly Arch. Continue to follow the path heading SE then NE along the southern boundary of Gobions Wood.

Photograph of Folly Arch taken from Gobions Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Folly Arch taken from Gobions Wood

7: Follow the path as it weaves NE and N through an area rich in bluebells. Please keep to the paths on this stretch. Some people have been seen wandering through the bluebells and letting children run freely. The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust asks all those who visit Gobions Wood not to tread on the bluebells at any time in their growth cycle, but, rather, help preserve them for the enjoyment of all.

After 340m this path reaches the eastern boundary of Gobions Wood. There are a few splits in the path at this point, but all designated paths (those lined with logs) end up in same place. For this part of the walk, keep the boundary of Gobions Wood on your right at all times.

Photograph of a designated path through the bluebell wood in Gobions Image by Hertfordshire Walker released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
A designated path guiding walkers through the bluebell wood in Gobions

8: The path now swings to the left and heads WSW along the southerly bank of Ray Brook. Follow it for 240m until you come to a footbridge, which you cross and then return to the track with the brick bridge you saw earlier, now to your left.

Continue heading WSW along a path with blue and red topped markers for 200m, keeping Ray Brook on your left until you reach a path leading down to the large wood and steel footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/common.recall.guilty).

9: Turn right here close to another Gobions Wood display sign and head N for 170m following the path to Gobions Pond (location - https://w3w.co/opens.year.heads).

10: Go through a gate which takes you out of Gobions Wood and into land owned and managed by North Mymms Parish Council. Turn left and follow the path along the southern edge of Gobions Pond heading W for 400m. At the western tip of Gobions Pond the path drops down to your left and reaches Gobions Open Space (location - https://w3w.co/inner.coins.plug). Head N across the field for 210m back to the car park.

Interactive map





Local history

You can read more about the history of the former ornamental gardens at Gobions Wood on the North Mymms History Project. There are two features:
Below is a brochure about Gobions Wood, published by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.



2 comments:

  1. This is a great walk to do with kids - plenty to keep them interested along the way and a play area and big open space right next to the car park. Take a picnic and make a day of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback, Karen. Glad you enjoyed it. David

      Delete

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