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Walk 94: Lamerwood Loop

Undulating countryside, woodland paths, disused railway

5.5 miles (8.8 km)


The bridleway between points 4 and 5 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The bridleway between points 4 and 5 below
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

This walk starts and finishes in the village of Ayot St Lawrence. It passes the former home of the late George Bernard Shaw at Shaw's Corner, before heading south to the Ayot Greenway, a path that follows the route of the old railway that used to run from Welwyn Garden City to Wheathampstead. It then turns north through Lamerwood, an area where rare breeds are being raised and cared for, before heading east back to the starting point.

You will follow paths through woodland, across open countryside, and walk along tree-lined tracks through a country estate. You can park in the lane close to The Brocket Arms, which serves real ale and bar food. It also has a restaurant. Check opening times to avoid disappointment.

The route can be a bit muddy in parts after rain. There is one short section of quiet country lane at the start and finish, so take care because you will need to share this bit of road with vehicles.

Directions


Map for Walk 94: Lamerwood 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 94: Lamerwood 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 on Hill Farm Lane close to The Brocket Arms, and then head SW and then S for 330m past Shaw’s Corner and on until you reach a left hand bend in the road. At this point look out for a bridleway sign on your left (see image below).

The start of Wheathampstead bridleway 1 mentioned in point 2 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The start of Wheathampstead bridleway 1 mentioned in point 2 below
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
2: Take this track, Wheathampstead bridleway 1, as it heads ESE the SE for 880m eventually becoming Wheathampstead bridleway 11 just before you reach Stockings Springs Wood, a Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust nature reserve which you are free to explore.

Wheathampstead bridleway 11 with Stocking Springs Wood on the left Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Wheathampstead bridleway 11 with Stocking Springs Wood on the left
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
A path through the reserve runs parallel to the bridleway you are on, so you can take that route as an alternative and emerge at point 3 on the map. You will see the entrance to this detour path at the as you approach the woodland on your left.

3: Continue heading SE for 680m to Codicot Road where you will see a track opposite (see image below). Cross the road and take this route, which is Ayot St Peter bridleway 16, and head S and then SE for 210m, at which point you need to look out for a track to your right.

The entrance to Ayot St Peter bridleway 16 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The entrance to Ayot St Peter bridleway 16
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
4:  Turn right and follow Wheathampstead footpath 89 for 1.1km as it heads SW towards Three Groves Wood. Follow the path round to the left as it leaves the wood and heads SE then S.

Wheathampstead footpath 89 climbing up to Three Groves Wood Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Wheathampstead footpath 89 climbing up to Three Groves Wood
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

5: The footpath eventually meets an old railway bridge crossing Ayot Greenway. This is Sparrowhall Bridge. Just before the bridge turn right, and follow the path down to the route of the old railway (see image below) heading W along Ayot Greenway for 1.9km.

The footpath from Sparrowhall Bridge down to the Ayot Greenway Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The footpath from Sparrowhall Bridge down to the Ayot Greenway
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Ayot Greenway heading west towards Wheathampstead Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Ayot Greenway a route shared by walkers and cyclists
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

6: You will come to a track crossing your path. This is Wheathampstead BOAT 4 (byway open to all traffic). It’s also known as Sheepcote Lane. Ignore this path and continue for a further 70m with the woodland on your right until you see a footpath gate up to your right. Take this path, Wheathampstead footpath 63, and head NW for 380m with the woodland on your right and fields on your left until you come to Codicot Road.

Wheathampstead footpath 63 from Ayot Greenway to Codicot Road Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Wheathampstead footpath 63 from Ayot Greenway to Codicot Road
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
7: On the other side of Codicot Road you will see a white gate and a footpath sign (see image below). Cross the road and take this path, which is Wheathampstead footpath 39. Take this path and head N for 470m until you reach a footpath T-junction.

The entrance to Wheathampstead footpath 39 from Codicot Road Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The entrance to Wheathampstead footpath 39 from Codicot Road
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

8: Here you turn left on Wheathampstead footpath 38. As you walk along this path look to your right and you will see signs explaining what rare breeds are being raised on the land, along with guidance to walkers on how to behave in the presence of the animals. The land is home to a herd of Whitebred Shorthorn cattle, one of the rarest breeds in the UK. There is also a flock of around 200 Texel sheep grazing at certain times of the year. Continue heading NW for 300m until you reach a gate (see image below).

9: Here you turn right on Wheathampstead footpath 41 which heads N for 670m across the Lamer Estate.

The gate at the end of Wheathampstead footpath 38 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The gate at the end of Wheathampstead footpath 38
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

10: When you reach a footpath on your right (see image below). Take this path, which is Wheathampstead footpath 37, and head NE for 810m.

The gate leading to Wheathampstead footpath 37
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

This is a really nice tree-lined footpath which continues through parkland before reaching a footpath junction.

Tree-lined Wheathampstead footpath 37 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Tree-lined Wheathampstead footpath 37
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

11: At the footpath junction (see image below), turn right and head E along Kimpton footpath 13 for 230m.

The junction where Wheathampstead footpath 37 meets Kimpton footpath 13 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The junction where Wheathampstead footpath 37 meets Kimpton footpath 13
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
When you reach the point where a path heads off to your left, (see image below) you take the left turn, still Kimpton footpath 13 and head NNE for 160m to Bibbs Hall Lane.

The junction where Kimpton footpath 13 becomes Wheathampstead footpath 99 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The junction where Kimpton footpath 13 turns left
Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
12: Turn right on Bibbs Hall Lane and head E for 50m to the point where the road bends to the right and Ayot St Lawrence footpath 6 continues straight ahead heading ENE for 340m back to Ayot St Lawrence.

Interactive map