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Walk 111: Gustard Wood East Loop

4.3 miles (7 km) with 45m of total ascent

The bridleway between points 1 and 2 below Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
The bridleway between points 1 and 2
A figure of eight walk from Ayot St Lawrence to Gustard Wood and back crossing parkland, farmland and woodland. The route is mainly flat with good paths along the way. There is a pub at the start and finish and one at the halfway point. The route passes two historic churches and Shaw's Corner, the home of the late George Bernard Shaw.


Map for Walk 111: Gustard Wood E Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below the directions
Map for Walk 111: Gustard Wood East Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below the directions
Those with GPS devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words 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.

1: Park along the Hill Farm Lane outside The Brocket Arms (location - https://w3w.co/shock.organ.emerge). As you face the Brocket Arms walk to your left and head NE along the lane until you reach the bend (location - https://w3w.co/influencing.comb.churn).

The Brocket Arms
The Brocket Arms
Turn left and walk down a metalled track and through two brick pillars. This is Ayot St Lawrence bridleway 10 which you follow N for 570m. You will pass through some metal gates and a sign reading 'Manor House' before continuing down a gravel track with Ayot House on your left. Continue until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/serve.tried.urgent).

2: Turn left and head SW on Codicote footpath 37 with the hedgerow on the left and the field on the right for 410m until you reach a gate in the corner of a field (location - https://w3w.co/zips.pill.meant).

3: Go through the gate and head SSW and diagonally across the field on Ayot St Lawrence footpath 5 for 300m towards a gate leading to the new Ayot St Lawrence Church (location - https://w3w.co/beans.given.orbit).

Take the footpath on the left, Kimpton footpath 11 to reach Kimpton footpath 14 Image by Hertfordshire Walker released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Take the footpath on the left Kimpton footpath 11
4: Don't go through the gate but rather turn sharp right immediately before the gate and take Kimpton footpath 11. Head NW for 50m looking out for a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/such.send.spit). Take this path, Kimpton footpath 14, and head W for 410m until you reach Bibbs Hall Lane (location - https://w3w.co/tooth.paths.robots).

5: Turn left on the lane and head SSE for 260m until you reach a track on the right at the point where the lane bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/pace.shack.looks).

6: Take this track and head SSW for 130m until you reach a footpath crossing (location - https://w3w.co/leader.trials.stand).

7: Turn right on Wheathampstead footpath 36 and head W for 1.4km ignoring paths off to your right and left. This footpath eventually becomes Kimpton footpath 12.

Wheathampstead footpath 36 heading W (point 7)
Wheathampstead footpath 36 heading W - point 7
8: When you reach the B651 Ballslough Hill (location - https://w3w.co/flap.coffee.always) turn left walk past the Cross Keys pub on your right (location - https://w3w.co/alien.smooth.paint) and continue past the pub car park and take the bridleway on the left, Wheathampstead bridleway 101 (location - https://w3w.co/memory.topped.spin). Head SSE through Gustard Wood.

9: When you reach the B651 Lamer Lane (location - https://w3w.co/fishery.snail.sobs) turn left and then turn left again down a lane (location - https://w3w.co/hill.badge.toxic) which, after the last house on your right joins up with Wheathampstead footpath 37 and heads ENE and uphill along a metalled lane for 600m until the track bends to the left. (location - https://w3w.co/lanes.month.theme).

10: When you reach the bend turn left, still on the metalled lane, and head N for 180m on Wheathampstead footpath 41 until you reach the gates of Lamer Park Farm (location - https://w3w.co/critic.harsh.pills), see image below.

Take the footpath to the right of the wooden gate
Take the footpath to the right of the wooden gate - point 10
Turn right before the gates (location - https://w3w.co/critic.harsh.pills) on Wheathampstead footpath 37 and head NE for 730m to the junction at point 7 above (location - https://w3w.co/leader.trials.stand).

Turn right on Kimpton footpath 13 and head ENE for 210m before reaching a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/bricks.powder.filed) where you continue straight taking Wheathampstead footpath 99 and head ESE for 350m until you reach Bride Hall Lane (location - https://w3w.co/trying.tile.reef).

11: Turn left on the lane and head NNE for 280m passing Shaw's Corner on the left (location - https://w3w.co/gent.going.bars) before the lane bends to the right, passes Ayot St Lawrence old church (location - https://w3w.co/grapes.basket.flips), see image below, and continues for 120m heading NE back to the start point.

Ayot St Lawrence old church
Ayot St Lawrence old church - point 11

Interactive map


  1. I am told this walk came up as suitable for wheelchair users. It isn’t. The paths, even when dry, are very rutted, and some are completely impassable because of rocks and roots. The gates are very difficult to get through. One stretch going across a field is (quite tall) grass, which challenged my mobility scooter, never mind a manual wheelchair. We had to give up at the halfway point. Lovely views, however

  2. Hi Lynne,
    I am really sorry to hear this. Walk 111 is certainly not suitable for wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Unfortunately not many walks in our collection are. Who told you this walk was suitable for wheelchair users? And where did they get that information? I am really sad to hear you had a bad experience.

  3. Been walking regularly for several years now, but today went on this our first walk from this website. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and really appreciated the excellent directions. Also found the What3Words references very useful. One disappointing thing to note was that, unfortunately, somebody (it looks like a deliberate act) has uprooted the signpost near step 2 of the walk (Codicote footpath 37), and simply thrown it to one side. However, we were still able to clearly see which route to take through the field. Looking forward to our next walk and keep up the great work, David!

  4. Great to hear that you enjoyed the walk. And nice to know the W3W references were useful. I sometimes wonder whether I add too many. They are particularly helpful when trying to describe complicated junctions in deep woodland. But, of course, not everyone carries a smartphone. Sad to hear about the sign. I often find signs on their side, some seem to have rotted at the base, others might have been knocked accidentally. If you have time you can report rights of way faults directly to Hertfordshire County Council. Here is the link. https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/highways-roads-and-pavements/report-a-problem/report-a-highway-fault/public-rights-of-way/public-rights-of-way.aspx.
    Thanks for the feedback. I hope you enjoy the next walk. Any idea which one you will be trying?

  5. I did this walk the other, and extended it to include the Codicote mill. Brilliant walk for 4.8 miles or with extended bit pushing to about 6.2.

    1. Great idea. Well done. We include the mill in another walk. Never thought of joining the two. Good tip. Thanks for sharing.


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