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Walk 140: Ashwell West Loop

6.9 miles (11 km) and 300 ft of ascent

Ashwell restricted byway 2
The bridleway heading towards Arbury Banks Hill Fort
This is an excellent walk for those who want wide open views across unspoilt countryside. The walk passes by or close to four pubs, and you will walk alongside the site of Arbury Banks, a series of iron-age hillfort. There is little shelter along the way, so this might not be great in bright sunlight, heavy rain, or howling gales.


Map for Walk 140: Ashwell West Loop Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors There is an interactive map below these directions
Map for Walk 140: Ashwell West Loop
Created on Map Hub by Hertfordshire Walker
Elements © Thunderforest © OpenStreetMap contributors

There is an interactive map below these directions
Those who follow our walks using GPS on their mobile devices can download GPX or KML files for this walk. We've added What3Words location references for those who use that navigation system. If you print these walks you might want to use the green PrintFriendly icon at the bottom of these directions to delete elements you don't need.

1: This walk starts outside the Bushel And Strike pub on Mill Street opposite the church of St Mary. Take the footpath that heads W along the N side of the pub (location - https://w3w.co/expensive.decreased.shuttled). This is Ashwell footpath 26, which heads W through the pub car park for 60m until you reach Gardiners Lane (location - https://w3w.co/operation.thunder.grapevine).

Turn right on Gardiners Lane and head NW for 120m until the lane bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/birds.keys.windpipe) and then heads WNW for 100m before reaching a fork in the road (location - https://w3w.co/reclining.helps.skewing). Turn right at the fork and head NNW for 220m until you reach a farm at which point the lane swings to the right and heads NNE, NNW, then NNE again for 230m before reaching a footpath on the left (location - https://w3w.co/tangling.dash.repeat).

2: Turn left on Ashwell footpath 8 and head NW for 300m, first across a field and then alongside woodland on your left. Continue until you reach the end of the woodland (location - https://w3w.co/crunching.forget.hook) at which point Ashwell footpath 8 heads straight and slightly to the right across a field in a NW direction (see image below) for 480m until it reaches Common Lane (location - https://w3w.co/slimming.medium.decisive).

Your path heads slightly to the right in a NW direction - point 2
Your path heads slightly to the right in a NW direction - point 2
3: Turn left on Common Lane and follow it SW for 400m to Bluegates Farm where the lane bends left then right before reaching a lane on your left (location - https://w3w.co/driveway.kidney.eminent). Ignore the lane on your left and continue heading SW for 260m until you reach a left-hand bend (location - https://w3w.co/cavalier.bolt.craft).

Common Lane heading SW towards Bluegates Farm
Common Lane heading SW towards Bluegates Farm
4: At the bend take Ashwell bridleway 20 on your right and head WSW for 280m before reaching a junction (location - https://w3w.co/limes.soothing.distilled) at Ashwell End Farm.

Ashwell bridleway 20 - point 4
Ashwell bridleway 20 - point 4
Turn left on Ashwell bridleway 30, which at this point is a metalled track, and head SSE for 35m before you reach a footpath on your right (location - https://w3w.co/handfuls.bloodshot.sketch).

5: Turn right on Ashwell footpath 20 and head WSW for 170m looking out for a footpath on your right which is hidden in the hedgerow (location - https://w3w.co/commenced.madder.thrillers). Turn right on this path, Ashwell footpath 20, cross a footbridge, then head NW for 95m until you reach a second footbridge (location - https://w3w.co/stretcher.exhaling.sample).

Ashwell footpath 20 - point 5
Ashwell footpath 20 to the right - point 5
At this point your path becomes Hinxworth footpath 2 and continues NW across a field for 600m until it reaches a junction in the track with a farm on you left (location - https://w3w.co/grips.divorcing.ringside).

6: Cross the track and continue heading WNW, still on Hinxworth footpath 2 which is also known as Arnolds Lane along this stretch, for 620m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/access.trailing.started). Ignore the path going off to your left and continue heading WNW along Arnolds Lane for 270m until you reach Chapel Street on your left (location - https://w3w.co/organs.jets.fabric).

7: Turn left on Chapel Street and head SW for 240m until you reach Ashwell Road in Hinxworth (location - https://w3w.co/keener.employer.expiring). The Three Horseshoes pub will be on the corner opposite and to your left. Cross Ashwell Road and take the footpath on the opposite side. This is Hinxworth footpath 1 which you follow SW, SE, then SW again for 270m until the path bends to the left (location - https://w3w.co/nods.seeing.grandson).

8: Turn left, still on Hinxworth footpath 1, and head ESE for 200m until you reach New Inn Road (location - https://w3w.co/almost.loaning.renting). Turn right on New Inn Road and head SE for 70m looking out for a track and footpath on the left.

9: Turn left on Hinxworth footpath 8 (location - https://w3w.co/explains.important.voted) and head ESE through some business units for 270m until you reach a footpath junction (location - https://w3w.co/condense.stated.adding).

10: Turn right on Hinxworth footpath 7 and head S then SSE for 520m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/general.umbrellas.backlog).

Hinxworth footpath 7 - point 10
Hinxworth footpath 7 - point 10
11: Turn left on Hinxworth bridleway 11, which later becomes becomes Ashwell bridleway 29, and follow it SE for 1.8km ignoring tracks on your right and left until you reach Ashwell Road (location - https://w3w.co/grandson.stickler.overcomes). This stretch has some excellent views across rolling countryside.

12: Turn left on Ashwell Road and head NW for 180m until you reach a track on your right (location - https://w3w.co/chromatic.table.summaries).

* This stretch of road can be busy and it looks like walkers have chosen to tread a route along the edge of the field on the W side of the road to avoid the traffic.

Turn right on Ashwell restricted byway 3 and head SE for 470m passing a pig farm before reaching a junction (location - https://w3w.co/navy.sunflower.steady).

13: Turn left on Ashwell restricted byway 2 and head NE for 1.3km until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/deferring.eventful.expressed).

* On your left after 900m along this stretch you will pass Arbury Banks Hill Fort where there is an information board about the former settlement (location - https://w3w.co/witless.dance.slogged).

The sign at Arbury Banks Hill Fort

The sign at Arbury Banks Hill Fort
14: At this junction take the left turn behind the hedgerow, not the one in front. This is Ashwell BOAT 31 (byway open to all traffic), which is also known as Partridge Hill. Follow it NNW for 280m to a junction (location - https://w3w.co/trending.coping.petition).

15: Turn right on Ashwell BOAT 15, which is also known as Ashwell Street, and head ENE for 500m until you reach Bear Lane (location - https://w3w.co/dynamics.singles.stems).

16: Turn left on Bear Lane and head NNW for 250m back to Ashwell village centre and the starting point.

There are three pubs in Ashwell village, The Three Tuns (location - https://w3w.co/magnum.image.ironic), the Rose & Crown (location - https://w3w.co/reissued.informal.screening), and Bushel And Strike (location - https://w3w.co/ferried.hairpin.flitting) mentioned at the start of the

Thanks to our good friend Bernard for recommending that we add a walk in this area.

Interactive map


  1. Did the walk on Tuesday this week June 7th. Really pleasant walk and was intending on stopping in Hinxworth for a pint but the pub was shut. Easy to follow guidance and the walk not to strenuous at all.

    1. Yes, we like it too. Pity about your pint. But glad you enjoyed the walk. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Another great walk, with some lovey scenery. The Three Horseshoes had just opened when we arrived in Hinxworth and I can confirm the food was good! Thanks for adding this.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Glad the walk went well. And thanks for the feedback on the pub. We didn't try that one when we did the walk, but we might go back having heard it's good.

  3. We did this walk on Saturday (18th) September and it was the perfect day for it - we loved the wide open views and contrast in landscape to some of the other walks. We also had lunch at the 3 Horseshoes in Hinxworth and the food was definitely worth going back for! T

    1. Hi Sarah, so glad to hear you enjoyed the walk and the food at the Three Horseshoes. It was not open when we did it, but we will return. Thanks for the feedback.


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