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Walk 224: Ayot St Lawrence West Loop

4.4 miles (7 km) with 65m of total ascent


Kimpton footpath 11 between points 3 & 4
Kimpton footpath 11 between points 3 & 4
This is a really nice walk exploring a section of the countryside W of Ayot St Lawrence. The route crosses rolling countryside with some great views N following well-defined paths and bridleways. Regular users of our walks will notice that the route revisits rights of way we have used before, but this time walked in the opposite direction.

The route is possible thanks to a landowner allowing a permissive path to link two public rights of way so that walkers can avoid walking alongside a road. The walk starts and finishes at The Brocket Arms in Ayot St Lawrence then passes The Cross Keys at Gustard Wood two thirds of the way round. There is also the possibility of a short detour close to the halfway point to visit The Boot at Kimpton.

There are several signs along the way asking dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.

The short video below shows a few highlights on the walk to give you an idea what to expect.


Fly through preview of walk


If you want to check what sort of landscape you will be crossing before you set off, you can view a short 3D video of the route below. It's created using the free version of Relive.


Directions


Walk 224: Ayot St Lawrence West Loop
Walk 224: Ayot St Lawrence West Loop
Click here or on the map for a larger version
Map created on MapHub - 
copyright details here
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 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.

The Brocket Arms, Ayot St Lawrence
The Brocket Arms, Ayot St Lawrence
1: As you face the Brocket Arms (location - https://w3w.co/commented.racing.rank) turn right then head WSW along Hill Farm Lane for 75m until you reach the ruins of the old church at Ayot St Lawrence on the right (location - https://w3w.co/wheels.until.slug), see image below. It's worth spending a moment exploring the churchyard.

The old church, Ayot St Lawrence
The old church, Ayot St Lawrence
Continue heading WSW along Hill Farm Lane for 25m until you reach cottages on the right as the lane bends left (location - https://w3w.co/engage.usage.summer). Immediately after the cottages you will reach a track, see image below.

Turn right on the track then head NW
Turn right on the track then head NW
2: Turn right on the track then head NW until you reach a gate (location - https://w3w.co/wacky.button.store), see image below.
Follow Ayot St Lawrence footpath 5 NW
Follow Ayot St Lawrence footpath 5 NW
Once through the gate ignore the footpath on the left and head NW on Ayot St Lawrence footpath 5 for 270m passing through a gate and continuing until you reach a gate to the right of the new church of Ayot St Lawrence (location - https://w3w.co/sake.form.chins), see image below.

Go through the gate then turn right to another gate
Go through the gate then turn right to another gate
3: Go through the gate then go through another gate immediately on your right (location - https://w3w.co/jazz.works.punch). Once through the gate the path forks. You take the left fork, Kimpton footpath 11 (location - https://w3w.co/woof.fairly.dogs), see image below.

Take the left fork, Kimpton footpath 11
Take the left fork, Kimpton footpath 11
Continue heading NW with the hedgerow on the left and field on the right until Kimpton footpath 11 enters woodland (location - https://w3w.co/oldest.door.fleet), see image below.

Continue through the woodland on Kimpton footpath 11
Continue through the woodland on Kimpton footpath 11
4: Continue heading NW through the woodland, still on Kimpton footpath 11, for 445m until you reach a field (location - https://w3w.co/forgot.remark.slope), see image below.

Head NW and uphill across the field on Kimpton footpath 11
Head NW and uphill across the field on Kimpton footpath 11
5: Cross the field, still heading NW and uphill on Kimpton footpath 11, for 375m until you reach hedgerow (location - https://w3w.co/bowls.paper.intent), see image below. The first part of this path can be muddy and difficult if the field has recently been cultivated and it's been raining.

Kimpton footpath 11 reaching the hedgerow
Kimpton footpath 11 reaching the hedgerow
6: When you reach the hedgerow continue on Kimpton footpath 11, now heading WNW, with the hedgerow on the right and field on the left, for 320m until you reach Ballslough Hill (location - https://w3w.co/policy.shrimp.cones), see image below.

Cross Ballslough Hill then take a permissive path
Cross Ballslough Hill then take a permissive path
7: Cross Ballslough Hill then turn right on a permissive path which runs N inside the field and parallel to Ballslough Hill and continue for 150m, with the hedgerow on the right and field on the left, until the permissive path meets Kimpton footpath 1 (location - https://w3w.co/feel.tunes.taped), see image below. A big thanks to the landowner for providing this permissive path alongside a narrow section of road.

Kimpton footpath 1 heading NW
Kimpton footpath 1 heading NW
8: Head NW on Kimpton footpath 1 for 80m then follow it as it bends W, NW and W again along the edge of the field for 370m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/visit.usual.basket), see image below.

Head W at the junction on Kimpton footpath 8
Head W at the junction now on Kimpton footpath 8
9: Continue heading W for 370m, now on Kimpton footpath 8, with the hedgerow on the right and field on the left, until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/tiger.span.upper), see image below.
* At this point you could turn right then head N along Kimpton bridleway 5 for 195m to reach High Street, Kimpton (location - https://w3w.co/clap.drums.water) where you will find The Boot pub/restaurant 45m on the right (location - https://w3w.co/joins.organs.vest), and Budgens Store, which serves hot drinks and snacks, 180m on the left (location - https://w3w.co/kinks.secret.grin).
Go down the steps then turn left on Kimpton bridleway 5
Go down the steps then turn left on Kimpton bridleway 5
10: Turn left on Kimpton bridleway 5 then head S then SW for 470m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/miles.bucked.headed), see image below.

Head SW on Kimpton bridleway 5
Head SW on Kimpton bridleway 5
11: Continue on Kimpton bridleway 5, now heading SW, for 550m until you reach a junction, with a permissive path on the left just before you reach Kimpton Road (location - https://w3w.co/armed.divisions.froze), see image below.

Turn left on the permissive path then head S
Turn left on the permissive path then head S
12: Turn left on the permissive path then head S for 670m until the path bends right to meet Kimpton Road (location - https://w3w.co/comet.grace.bugs), see image below. A big thanks to the landowner for providing a permissive path alongside this stretch of road.

The permissive path meeting Kimpton Road
The permissive path meeting Kimpton Road
Cross Kimpton Road then walk SSE along the pedestrian pavement for 135m until you reach a bridleway on the left (location - https://w3w.co/rocks.splice.blur), see image below.

Wheathampstead bridleway 101 off Kimpton Road
Wheathampstead bridleway 101 off Kimpton Road
13: Turn left on Wheathampstead bridleway 101 then head SE through woodland for 240m until you reach Ballslough Hill (location - https://w3w.co/vibe.dance.ending) with The Cross Keys on the left, see image below.

The Cross Keys on Ballslough Hill
The Cross Keys on Ballslough Hill
14: Turn left on Ballslough Hill then head NE for 65m to reach a footpath on the right (location - https://w3w.co/flesh.went.slowly), see images below.

Turn right on the footpath then head E
Turn right on the footpath then head E
15: Turn right on the footpath, which at this point runs along a parish boundary and is both Kimpton footpath 12 and Wheathampstead footpath 36, then head E then NE for 355m until you reach the edge of Lamer Wood (location - https://w3w.co/serves.oasis.intervals), see image below.

Head E with Lamer Wood on the right and field on the left
Head E with Lamer Wood on the right
16: Head E with Lamer Wood on the right and field on the left for 330m until you reach the end of the woodland and a junction (location - https://w3w.co/clots.dust.points), see image below.

Continue heading E on Wheathampstead footpath 36
Continue heading E on Wheathampstead footpath 36
17: Go through the gate on the right then turn left and continue heading E on Wheathampstead footpath 36 for 730m, with the hedgerow on your left and field on your right, until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/survey.crest.ranks), see image below.

Head E on Kimpton footpath 13
Head E on Kimpton footpath 13
18: Continue heading straight ahead and E at the junction, now on Kimpton footpath 13, for 225m until you reach a junction (location - https://w3w.co/eager.toast.kinds), see image below.

Turn left on at the junction, still on Kimpton footpath 13
Turn left on at the junction, still on Kimpton footpath 13
19: Turn left on at the junction, still on Kimpton footpath 13, then head NE for 170m until you reach Bibbs Hall Lane (location - https://w3w.co/saving.gross.stand).

20: Turn right on Bibbs Hall Lane then head E for 50m until you reach a junction with a track leading to the new church (location - https://w3w.co/wash.range.weedy). Turn left on the track then take the footpath immediately on the right (location - https://w3w.co/buns.glitz.tight), see orange line on the image below.

Take Ayot St Lawrence footpath 6, then head ENE
Take Ayot St Lawrence footpath 6, then head ENE
Take Ayot St Lawrence footpath 6, then head ENE for 295m until you reach Hill Farm Lane at the junction you visited at point 2 in the walk (location - https://w3w.co/income.sports.ever). Turn left on Hill Farm Lane then head E for 105m back to the Brocket Arms and the start/finish point.

Interactive map




You might notice banners along this route placed by the Stop West Welwyn Solar Plant campaign which is drawing attention to plans for a 100 acre solar plant in the area.


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