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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sunday Walk - Knebworth Hall, Ayot St. Lawrence and gently undulating woodlands and fields: Knebworth to Welwyn Garden City

First Weekend outing of this new walk, original idea for which came from a non-group walker (I believe)

Length: 21.2 km (13.2 mi) 
Ascent/Descent: 278/287 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¾ hours
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Take the 10.02 Cambridge train from King’s Cross (Finsbury Park 10.08, change from the Victoria Line), arrives Knebworth 10.39.
Return trains from Welwyn: xx.52 (fast, to KGX) and xx.58 and xx.28 (slow, to Moorgate). Buy a Knebworth return.

This is a companion walk to SWC 69 (Welwyn Garden City Circular) but covers new territory before lunch to visit the beautiful Knebworth Hall and its extensive grounds and deer park. You can also visit the beautiful church of St Mary and Thomas of Canterbury. After you leave the motorway behind it is a quiet ramble through attractive and gently undulating woodland and fields. There are no stiles on this walk.
The beautiful village of Ayot St Lawrence will be familiar from the Welwyn Circular walk and is a perfect spot for a picnic at either the Palladian Church or the ruined old St. Lawrence Church, or lunch at the Brocket Arms. After lunch you reach perhaps familiar territory around Brocket Hall before crossing a golf course en route to Ayot Green and then through woodlands to Welwyn.

Lunch: Brocket Arms in Ayot St. Lawrence (11.7 km/7.3 mi, food served to 14.30).
Tea: A fine coffee kiosk at the NT’s Shaw’s Corner in Ayot St. Lawrence, and cafés, pubs and bistros  in Welwyn, see pdf for details. 

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.340


Thomas G said...

n=5 in w=rain-to-lunch-then-dry weather.
Nice route, with few if any annoying bits. Some beautiful country piles and lesser houses, quiet lanes, pretty woods, well kept field verges (i.e broad grassy and unploughed), soothing rolling fieldscapes, very little overlap with SWC 69 (just Brocket Park really, which is a very fine golf course to walk through), a fair few impressive churches, some streams, the mighty River Lea and not very muddy at all, despite the recent rain. We saw some deer gambolling across an arable field, loooooots of different fungi in the morning half, with the ones at the Palladian St. Lawrence Church especially impressive, and then fewer in the arvo (but they were the deadly red ones). The leaves have started to turn in the woods (but also lots have already fallen), the ivy on the facade of Knebworth Hall was especially pretty. Autumn...
4 had lunch at The Brocket Arms, initially just squeezed into a very tight corner at a miniscule table, but a larger freed up just as our food arrived. The picnicker joined and we had about 80 minutes in the pub, a very fine place indeed. In Welwyn we arrived between the hourly fast trains, so had time for Simmons Cafe or the pub respectively, before taking the 16.52.

Karen said...

Quite a delightful walk, despite the rain in the morning. Easy walking, no stiles, rolling hills. Pub was efficient and friendly, serving usual pub fare done well. You arrive quite quickly into the commercial heart of Welwyn, no long slog through suburbs. Recommended.

PeteB said...

Good to hear that the lunch time Brocket Arms pub has raised its game as far as its service is concerned. Our SWC walk check in the Spring was marred for the pub -lunchers by a comprehensive failure to deliver any meals leading to an epic rant from Marcus. Let's hope they maintain the standard you enjoyed..