63 – Brookmans Park to Wildhill 7.8 miles – 9th May

In short: a lovely figure of eight walk with gorgeous views; incredibly quiet in places too. Some road walking, all other paths well maintained and firm underfoot. Pub with free parking for customers, elegant toilets and delicious lunch at the end. 2 hrs 50 mins walking + 40 mins pitstop.

Today we make a welcome return to Brookmans Park to undertake a new walk from the delightful website: www.brookmans.com – walk number 19. The day is overcast but the threatened rain doesn’t really materialise – we are wearing proper walking boots though as we’re not too sure what sort of paths we’ll encounter.

We park in the car park of the Brookmans pub – entering my registration number on their iPad parking system, promising to come back for lunch after our walk and making use of their fabulously stylish toilet facilities! The postcode here is AL9 7QW.

On leaving the car park we head back along Brookmans Avenue (the road we have just arrived on) until we reach Golf Club Road on our left where we turn left to head in the direction of the golf club. Just before reaching the clubhouse we fork right onto a tree-lined path that runs beside Chancellors School on our right.

At the end of this path we cross the end of Pine Grove and bear slightly left along The Drive until we reach Bell Lane on our left and here we turn right towards the main road. We turn right here and soon cross (with care as the road is very busy) to a footpath sign on the far side.

We are now on a path which runs beside the Brookmans Park Transmitting Station – slightly eerie but at the same time fascinating, surrounded as it is by fields – and even a few not very curious horses.

Shortly after passing close to some particularly large dishes we cross a footbridge and turn right then immediately left to walk along a field edge with the hedgerow on our right.

With very open very rural views to the left and right of us this is a lovely spot and then we come upon an intriguing private wood on our right followed by a beautiful if slightly surreal property with it’s own small cricket field complete with scoreboard!

The view from the pitch is equally fabulous!

There’s a field of beautiful purple flowers next to the house…

…and if you ignore the electricity pylons marching off into the distance the views all around are delightful.

At the end of this path we reach a road, Grubbs Lane, where we turn left and walk along the lane for an uncomfortable few minutes – there is no pavement for quite some stretch and a couple of blind bends so much caution is required with a few cars travelling pretty rapidly along it.

The road dips and then rises again after which we finally reach a footpath sign on our right and here we turn right. We cross a field here bearing slightly left towards a small wood – and really this doesn’t sound particularly dramatic does it – but this is an amazingly tranquil spot – not a car or distant hum of traffic to be heard. Rolling hills, fields and hedgerows surround us and to cap it all off a kestrel hovers in the sky above. Could a scene be more idyllic??

Rhapsodising merrily we continue along this path, passing through a gap in the hedge and around the edge of the wood, through a second hedge gap and along the edge of the next field as indicated by the footpath signs and the clear path through the growing crops.

We follow this path slightly downhill until we reach a hedge with a brook beyond, here we turn right, cross the brook and then immediately left, keeping the hedgerow on our left.

It’s very hard to do justice to the gorgeous scenery around us with just the odd photo – particularly on such a gloomy day – but it really is divine. Very very English – in the best of senses.

We continue along the path till we come to a footpath sign left through the hedgerow and into the next field. Here we follow the direction indicated bearing right across the field towards an oak tree and a gate. We go through the gate and soon find ourselves in the car park alongside The Woodman pub.

Here we turn left at the road, passing the pub and then turn right into West End Lane. We follow this quiet lane down and then up again until at a sharp right bend we take the byway indicated on the left hand side. We follow this lovely green path for quite some time – bounded by trees but with agricultural views glimpsed on both sides.

We stay on this track until we finally meet a path on our left where we turn.

After passing a farm on our right and then some houses we emerge through a gate onto a lane which we cross to continue along the track opposite. We carry straight on until we reach woodland on our left which we walk alongside. The path then cuts across a couple of fields before emerging again at Grubbs Lane. Here we turn left and after a mercifully short time reach a footpath sign on our right where we turn and leave the road.

This path takes us directly across a couple of fields with a footbridge between them till we arrive at a small copse which we pass through and then shortly after find ourselves on Woodside Lane just by a petrol station on the main A1000 road.

We cross the busy road here and continue along Bell Lane opposite till we come to Bulls Lane on our right. Here we turn and follow this road for quite some time till we come to a railway bridge, immediately after which we turn left onto a footpath running initially alongside the railway track. After a short while this forks and we take the right path through sparse woodland and beside a football pitch till we emerge at the car park of the North Mymms Youth centre. We turn left beside the catholic church onto the main road here, Station Road, which we follow all the way back to Brookmans Park. After crossing the railway and passing the station we arrive back at Brookmans pub.

We settle down here for a delicious lunch – we are genuinely ravenous so it has to be a juicy burger and chips and a cold (soft of course!) drink. Yummy – with a proper macchiato after – wholeheartedly recommended!




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