Follow this disused railway line from Wheathampstead to Welwyn Garden City on this easy cycle or walk in Hertfordshire. It's a nice flat, traffic free path making it ideal for families or beginners looking for an easy cycle ride. Along the way there's good views of the River Lea and a woodland section through Sherrardspark Wood at the end of the route. The woods are also a nature reserve with lots of birdlife and butterflies to look out for.
If you're on foot you can extend your walk by picking up the Lea Valley Walk which runs alongside the greenway. If you're on a bike then you could head east to Hertford from Welwyn Garden City along the Cole Green Way. It's another similar rail trail along National Cycle Network Route 61.
Ayot Greenway Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Ayot Greenway Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Ayot Greenway OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Ayot Greenway Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Just to the east of Sherrardspark Wood you can enjoy refreshments in the Red Lion pub. It's an attractive looking gastropub with beams, wood and stone floors, a large fireplace and Mediterranean-accented food. There's a good varied great menu and a nice courtyard and garden where you can sit outside on warmer days. You can find it at Digswell Hill with a postcode of AL6 9AJ for your sat navs.
The Miller & Carter is in a nice position next to the river in Wheathampstead. The pub is housed in an old Tudor building and has a very good menu. There's also a nice outdoor seating area with lovely views. You can find it at 11 High Street with a postcode of AL4 8BS for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
In Sherrardspark Wood there's a public footpath running south to Lemsford where there's nice views of the River Lea and a pretty weir. Near here there's also the Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve where there's good wildlife spotting opportunties. It's only about a 1 mile walk south from the woods so a nice option if you fancy continuing your exercise.
Just to the north of the trail you will find the noteworthy village of Ayot St Lawrence. The village is notable for its connections with the playwright George Bernard Shaw and is the site of Shaw's Corner, his old residence. There's also a ruined 12th century church and a lovely pub which dates from the 14th century to see here. It's worth a short detour from the route if you have time. Near here there's Codicote where you can visit the nearby Hoo Park and enjoy some pretty bluebell woods and a rather fine old bridge over the River Mimram. The village is also very attractive with several timber framed buildings and a historic 16th century pub to admire.