Ayot St Lawrence Walk
This short circular walk visits the Hertfordshire village of Ayot St Lawrence, notable for its connections with the playwright George Bernard Shaw. It's a pretty area with a visit to Shaw's house and the interesting, ruined old church to enjoy. The village is located in a nice position between the large towns of Welwyn Garden City and Harpenden.
The walk starts from Shaw's Corner, the playwright's primary residence from 1906 to 1950. The house is now a National Trust property open to the public as a writer's house museum. Inside the house, the rooms remain much as Shaw left them, and the garden and Shaw's writing hut can also be visited.
From the house you can then follow public footpaths around the village and visit the noteworthy Old St Lawrence Church. The now ruined church is Grade II listed and dates back to the 12th century.
The paths will lead you north into the countryside, passing Ayot Park and Ayot House before returning to the village. There's nice views of the surrounding farmland around here.
The Hertfordshire Way long distance trail passes through the village and provides a good opportunity for extending your walk. You could follow it north east and visit Codicote, while enjoying views of the River Mimram on the way. Follow it south and you can visit the village of Wheathampstead where there are nice riverside trails along the River Lea.
Ayot St Lawrence Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Ayot St Lawrence Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Ayot St Lawrence OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Ayot St Lawrence Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Head to the the delightful Brocket Arms for some refreshments after your walk. This noteworthy country inn was built in the 14th century and retains all of its traditional features. It's full of character with low ceilings, oak beams and inglenook fireplaces. It also has an interesting history having originally been the monastic quarters for the Norman church until the Reformation. There's a nice large garden outside to relax in on on warmer days. You can find the pub in the village at postcode AL6 9BT.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The Codicote Walk will take you to the nearby Hoo Park where there's 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.