Event led by Khris R.
Attendance: 14 people.
Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5 km).
Time: start 11:02, end 16:52, lunch and other breaks 87 minutes.
Speed: moving arithmetic average 2.62 mph (4.22 kph).
Terrain: pavement, road, track, field edge, grassland on footpath, bridleway, highway.
Elevation: low 53m, high 130m (as measured by GPS), start 127m.
Weather: cloudless sun, 26°C to 31°C, max 15mph easterly wind.
Number of sewage works: 0.
Number of churches: 3.
Number of golf courses: 0.

 

This was a circular walk of ~12 miles from the Waggoners free house pub, Ayot, W to Tewinbury Farm, NW to Welwyn North, S to the start point.

This walk carved its way through the most gorgeous rolling hills in mid-Herts, taking in mid-range views from both valley bottoms and valley tops, each being a fold around the Mimram Valley. There were 9 distinct valley tops, each offering a superb view over the area and 8 distinct valley bottoms, each offering the most sensuous curves of the countryside, along with a view of the ascent to come next and, today, minimum wind under a hot sun. The centrepiece views were those of the Disgwell Viaduct, which we saw from underneath, at the elevation of the river, and from above, from a point NW of the viaduct (pic included in this report).

Churches

  • St John the Evangelist, Digswell Park.
  • St Peter’s Church, Tewin
  • St Peter’s Church, Ayot St Peter. This church was built in the 1870s, but does not wear the typical, heavy, O.T.T. gothic adornments of the typical Victorian church. Rather, its style is patterned, but built into the core infrastructure. Thus, it looks more Edwardian, or 1910s/1920s, than 1870s. The clue that the church is 1870s is the clock face, which is as ornate as the Victorians could ever get.

Nature reserves

Other points of interest

  • Welwyn Railway Viaduct (wiki, aka Digswell Viaduct), a grade 2* listed structure. The bridge carries the East Coast Main Line railway over the River Mimram. It forms a bottleneck of the railway, confined to only two running tracks, with four running tracks either side of the viaduct’s stretch.
  • River Mimram (wiki), a chalk stream that runs into the River Lea.
  • Tewinbury Farm. An old farm that has diversified into the hospitality sector. It is an event venue, caters for weddings, runs a glam hotel and teaches cooking. This is a high quality venue for social events. There are four listed buildings at the farm.

Optional pub stop

  • The Waggoners, Ayot, a free house. 12 members joined the optional pub stop.

Words by Martin Thornhill. Pictures by Peter O’Connor.

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