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More about Wormley Wood and Nut Wood

Located less than 20 miles (32km) from central London, these two neighbouring ancient woods are rich in native oak and hornbeam. In spring, they are one of the best places in Hertfordshire to enjoy drifts of bluebells, while in summer, visitors have a good chance of spotting one of Britain’s rarest butterflies, the purple emperor.

A place to witness the wonder of bluebell drifts in bloom in spring and the splendour of the rare purple emperor butterfly in high summer, Wormley Wood and Nut Wood are very special. Covering an area of 142ha (325 acres), together they make up a unique and important habitat that’s steeped in history; having been a working woodland coppiced and managed for timber since medieval times.

The neighbouring woods are an integral part of the Broxbourne Woods, a ‘must see’ woodland that is one of England’s 224 National Nature Reserves. Just 20 miles from the centre of London, it’s a vast expanse of 237ha (586 acres) of ancient oak and hornbeam woodland that can be explored using a network of trails and paths.

As well as bluebells, there is a wide variety of trees and flowers to enjoy. Dog’s mercury, sweet woodruff and yellow archangel bring the woodland floor alive in spring, while honeysuckle adds its scent on summer evenings.

Wooden steps
(Photo: WTML/Keith Huggett)

Take along a pair of binoculars because the woods offer an excellent opportunity for watching woodland birds, including hawfinch, redstart and woodcock. In summer, there’s also a chance you might see a nightjar, but as it’s a nocturnal species, you would have to be there at dusk or dawn.

A total of 27 butterfly species have been recorded in the Broxbourne Woods and you can see many of them in Wormley and Nut Woods including purple emperor and white admiral.

Whatever the season, there’s always plenty to discover at Wormley and Nut Woods.


Set in a rolling landscape of woods and farmland, the Broxbourne Woods, including Wormley Wood & Nut Wood are within London’s Green Belt less than 32km (20 miles) from the centre of the capital. Close by are the busy dormitory towns of Hatfield, which is 10km (six miles) to the west, and Cheshunt.

Maps: OS Explorer 174 and Landranger 166
Grid reference: TL317057

Access and walks

The woods have a good rights of way network and are popular with local people. Public access at the northern end of the woodland is from the Herts County Council Bencroft Wood West car park, which is off White Stubbs Lane. At the southern end there is no car park. Access to the wood is via a public footpath from Darnicle Hill.

A public footpath runs north to south through the wood with ‘squeeze gap’ entrances at White Stubbs Lane and at Hammondstreet Road.

A hard surfaced bridleway also runs through Wormley Wood from Bencroft Wood, at Wormley Wood’s north-east corner. It leaves the wood close to Hammond Street.

Within the wood there is a good network of paths as well as a waymarked trail. The paths have gentle ups and downs, with some steep sections, steps and footbridges. At some times of year the paths can be muddy in places.

Nearest amenities

Public conveniences
The nearest public toilets are 4.8km (three miles) away at the Cheshunt Tesco Extra supermarket, Brookfield Centre. Baby changing facilities and disabled toilet are also available.

The Woodman and Olive (01992 463719) pub and restaurant at Wormley West End is about 1.5km (one mile) east of Wormley Wood. About 2km (1.2 miles) to the north is the Bakers Arms (01992 511235) at Bayford.

Further afield, Broxbourne is 4.8km (three miles) away. The town also has a range of restaurants and cafes.

Accommodation and tourist information
A wealth of information on places to stay and things to do in the area can be found at Hertfordshire LEP and at TripAdvisor.


By bus
The nearest bus stop  is located to the south of Wormley Wood on Hammondstreet Rd, opposite Gladding Road. Services are provided by Intalink from Chesunt (no. 245 & 247) and Waltham Cross (no.248). Please confirm timetables and service with Intalink website or via the traveline on 0871 2002233, as rural bus services are subject to regular change. From the bus stop it is a 1km walk west along the pavement and then north up Chain Walk to the wood.

By train
The nearest station is at Bayford, 2km (1.2 miles) north-west, which is served by trains from Finsbury Park. There is also a station at Broxbourne, 4.8km (three miles) to the east, which has services from London Liverpool Street. For further information contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or visit National Rail.

By car
From the A10, follow the brown tourist attraction signs for Paradise Wildlife Park (post code EN107QA), located on White Stubbs Lane. Bencroft West Car Park is located off White Stubbs Lane approximately 1.4km west of Paradise Wildlife Park. Bencroft West car park has space for around seven cars. Wormley Wood & Nut Wood are about 250m (270 yards) south from the car park along stoned paths..

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.