The Welwyn Preserve, just about an hour outside of the city feels like a land forgotten. While the winding paths are always easy to find, fallen trees, mud, rickety bridges, and corroded roads are consistent obstacles. The paths, which wind around the grounds of the Holocaust Museum, take you through an ever changing terrain.
You'll be in the middle of a groomed field, then suddenly surrounded by wind blown reeds, then among viney trees before entering a marshy osprey and piping plover sanctuary and after marveling at gigantic trees, you walk some more and end up at the ocean.
The diversity is fun and adds to the odd unknown adventure of the trails. The near emptiness and ominous crack of rifle shots we heard on our walk (we eventually saw the gunmen ahead on the beach, sensibly stayed clear) also added to the end of days feel that being out in the wilderness after a week in the city can evoke.
It's the reason people put up with hassle of a car, because sometimes you want to feel miles away from anything, and Welwyn offers just that without proving to be too difficult a walk.