Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk – 06.03.2011

This Sunday afternoon walk was half planned and I was hoping that the light would stay with me for most the walk 🙂

My walk was to take me to  “Harrow Lodge Park”.   This name is certainly fascinating, was there a lodge in the middle of this park and what would it have been?    Always the best way to found out is explore!  The first thing I discovered in this park, was a “lake”.

Unfortunately, there are no real marked paths surrounding the lake,  so you can only really walk partially around it 😦 .    As I started to wander around part of the shoreside,  I did feel challenged by a particular Moorhen who seemed to look me in the eye as if to say “why are you on our part of the park?” I quickly abandoned this route and rejoined the path on the other side!

I have to admit that no sooner had I started to walk along this side of the lake, I found a small bridge to which I endeavoured to cross, and I could not believe my eyes at the amount of birds (particularly Swans) that were seemed to be waiting in a queue for any crumbs which may be on offer!!
From 2011 – 06.03.2011 – Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk

I decided to retrace my steps aross the bridge to continue my original walk.  It was then  I had  found a building, but it wasn’t the Harrow Lodge that I was looking for but a Cafe…   So my original question as to whether “Harrow Lodge Park” actually had a Lodge???   Well the only information that I can find so far – (Is anyone able to assist?)   It seems that a priory was founded  Hornchurch, near Harrow Lodge  at the time of Henry II so perhaps this was a lodge that was part of the Priory? –  this information is available on history of hornchurch website

As I continued on I found that although the  lake ended, the river actually continued.  I have since found out that and was actually part of the River Ravensbourne – not to be confused with the River Ravensbourne that I walked in South London in Forest Hill! But the one at Beam Country Park, there are just too many Ravensbourne Rivers it is getting all too confusing!  It is still very odd, how the river has been “shaped” since it it is not very natural.  It does not look like a canal and not like a river.

From 2011 – 06.03.2011 – Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk

It was then I departed the Harrow Lodge park and the river. This meant road walking, which is always a shame, but in this case necessary, as I was heading towards another park.

My walk had taken me all the way to Hylands Park. This a beautifully small but perfectly formed park and not to be confused with the Hylands Park in Chelmsford which holds the V Festival! Particularly as I don’t think 80,000 people could fit in this lovely park!

The park has been in existence since 1927 when it was made a public park.  It most notable time in history was in 1940 when a Spitfire when the had just taken off from nearby RAF Hornchurch and developed engine trouble but landed between two houses instead of crashlanding in the crowded park….

From 2011 – 06.03.2011 – Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk

Leaving the little park behind, I was again faced was road walking. The route brought me back to a River – I presume the River Rom? As this was along the Rom Valley Way? It is not really cared for, and I can certainly say not really encouraged to walk along! Therefore I had to abandon any hope of a a river walk, to the next Park – Grenfell Park.

Unfortunately, I cannot find out much about this very small park, so if anyone know about it – any comments welcome!    Sadly, this small park did seem a little to me uncared for in certain places – or was that because it is March? But I think the wildlife would love it in others particularly the long grass and bushes! 🙂   However, as the river runs through here I did  manage another river walk  🙂

It was here, I left my walk behind. I decided not to chase the river any more. The rest of the walk took me back to the front of Harrow Lodge Park, and a a lovely sunset reminding me the walk and day was almost over…

2011 – 06.03.2011 – Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk

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