Borehamwood – Elstree Walk – 29.06.2012

“May The Force Be With You”© 1977, Star Wars

Indeed we were walking the trail of stars today. It was not Hollywood Boulevard, but Elstree and Borehamwood. A little town with film studios which has had some of the most blockbusting movies filmed there! We even managed to follow up our starry eyed trail with a walk into the small village of Elstree :-).

When we arrived at Elstree & Borehamwood Station, it really did feel like we had arrived somewhere special. Even the wall opposite the bus station had a lovely movie design emblazoned on it! We decided to follow the “Film and Television Heritage Trail” It seems that this walk is absolutely littered with information about the Stars and the films that where created in this provincial town of Hertfordshire! From the details that we found, Studios have been in this area since before 1930 and went from strength to strength making Classic movies. The Hammer film production company, known for it’s horror films, was based here from 1968. It was here Christopher Lee wore his Dracula cape in a Hammer movie for the last time. By the 1980’s Borehamwood had some of the most well known movie’s filmed here, including Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Return of the Jedi! The list goes on!

It is really nice to know that Elstree is really proud of it’s film and tv heritage, as the town has banners everywhere saying “Made In Elstree”. Despite this being a normal high street, particularly was we were walking past every day shops, you could not help but still feel that tinge of excitement of the movies everywhere! We did past “All Saints” Parish Church, however, I am unable to trace very much about it’s history. It is very unusual in style particularly as part of it looked like a Tudor house? Shenley Road was not very large, so it did not take us too long to reach Elstree Studios. I must admit I thought the studios did look very small but we were only at the entrance to the TV Studios! I was fascinated to see a large truck that had been left outside of the front of the studios – but which Indiana Jones film was this from?

From 2012 – 29.06.2012 – Borehamwood – Elstree Walk

As we passed by the first studios, we found a tiny plaque hidden in the bushes stating that the offices that stood now in Imperial Place used to be the “British & Dominion Imperial Studios” 1929-1936. This studio was responsible for building the first Sound Studio in Europe and in 1929 Alfred Hitchcock produced his first sound movie “Blackmail” at this studio. Sadly the studio did not survive for long as in February 1936 the Studio suffered at the hands of a fire and burnt down 😦 . Our route then took us right past the Borehamwood Fire Station, which after reading about a studios burning down all those years ago, perhaps this fire station is now aptly placed near the current Elstree Studios!

As we journeyed on, a double decker bus caught my eye… Buses usually go through Borehamwood, in fact we took one to get there. This bus, however was not the usual type to be found here as it was an old routemaster. The bus had “On The Buses” as it’s location and in fact the TV series “On the Buses” and some of the movies for “On the Buses” were shot in Elstree studios. The reason I am happy to mention this, is because we visited the Holiday camp in Prestatyn where they filmed most of “Holiday on the Buses” 🙂 We, however, carried on our tour by foot rather than bus!

From 2012 – 29.06.2012 – Borehamwood – Elstree Walk

We turned back on ourselves to search for another studios, the BBC TV Studios. Unfortunately, it took us a while to find the the entrance and as it was not really obvious where to go! For any soap fans out there, the BBC soap Eastenders is filmed here and we could just about make out some of the set hidden behind the trees! Eventually we found the entrance to BBC Elstree and we could see more of the Eastender set “Albert Square”. I am unsure what else is filmed here at present, I would love to know 🙂

We decided to leave our film and tv tour here, and I am sure we may be back! There is still more to explore. We felt it was time to continue our walk along from Elstree & Borehwood Station. It was nice to know that we were possibly following the London Loop at this point, in fact this is part of the “Borehamwood to Stanmore section”, some of which I have walked previously. The loop took us past the community centre, which suspiciously looks like an old station? But of course I could be wrong! As we carried on, I did notice a road called “Boreham Holt” and “Holt Close”, normally I sign of an old branch line with a holt rather than a station on it? If anyone has any information I would be really intrigued to know!

We did not quite follow the London Loop, as the the Loop would have taken us through “Parkfields and Allumn Lane Spinney”, which we will save for another time. Instead, we carried on up Allum Lane, which steadily climbed towards Elstree Village and gave us some lovely views across the hills. Allum Lane, met up with Watling Street, a road I had walked only a few weeks ago, where it was to take us in the lovely little village of Elstree. Just before we got there, I did notice a sign to Aldenham Country Park, which was good to see, as I think I will be visiting there again!

From 2012 – 29.06.2012 – Borehamwood – Elstree Walk

We entered the small village of Elstree, where we walked past St Nicholas Parish Church. This little Church was in fact built and designed by English architect Philip Charles Hardwick in the 19th Century. He was responsible for more notable buildings in the City of London, including the Bank of England, Great Western Royal Hotel in Paddington and was the architect to St St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. We also passed by the Grade II listed building – the Holly Bush Pub – although we did not stop for a drink – it did look very tempting though 🙂 We therefore carried on our walk through the village and down Elstree Hill. Although it was not a very exciting walk along the road, it was still quite pleasant to walk along. It was not long before we came across a footpath for the “Edgwarebury Estate”.

The “Edgwarebury Estate” seems to have been around for a number of centuries. In fact a farm has been in this area before the Romans arrived in Britian. The farm which grew up in this area was known as “Bury Farm” and was considered to be in the centre of the “Edgware Manor” Estate, and the Lord would lodge in the farm when he was in the area. The farm became well known when the famous Gregory Gang, which included the Highwayman, Dick Turpin robbed the farm in 1735! Much later in it’s history was sold off as open space, all 29.5 acres of it, I will be back to investigate more :-).

We continued our walk up to Brockley Hill, where we were to finish our stroll for the day. It seemed like we had learned quite a lot for the day and we had found some more routes to follow too 🙂 . Please click this link for our walking route. For all the photos our walk please click here –

2012 – 29.06.2012 – Borehamwood – Elstree Walk

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4 responses to “Borehamwood – Elstree Walk – 29.06.2012

  1. Pingback: Borehamwood – Edgwarebury Walk – 08.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Stanmore – Borehamwood Walk – 15.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: Letchmore Heath – Aldenham Walk – 29.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  4. Pingback: Richmond – Teddington Walk – 28.04.2013 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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