I had ventured this way before, but, this time I was starting out my trek from High Barnet rather than ending it here. I had planned to walk the “London Loop” and see where it may take me. I have attempted this on a number of occasions and have often been misled due to lack of signage. So I really did wonder what the day had in store for me! Nevertheless I started the day out with a spring in my step, the sun was up in the sky and I to my utter amazement I came across a London Loop sign, which I thought was a great way to start my journey, so I proceeded my merry little way… The signage soon took me off the pavements and onto open ground which ran behind High Barnet station, which was quite rugged and uneven. As I emerged from this lovely green area, I was once again on the roadway and my joy with the London Loop signs was short lived as they ran out!
After giving up which route to take, I resorted to looking at some directions online, along with my trusty phone map to guide me back to the Loop once more! I think that will teach me for not planning the walk LOL. Eventually I walked up to “Monken Hadley Wood”, a very bizarre name if you ask me, I would like to think that someone is “monkeying” around there. The wood was originally part of the Royal forest “Enfield Chase” in C16th where Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth 1) would have enjoyed Hunting through the vast woodland. Hadley Common has sadly shrunk over the years having been divided up between parishes, being sold for land tax and the railway taking some of the land. However some of the the woodland still remains and although where the name derives from I am still unsure of and I hope it is nothing to do with Monkeys! I really did feel like I was walking through the wilderness, with the trees hanging over head and the leaves hanging from the fingertips of each tree. After a disastrous start losing signs I really did feel like at last my walk was on track for a good days walk.
|From 2014 – 27.04.2014 – High Barnet – Chingford Walk|
I eventually emerged from the darkened Wood into the light and a small lane. Just as I thought my luck was in with being on track with the loop, I do admit to taking the wrong turning here and had to I retrace my steps to find the loop once again. I found myself heading towards a small country Church, unfortunately I did not stop to admire it, only to forge ahead and to discover that I had reached “Cockfosters”. I crossed the road to the station, only to lose the London loop signs once again! Oh how I wish I had planned this walk, I really did feel that I was “Making up as I go along!”. Walking along the roadside I found “Trent Country Park”, which looked a natural route for the loop to follow so I ventured in. As I wandered inside, I was absolutely astonished by the size of the parkland as it looked like to go on for miles! “Trent Country Park” is 413 acres in size and was also been Royal Hunting Grounds as the whole landscape belonged to the “Enfield Chase”. The Royal history of the park does not end there, George III gave the lands to his favourite doctor, Richard Jebb, who saved his brothers life in Italian Alps at Trento hence the name of the park “Trent Country Park”!
As I walked through the park to the other end of it, I had still not rejoined the “London Loop”. I took my trusty phone maps to guide me in the right direction, which helped me eventually rejoining the path. The path was take me uphill and I was able to turn back and enjoy the views across the country park. Soon the route gave way to woodland and yes, those London Loop signs soon vanished into thin air and I was reminded of the following Nursery Rhyme –
Here we go loopty loo
Here we go loopty li
Here we go loopty loo
All on a Saturday night
With the London Loop gone, more than likely it being my fault for not paying attention of lack of signs! Either way I had to improvise a way to rejoin a civilised path! The exit from this part of the wood, came out onto lane with absolutely no path, which meant at least over a mile or more road walking which was certainly not any fun! Eventually I discovered a footpath which was too take me from the nightmare of the lane and through farmers fields. The muddy route was to take me to “Hilly Fields Park”, which was rather pleasant and even boast its own Bandstand. If it had been a warm Sunday afternoon, I can imagine a brass band playing entertaining numerous people picnicking all around, just like the thousands that have been entertained here since 1920 when the stand was built! . I soon emerged from the park, where the loop was to take me across the road, past a the lovely pub “The Rose and Crown” which was rather tempting for a drink but I didn’t stop! The loop was a rather straight forward at this point, as it took me through woodland and was to take me past, “Forty Hall Country Park”. The country park is something to be discovered on another walk since the loop only skirts around the park.
|From 2014 – 27.04.2014 – High Barnet – Chingford Walk|
The open part of the path soon gave way to woodland, tree branches hung low which were swaying gently in the spring breeze, a brief glimpse of sunshine sparkling through the dark patterns of the woods. Soon the path emerged from the darkened woods into the open and once again met with road. The loop took me through a small urban area and past Turkey Street Station, which I discovered takes it name from the brook which the Loop follows. I did not hear any Turkeys Gobbling thank goodness so I continued on walking through a number of urban streets so I could rejoin a path alongside “Turkey Street Brook”. I was slightly disappointed at this point as I was no longer in the countryside but I was much more in an urban environment 😦 The loop was to take me over a railway bridge where I spotted “Enfield Lock Station” in the distance. The Station is very aptly named as just beyond the bridge, I had reached the river lea and Enfield Lock itself. Unlike the locks that I had come across on the Canals I had walked, this was was part of a navigable River. Boats were more prevalent on this waterway rather than barges and therefore much larger than the narrow boats that often glided along the Grand Union.
Just past the lock I could see the “King George V Reservoir”, I am unsure why King George V had his very own reservoir, but now it is a SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest! The loop took me away from the huge lake and headed along the side of the beautiful river lea. I did stop for a while just to take in the sights and sounds of the river to have bite to eat. It was so quiet and enjoyable to feel the breeze on my face, to watch the river flowing past and to enjoy the countryside just for a few moments. Unfortunately all things come to an end, and I carried on my walk, the loop took me on uphill for a while through open land, the path was well looked after and the signs were extremely clear. I was heading towards Chingford Golf Course. It was not long before I came across roads once more, and I was a little confused by the loop again! The loop took me off road eventually and back into woodland. I was worried for while that I was going in the right direction, but this was a well trodden path. By this point I really did feel like the walk was a long one as my feet and muscles began to struggle going uphill LOL.
Up the top of the Hill I saw Chingford Golf Course, and I saw that this was nearing the end of the my trail for the end of the day! I was glad as I lost the London Loop signs once more and decided to follow the paths that surrounded the course. I was familiar with the entrance to the course, as I had visited there only a few months before when I walked Epping Forest to raise funds for Epilepsy Action on the “Fright Hike” Walk!. I had finally reached Chingford Station. To distort a song, not so much a “Slow Boat to China”, but a “Slow Walk to Chingford” LOL (Oh yes I know Only Fools and Horses got there first with “Slow Bus to Chingford” LOL) I had finally finished my oh so Epic training walk for Walk the Walk!
All the photos of the walk can be accessed by clicking on the photo below –
|2014 – 27.04.2014 – High Barnet – Chingford Walk|
An idea of the route is as follows (Please note that this route is not completely accurate as it does not includes all the the London Loop which I walked)