Edgware – East Finchley Walk

Our walk was quite spontaneous and therefore the route was quite haphazard, finding that the beginning of our trail was mostly trudging alongside roads. Making our way from Edgware, we took the route alongside the A41, which was quite noisy and not that nice to walk. We kept an eye out for a way off the road and onto a green as soon as we could. We soon found a footpath away from the road, which was to take us into Stoneyfields Park. As we made our way through the entrance, we could feel the tranquility of the park. Following the path around, it was to bring us over a small bridge and it was soon to follow a wonderful lake right in the middle of this delightful green oasis. Whilst meandering around the waters, we were blessed by seeing a Swan nesting in the reeds, how beautiful was that!

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

The oak and hazel trees that grow in this park, were once part of an ancient woodland that once stood here before any houses or roadways were built. The babbling brook, the warm sunshine and the wildlife really gave me a warm glow. We soon discovered that the park was not as large as we had hoped as we found ourselves out on the large road we had left earlier! Despite that we trundled our way along and made our way onto past the Apex Corner. As we walked past, Traffic Jams immediately sprung to my mind as this is what it would have famous for to me. However, this roundabout has been made famous when it appeared in the film “The Italian Job” in 1969. We walked on from the corner and onwards along the Watford Way Roadway for quite sometime until we reached Mill Hill. It was here where we decided to cross the road to see if we could find another open space.

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

It was not long before we were once again blessed with more green open land with “Mill Hill Park”. It was very busy for the afternoon, as the sun was really shining now and families were out in force enjoying the green space! The park in comparison to Stoneyfields was more open and not conducive to the wildlife element I felt, it was more for large play areas and for enjoyment than chilling out and watching the world go by. It was a very popular park and certainly one used by families! As we approached the edge of the park, I spotted unusual dome shaped roof of a building on the other side of the road. The semi-spherical roof belongs to the Observatory of the University of London, were telescopes allow student astronomers study the stars and planets.

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

The building was built in during the late 1920’s and when it was completed it was opened by the then Astronomer Royal, Sir Frank Dyson. The observatory survived the hostilities of World War II unscathed, it has now grown in size and houses 3 telescopes! Who knows this observatory could hold the key to some future astronomical discoveries right next to a humble park! We continued our way on through the park which was eventually to take us out into surburbia, where we found ourselves walking roads once more. As always we were on a look out for another footpath, but it quite some time before we did. We had to walk beyond Mill Hill East before we were able to pick up the “Dollis Valley Green Walk”.

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

This part of the Valley walk, headed towards Hampstead Heath Extension, and was a section of the walk we still needed to complete, perhaps we would today! Trees lined the majority of this part of the trail, which made it quite dark. Despite this the sun was still able to break through, it was so beautiful to see the sunlight dance upon waters of the Dollis brook :). We followed the Valley walk along the stream, which took on through the Windsor Open Space, until we reached a split in the river. We realised that the brook is extremely well looked after as there was a man made waterfall, which seemed to control the ebb and flow of the river.

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

Although we were officially following the “Dollis Valley GreenWalk” we were now walking alongside the much smaller “Mutton Brook”. I am not sure why it is called Mutton Brook, but perhaps something to do with sheep? Who knows! As we continued along this route, we realised we had inadvertently picked up the Capital Ring. It then dawned on me, allbeit very slowly, that I had walked some of this section last year ! The valley walk follows mostly alongside the North Circular Road, which was quite noisy in the background. A bit of shame in my opinion as walking the brook was quite calming otherwise! The path brought out us onto road, and here we took a wrong turn we missed the signs for the Valley walk. We were meant to go to the Big/Little Wood, but unfortunately we did not see the signs so ended up following the Capital ring instead through to Northway Gardens.

From 2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

It was here then we decided to end our walk as it was late in the afternoon. We continued away from the capital ring, to walk onto towards East Finchley Station. Just before we reached the station, a lovely old inn caught my eye the “Old White Lion”. The tavern dates back from C17th, when it was built as an old coaching inn. It was rumoured that the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin frequented this inn as a rest stop between robberies! However, we did not stop to taste there wares we ended our walk at the station to finish our walk for the day!

All the photos from the walk are available by clicking on the photo below –

2015 – 06.04.2015 – Edgware – East Finchley Walk

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