The London Loop is a walking route of 150 miles length around the outer boundaries of London split into 24 sections. I am currently walking the loop and this is a blog of a few sections. See tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/loop-walk for more details.
Today I was to complete section 15 of the Loop. I know many do this in one day and some even have done sections 13,14 and 15 in a single day but at my age I found I had to split it. Although the guide book suggests leg 15 is 8.6 miles it seems a lot lot longer. By the book I should have had 3 miles to do today, I suspect it was nearer 5.
So after a relatively smooth trip on the train (no less than two steam specials passed us on the way) and then the Jubilee line to Stanmore, with a short wait for bus 142 at Stanmore, I arrived where I left off last week. I had got lost in this bit of woodland then, and although it was clearly marked with a finger post and said 'take the right hand path' having diverted to read the information boards I had gone down the left hand one. This bit of the walk goes through a bit of woodland on the north side of Warren Lane before rejoining it and some ask why you don't just go down Warren Lane. This is because the narrow busy road has no pavement so is unsafe for pedestrians.
Having crossed Warren Lane and gone past Stanmore Cricket Club I reached the first of the lakes within Stanmore Common. This is Brewery Pond, not sure why it is called that. Small diversion when I missed a turning due to lack of signposts and unclear instructions, nothing new there.
On to Little Common with its large pond, Caesar's Pond, named because it is thought the Romans dug it.
Another couple of short mis-directions then on to a long path across farm fields to reach civilisation. The M1 looms rapidly in view and the Loop reaches the busy A411 Elstree Road which takes us under the motorway then across the busy A41 Watford bypass, and half a mile more of the A411. The Fishery pub is reached which made a very pleasant lunch stop.
Now a pleasant walk through woodlands to reach the Aldenham Reservoir, passing Aldenham Sailing Club. There is a viewing point slightly off route over its dam together with refreshment cafe but since I had just eaten didn't visit it. Another moment when I had to ask for directions when I came to a firmly locked gate and a chap helped me out. The small scale maps in the guide book are just not good enough but all was soon clear, so more open countryside now with excellent views.
This is the third golf course on section 15, the Radlett Park, which unlike the others was totally deserted today.
So after a bit more woodland I reached Elstree and Boreham Wood Thameslink station, the end of section 15. This has an excellent train service to central London but getting to Waterloo is not obvious. It seems the recommended way is to change at West Hampstead and catch the Jubilee Line - but part of that was closed. So I changed at Kings Cross/St Pancras which must have the longest interchange tunnel on the whole Underground. Enjoyable day as usual.