Dave Sergeant

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.

London Loop Section 16b - Barnet to Cockfosters - 31st July 2019

Section 16a  →Section 17

Yesterday me and friend Mike did the remainder of London Loop section 16, from High Barnet to Cockfosters. Punctual journey on the train and tube and emerged at High Barnet station just before 11am. Around 5 miles.

A nice day which got brighter as we went on. Walking down from High Barnet station there was this lovely view over London with the Post Office tower and also the Shard on another photo clearly visible around 10 miles away.

Now out into the country where we stayed for most of the day. This is King George fields, bought by the council in the 1930s to celebrate the reign of George V. Out onto a long gentle slope where there were more views across London and various people enjoying the nice weather who we chatted to. Then into Hadley Green where on Easter Sunday 1471 the Battle of Barnet was fought during the Wars of the Roses.

We now pass through the delightful village of Monken Hadley with loads of up market houses well out of our price range. But also of great historic interest. These are Wilbraham's Almshouses founded in 1612 for 'six decayed housekeepers'. I imagine their present residents are rather more well to do.

Our next famous resident was David Livingstone. The house itself is nothing special but he is well celebrated even though he only briefly lived in the house before getting lost in Africa. Another house nearby was the home of Fanny Trollope.

Not to be outdone, a bit further down the road (small diversion off the main loop route) this fancy house called Monkenhurst was once the home of comedian Spike Milligan. Quite a neighbourhood and the locals seemed to know a lot more. The house next to Livingstone Cottage was bombed in 1971 by the Angry Brigade while government minister Robert Carr lived there (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkenholt).

Now into the country again on Monken Hadley Common where we stayed for a mile or so.

A little short diversion up some steps from the main path brought a view of the magnificent Beech Hill Lake, known locally as Jack's Lake. Magnificent because it is totally invisible from the path and only comes into view right at the top of the steps. This was probably the highlight of the day and might be somewhere to explore in depth on a future trip. Anyway we soon reached the outskirts of Cockfosters and the day's walking was done. Lunch in the Chippers fish restaurant opposite the station which served all things, not just fish, completed the day then the long trek back down the Piccadilly line back to central London.

Section 16a  →Section 17