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 17 - Cockfosters to Enfield Lock - August 8th 2019

Section 16b  →Section 18

Yesterday I did the next part of the London Loop, section 17 from Cockfosters to Enfield Lock (the station, the lock itself is next time). A longish leg at around 9 miles but the last long one in my travels. Thursday certainly looked the best day for the weather and so it was, shirt sleeves and sun hat on, quite warm later on. After an uneventful trip up on the train and tube (train arrived at Waterloo two minutes early which must be a record) I set off where we had left last time at Cockfosters Picadilly Line station.

Apart from half a mile at the end through the suburban streets of Enfield this leg was almost entirely in the country. Just a few yards from leaving the station the path went into woodland, Church Wood, interspersed with meadows and through Trent Park. A popular leisure place and at times very busy but fairly quiet today.

Here is the car park and main entrance to Trent Park with the first of two obelisks, the little one, dedicated to various Dukes and Duchesses of Kent. Then a pleasant stroll through Oak Wood, still within Trent Park. Passing a couple of large ponds the route continues through Enfield Chase where a couple of short diversions came to this:

Camlet Moat, on Camlet Hill, a scheduled ancient monument, is thought to have been the seat of Geoffrey de Mandeville during the reign of William the Conqueror. There are no remains of the mansion but it was worth the detour.

Then the second of the obelisks, the much bigger one which I had earlier photographed on zoom down the hill. A friendly chap offered to take a photo of me by it and then told me that the once owner of Trent Park mansion (now owned by Middlesex University) at the bottom of the hill insisted that all the trees had to be kept pruned so that he could see the obelisk when he drew his curtains in the morning. Indeed there was an excellent view of the mansion from there.

We press on, and after a very short bit of road pass through Ash Wood and pick up Salmon's Brook, a tributary of the River Lea but at this point stone dry. A very long walk along the side of the dried up brook goes through farm fields where it was hard going through newly cut stubble and in one place a jungle of undergrowth, eventually emerging on the A1005 Ridgway. The path continues and picks up the Turkey Brook near its source and then through Clay Hill and Hilly Field Park.

Eventually reached my lunch stop, the only sensible one on this leg. The Rose and Crown is a listed building and dates back to at least 1850. Trip Advisor reviews were mixed but my lunch was excellent. If you were a beer drinker though you would be disappointed as they had run out of everything but Fosters. I made do with an orange and it was probably better for me.

Suitably refreshed, the loop then continues through the very pleasant Forty Hall Park which is a heritage trail and had various poster signs telling us relevant facts. Turkey Brook is now a significant stream. Fairly busy with walkers and cyclists, but it seems no Loopers. Forty Hall near by is a local attraction but I had no time to make the detour.

There are a couple of large lakes in the park , very picturesque. Then passed the New River, which I had previously seen on a Capital Ring walk - at this point in a culvert so invisible, it used to follow a different route also passed (old New River, which seems a bit odd for something that is not new and not a river in the first place). After this I crossed the busy A10 via a footbridge kindly provided, passed Enfield Cemetery, and another short stretch of the Turkey Brook to reach Enfield Lock station where I caught a train back to Liverpool Street. A longish day, getting home around 6.30, but very enjoyable.

Section 16b  →Section 18