Dave Sergeant

This circular walk north of Enfield from Inner London Ramblers explores the area north of Enfield, across the M25 and into Hertfordshire and Cheshunt. Another of their longer walks which because of its distance from home had really to be done during the summer months. As it happens I only partially completed the walk today.

The walk starts and finishes at Gordon Hill station, on the Great Northern line which I joined at Highbury and Islington. A good journey but it was 1115 when I got there. A short stretch of streets to reach Lavender Hill Cemetry and the urbanisation stops.

It is a pleasant cemetery opened in 1872. A large Anglican chapel and a nearby one for non-conformatists. The walk goes through the cemetery exiting via a very small gate the other side into Cooks Hole Road.

This narrow lane with the occasional vehicle leads to Hillyfields Park, crossing the Turkey Brook and briefly following London Loop section 17.

The path continues and eventually meets a junction on Strayfield Road. Here is St John the Baptist's Church and a weatherboarded former pub dating from the sixteenth century.

Crossing over I enter Flash Lane. Initially a road leading to a scattering of houses and a farm it becomes more narrower and eventually a track through the woods. A horse in an adjacent field eventually decided to pose for me.

The Flash Lane Aquaduct was built in 1820 to carry a now-bypassed section of the New River over Cuffley Brook. The route continues through Whitewebbs Wood and approaches Whitewebbs Road.

Here I continue through the woods parallel to the road until Whitewebbs Park is reached where there is a large pond.

After a while the path reaches the carpark of the King and Tanker and out to the now Whitewebbs Lane. I had pencilled this in as a possible lunch stop but it was still a bit early so carried on. The busy road was crossed and then a stile signposted to Cheshunt. This stile was one of the better maintained ones today.

The path to Cheshunt is suddenly very overgrown and for the next mile or so I had to fight through nettles and thistles. Is this really the path I thought but the appearance of the next stile, hidden in the jungle, confirmed I was on the right route. Clearly not used that much. Eventually open fields are reached. There is now a longish treck across rising ground towards the M25 whose noise was getting increasingly loud.

The roar of the motorway is crossed via a huge footbridge with steep steps and seemed a big expense for the occasional walker. From the top there is a good view back to central London, the Shard and Canary Wharf.

Once over and peace slowly returning I again had to fight through a jungle of unmaintained footpath. Coming out in the clear again I reached the pleasant Theobald's Manor, a Queen Anne style house. Then skirting around Home Wood to reach a field with a gate that had seen better days. Across the field of newly harvested stubble, the gate across the stream the opposite side was virtually impossible, I had to gingerly lower myself under a wooden railing and navigate the deep fortunately dry gully beyond.

The path skirts the buildings of Broadfield Farm before crossing a busy dual carriageway via Barrow Lane. At the opposite side is Cheshunt Cemetery with old and new sections. Now a longish section through suburban streets and Dark Lane to reach Goff's Lane, passing a school.

Then across grassland to St Mary's church and its pleasant graveyard. The Green Dragon is an ancient coaching inn dating from the 16th century but is now flats. I stopped now for lunch which I had at the Crocodile a little further down College Road, which was a nice refreshing break.

The walk should from here have continued along the New River and eventually back to Gordon Hill. But I found access to the towpath there was closed due to works going on. The notice suggested a diversion but that was hard to follow and in any case was a lengthy stretch of urban roads so I decided to call it a halt there. From my map I found my way to Theobalds Grove station on London Overground a mile or so away so took that back to central London and home at around 6.30pm after another most enjoyable day. I will revisit the next section a little time ahead when I know the New River is open.

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