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Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins

The London Loop - Leg 5

A Fenced Path - Moat Mount Open Space

March 2007

The London Loop Leg 5

Elstree & Borehamwood Station to Cockfosters Station

Saturday, 31st March, 2007

The London Loop is a 140 mile walk around London and roughly just inside the M25 (although you do not see it) passing through as many green places as possible such as parks, woods, commons, riverside protected areas and open farmland.

The West Essex Ramblers are covering this in about 10 mile stretches over the period 2006 to 2008.

We are following the path through "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, £13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

Click below for largest image as specified

Some commentary on the photos,

which is also a reflection on the walk

[Road information is just to help identify where we were].

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We started with some road walking. The view (pic 1) was back down Deacon's Hill then a view (pic 2) of the A411. I looked back a number of times today because the Sun was directly in front of us. We crossed the road, passed through Scratch Wood (pic 3) and then came out into an open space (pic 4).

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We left here then entered Thistle Wood which led us to the A1 Trunk Road.

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Disappointingly, the A1 didn’t have a dedicated crossing, so we made a detour of three quarters of a mile to cross it: the A1 (pic 1) looking north. [We had crossed the A1 by a subway].

After a drink stop (by the A1), at the start of Moat Mount Open Space, we walked along a spinney (pic 2) and then along a fenced field (pic 3). There was a pleasant view to our left (pic 4), which faced north west. Some of the time it was veiled by a hedge.

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We turned south down Hendon Wood Lane then turned left into Totteridge Fields. This was the start of a long open space between Totteridge and Barnet before the next information board.

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We continued through Totteridge Fields and beyond, it literally being a series of fields bounded by hedges, then followed Dollis Brook. We saw, amongst other things, this tree (pic 1); a tree in early blossom (pic 2); another tree (pic 3) and finally Dollis Brook (pic 4).

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We crossed Barnet Lane where this information board was sited.

Our route was shown towards the top - we covered (left to right) Scratchwood Open Space; Moat Mount Open Space; Tottereridge Fields; Dollis Brook; Barnet Playing Fields and then went out to the north.

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We went up Underhill and stopped at the Old Red Lion for lunch. It was packed with football supporters, Barnet stadium being a mere hundred yards away. (Barnet 2 Darlington 0 at the match end).

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I found it interesting that a strip of countryside exists between High Barnet and New Barnet. The picture shows our northerly route.

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We reached Meadway, turned right, then followed this and several other side roads until we entered King George's Fields close to Bosworth Road. Look at the Information Board and you will see the Loop marked as a dotted line.

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This picture was taken as we walked through King George's Fields on the way to Hadley Green.

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The Hadley Green information board. Read it - it gives interesting local history.

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We walked north east along the Green, Hadley Green Road.

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Livingstone Cottage at Hadley Green. [Read Hadley Green Info Board].

At the bottom right is an inset picture of a sculpture on the house wall.

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The road curved right and we faced the church of Saint Mary the Virgin with its cresset - ancient iron beacon. Sometimes referred to as the Armada Beacon, it is at the top of the newel turret. [Read Hadley Green info. board].

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A fine view, which typified the local area.

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We walked beside Monken Hadley Common on a tarmac road. At the end we stopped for drinks(pic 1) then headed off down a track over the common (pic 2). The wood was very long and narrow. We crossed a railway (pic 3) and you can see the wood clearly on either side. Soon we were in woods where, unusually, the undergrowth had been cleared and grassed over (pic 4).

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We went over Pymmes Brook, which takes the overflow from the adjacent Beech Hill Lake, although we did not climb the bank to view the lake. Locally it is known as Jack's Lake.

Apparently there is a walk - The Pymmes Brook Trail - which starts around here and goes to Pickets Lock where it joins the river Lee. Click here for a gallery - not ours.

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Near the eastern end of Monken Hadley Common just before houses appeared on our right.

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Opposite the houses, daffodils had been planted in the grass beneath the trees.

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Finally the Monken Hadley Common information board which is a third of a mile, by lanes, from Cockfosters Station. With reference to the board, we had walked the lower road (left); the bridleway below the footpath (centre); and were now on the short road (right).