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Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins

The London Loop - Leg 7

Enfield Lock Station to Chigwell Station

Two walkers on the lower slopes of Epping Forest

May 2007

The London Loop Leg 7

Enfield Lock Station to Chigwell Station

Saturday, 26th May, 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 covered this in about 10 mile stretches over the period 2006 to 2008.

We followed the path using "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 left Enfield Lock Station then walked to the end of a side road. From this bridge, which spans Turkey Brook, we headed east towards the Lee.

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There were five waters to cross, all essentially the Lee. The first is just before the A1055, Mollison Avenue, where we crossed the river and road. Shortly, we reached the Lee & Stort Navigations which flow downstream west of King George's Reservoir and Enfield Lock which gave the area its name. Soon we came to the spot where the River Lee and the Navigation branch - they later rejoin to form Enfield Island Village. The River Lee flows downstream east of King George's Reservoir.  

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An information board about Lee Valley Park. (The rivers we crossed were shown as one blue line).

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Looking north, this is a weir on the branched River Lee with Enfield Island Village on our right.

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We walked along the river with Enfield Island Village on our left (Image 1), crossed over the bridge (Image 2), saw the, grade 2 listed, King George V Pumping Station (image 3) before crossing the River Lee (Image 4) - photo looking West.

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After a vegetative area, we crossed Sewardstone Road then began a gentle climb to the higher ridge of Epping Forest.

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From our viewpoint, below us we could see the valley to the north west. In the centre were greenhouses and higher up was Sainsbury's enormous distribution centre (on the M25).

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A little higher, at Barn Hill, a beautiful horse stood in foreground with a backdrop of the valley and its reservoirs - picture looking south west.

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We reached Daws Hill Road near this picturesque house and pond (Image 1). Crossing the road we continued to Gilwell Park - the headquarters of the Scouting Movement (Image 2). In the grounds is the Whitehouse a 17th century, Grade 2 listed building (Image 3).  A balustrade, which was salvaged from London Bridge when it was demolished in 1923, can be found in the garden around the back.

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We left Gilwell and continued east. Here two walkers (Image 1) followed the path through bushes to the start of a hill (Image 2). Our next path passed through the trees of Epping forest (Image 3). We re-crossed what was Daws Hill Road, now Bury Road, and continued to the Royal Forest Hotel. This horse rider overtook us (Image 4).

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Lunch was in the vicinity of the Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford.

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Next to The Royal Forest Hotel is Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. This historic building was used for viewing hunts which took place on Chingford Plain below.

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Opposite the Hotel and Lodge (over the A1069, Rangers Road), we continued to another information board. It is readable in the larger image and is worth studying.

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The Forest Ramblers' Club started in 1884! This stone commemorates its centenary (Image 1). The three oaks, like many others around here, have reached a good age (top right image) . We continued through the woods, up the hill (opposite Connaught Water), through a field of long grass (lower left Image) then passed this tree (lower right Image) - which was still alive.

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Still gently climbing, everyone seems to be here.

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We circled this cricket match (Image 1), on the edge of the A121, High Road, Buckhurst Hill. After crossing over, a little road walking took us to a bush lined path (Image 2) which led to a field  by the railway (Image 3). As we crossed the bridge, a train sped north to Loughton.

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We went through a housing estate, but were soon walking by a lake in Roding Valley - many were deep in conversation.

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The lake again.

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This was taken from a footbridge over the Roding. The image was quite dark, but I used a little Photoshop to lighten it.

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More countryside then we crossed the M11 (Image 1) before we took a diversion (it was nicer) along pleasant roads and passing the house of television's ‘The Apprentice’. Next came Metropolitan Police's Chigwell Sports Ground (Images 2, 3 & 4). Chigwell Station was down the road indicating the end of this section of the walk.