33 – High Barnet to Cockfosters, revisited, 8 miles – 28th September

In short: a lovely there & back walk with surprisingly rural views for such a suburban location. The first time we’ve actually done this walk when it’s been dry underfoot – super cafe and serviceable public toilets at the halfway point, in Trent Park. 2 hrs 55 mins walking + 30 mins pitstop.

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Quite unbelievably the sun is shining yet again this Wednesday morning and we decide to head back to redo this lovely section of the London Loop that we last walked on 21st March.

We park, as before, on Potters Lane, close to High Barnet tube station, postcode EN5 5BZ. We make use of the small lay-by on the left at the start of this road as we did last time. We continue on up Potters Lane away from the High Road and just after passing a crescent of almshouses on our right we take the path left through the gap in the hedge. This is waymarked for the London Loop but is easy to miss.

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The path heads across an open green space with the railway over on our left and the backs of houses on our right. We come out onto a little spur road onto Meadway where we turn right. We then take the second turning on the left, Burnside Close, and the subsequent footpath at the end of this road. We turn left onto a path just before the end of the next road, pass some bushes on our left, go through a large gap in the hedgerow to find ourselves at the bottom of a hill with a wide grassy path ahead.

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This is the surprisingly beautiful section – with gorgeous rolling green hills over to our right – quite unbelievable how close we are to the underground and suburban London life.

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At the top of the hill we go through a gate and turn right at the road, Hadley Common, crossing to the far side to walk along the path. We pass some lovely houses and then a row of workers cottages where the road bends right and becomes Hadley Green Road. We continue past the church and beside a large white wooden gate.

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Passing the common on the left side of the road we cross just after the pond and turn right to take the path parallel to the road which bisects the common here.

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The path heads gently downhill to the woods ahead and we enter them on this central path.

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We continue on this path through the trees, more or less following a brook on our right. The path isn’t particularly clear here but the woods are bounded to the right by the road and as long as we are broadly parallel to that we can’t go wrong.

img_2363Emerging eventually into a clearing we turn right and come out at a small car park where we turn left to take a path that soon crosses the railway line ahead.

Just after the bridge we take a right fork and head through more woodland, continuing all this way on the London Loop.

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We ignore paths off right and left until we come to a patch where the trees are more spread out.

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Shortly after we find ourselves on a path running alongside a road, Games Road, but we remain amongst the trees here until we arrive on a small patch of common and the path eventually meets with the road. We continue on, bearing left, passing alongside another white wooden gate and then the Cock Inn on our right.

Here we turn left onto Chalk Lane which leads us out to the main road, Cockfosters Road, where we cross carefully at the island and turn right. We immediately turn left through the entrance gate of Trent Park and walk along the lane leading up to the car park, toilets and cafe ahead.

Here we make use of the clean, functional public toilets and take an outside table at the lovely cafe to enjoy a delicious scone and coffee in the warm September sunshine.

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After a pitstop and a gossip we return the way we came. This time, after passing over the railway bridge and crossing the small car park we take the London Loop signed path on our right and keep to a path which runs parallel to the road but closer than the one we were previously on.

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Descending the hill from Hadley Common back towards High Barnet we have a super city skyline on the horizon ahead of us – albeit the weather is closing in a little now and the view now obscured in the gathering greyness.

The return leg is a lot quicker than the outward one as it is mostly downhill, and before long we are back at the car with a delightful 8 miles in our legs. Another local hidden treasure – well worth regular return trips!

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