In short: an old favourite, Trent Park and Enfield Chase so woodland, fields and beautiful views. Not at all muddy but some rough ground so walking boots or sturdy trainers both fine. Clean, efficient public toilets and delightful cafe at the end. 2 hrs 20 mins walking + 30 mins pitstop.
A welcome return to an old favourite today…lovely lovely Trent Park, postcode EN4 0DZ for plenty of free parking.
This is essentially the exact same walk as number 14, about a year ago, although we did try to vary it a little, looking for a path we could see on the Ordnance Survey map but unsuccessfully.
After parking we make use of the clean and efficient public toilets (very cold water though!) and head out of the car park past the cafe, taking the path just behind the mobile refreshment van and through the trees. It seems that someone has cleared away the undergrowth since we were last here as there is a much more open feel to these woods now.
This pretty path heads slightly downhill and then curves right before heading out of the woods over a small wooden footbridge and onto a path with a hedgerow left and a meadow on the right.
At the end of this path we reach a T-junction of paths where we turn left – but looking sharp left here we notice a gate onto a field with a gorgeous view that we’ve never noticed before.
We continue on our path, ignoring a path off left, passing a picturesque lake on our right.
We pass a wide grassy path off left heading up to an obelisk at the top of the hill and at the next junction of paths we take the left, heading uphill through sparse woodland. At the top of the hill we take stock of the lovely rolling views behind us:
We ignore a path off right and bear left at a junction following the London Loop sign here. After a very short while this path bends right towards the road, Ferny Hill, and we pass through a gate to walk left along the verge – here with a view to our left of the back of the obelisk:
We cross the road to a lay-by on the far side and take the footpath heading downhill right here beside a hedgerow to the bottom of the large field. Immediately we are transported to the countryside with peaceful rural views all around – it really is astonishing.
Finally at the bottom of the hill we turn right and follow the path beside the brook. This time last year this path was almost impassably muddy – today it’s dry as a bone but testament to how wet the winter and early spring have been it’s pretty uneven and we are glad of decent boots.
At the end of the first field the path bends right and then left again to pass a second field before we cross the brook and the path now follows to the right of the brook and hedgerow with a field on our left. Shortly after, the path widens considerably to the width of a farm track and we walk beside fields of horses, cows and then a duckpond before climbing a stile to continue beside an electric fence. At the end of this last field the path turns left and we climb the side of this field to a wood ahead of us and to our right. Here we enter at a gate – clearly marked with a footpath sign.
The path wiggles through the woods – again revoltingly muddy last year but dry and somewhat rutted today – leading out onto the left hand side of a field with a fairly busy road, The Ridgeway, on our left. We admire the views to our right across to the London skyscrapers in the far distance and shortly after leave the field as directed over a stile where we turn right to walk along the verge.
Soon after passing the Enfield Chace hotel we turn right onto Oak Avenue and then right again at the bottom onto Hadley Road. We are hunting for a lane off left which would lead through to a path marked on the Ordnance Survey map and thereby cut off the least pleasant part of this walk, the 10 minutes or so of road walking here.
Unfortunately there isn’t a way through from here though so we continue to the woods on the far side of the road which we enter at the corner via a stile.
We head left on a bridleway downhill with a field over on our left until at the bottom we cross a bridge and bear right uphill, still in lovely woodland.
At the junction of paths at the top of this rise we peek left to see if this gives us a clue about the mystery path but unfortunately no luck. So we continue along our usual route straight ahead at the junction shortly coming onto a paved lane running past the remnants of the old university buildings on our right. We have a good old nose at the builders’ plans on a noticeboard which look promising – albeit we have no idea of a timescale or the level of disruption involved.
Just as we reach an access road on our left we turn right past the animal rescue centre and cross the main entrance driveways to the old house to our right. We continue straight on here into light woodland again and past a lovely clump of bluebells on our left.
There isn’t a single clear path through the trees here but we head broadly downhill and leftish till we arrive at the causeway between two lakes which we cross and turn left onto the path. We are now heading back the way we came past the last lake on our left and then right at the meadow towards the woods.
We walk back through the woods and emerge at the cafe where we enjoy a fresh and lovely sandwich with a very generous portion of salad on the side plus a super coffee. All round fabulous morning – we really mustn’t take this gorgeous walk for granted!!