76 – Totteridge circular 5.7 miles – 16th August

In short: introducing an old familiar route to a new friend. Lovely as ever. Free on-street parking, toilets and lovely lunch at the usual super cafe at the end. 1hr 45 mins walking + 40 mins pitstop.

A cloudy but dry day, so walking boots in use but trainers would be fine. We park on Great Bushey Drive, postcode N20 8QL and immediately return to the main road, Totteridge Lane, which we cross and continue straight on along Longland Drive.

We turn left at a gap between a couple of houses onto Whetstone Stray, where we turn immediately right to follow the wide grassy strip here. At the junction there is a small but very wet patch which we circumnavigate successfully. We follow this straight path, behind the backs of houses on our right and with a line of trees and bushes on our left until we eventually join up with the Dollis Valley Greenwalk arriving from our left.

At the gate we turn right onto Laurel Way, continue straight on at the crossroads ahead and then take the second on the right, Lynton Mead. We then turn left onto Coppice Walk and just before the end of this road we take a path off right between the bushes and pick up a path parallel to the road initially which brings us out onto Totteridge Green. We cross the road here, taking the path opposite which bears left in front of the houses towards the duck pond.

The path bends right in front of the pond and then runs away between fences and ultimately out to the wide open spaces and downhill between hedgerows with expansive views on both sides.

At the foot of the hill the path bends right – we ignore the path running straight on – and then also ignoring paths off right and left we continue straight on to take the lovely path with trees on both sides.

This path eventually brings us out beside a farm entrance and we are here on Burtonhole Lane. We pass the farm buildings on our right, a cricket ground on the left and then a couple of houses and then bear right to take the lane towards Finchley Nurseries.

We pass the nursery on our left and continue to the end of this lane – heading straight towards a gate to a private residence. Just in front of the gate there is a public footpath off to the right which we take and soon find ourselves on a path with farmland to the left and a hedgerow bordering a stream on our right.

When we come to a junction of paths we continue straight on diagonally across a field to a line of trees and a kissing gate ahead.

Here we continue on a tree-lined path and just as we enter some woodland we take a path off right – across a wooden bridge over a patch of mud – and through the trees to bear left onto the path around Darlands Lake.

We track to the north of the lake until we reach the bridge where we take a breather to enjoy the view back across the lake.

We turn back on ourselves and take the path directly ahead – the lovely wide grassy one heading uphill away from the lake.

We enjoy the views all around before heading out left at the top through a gate onto a track.

At the end of this track we find ourselves on a private road and then head out through a gate towards the main road, Totteridge Lane. Here we turn right, past the Orange Tree pub and then the primary school. Turning right around the school we take a path across the green towards the houses ahead and so we join the end of the suburban road, Greenway, which we walk along to its end. Here we turn left onto Longland Drive and then right onto Totteridge Lane to head past the tube station to one of my favourite cafes – The Waiting Room.

I introduce my good friend to the delicious halloumi and roasted veg salad and we round our pitstop off with a yummy coffee. Fabulous as ever. We make use of the perfectly clean facilities and head back along Totteridge Lane and then right onto Great Bushey Drive to where the car is parked.

Always fun to show such a lovely local beauty spot – together with amazing cafe – to a new friend – really enjoyable!

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