93 – Totteridge short loop 4.3 miles – 21st December

In short: brief but lovely pre-Christmas walk in familiar local beauty spot at Totteridge. Free on-street parking; usual fab cafe. 1 hr 50 mins walking + 45 mins pitstop.

A combination of a shortage of time and filthy weather leads us to a short walk around the lovely Darlands Lake and it’s immediate surroundings in lovely rural Totteridge! We park, as ever, on Great Bushey Drive, postcode N20 8QL.

Heading back to the main road, we turn left and cross at the zebra crossing to take the Dollis Valley Greenwalk footpath as signposted. We follow the footpath as it bends and eventually crosses the brook before heading out of the green space at an iron gate onto Laurel Way, where we turn right.

We cross Longland Drive and continue straight ahead, taking the second turning on the right, Lynton Mead. We then turn left onto Coppice Walk and keep straight ahead taking a footpath off right just after the last of the houses on the right hand side.

We continue ahead through light woodland to Totteridge Green and the duck pond. Here we take the path on the far side of the road behind the duck pond and then down between the fences of the houses on either side – shortly after opening out to the lovely views all around.

At the foot of the hill there is a junction of paths where we bear right across the stream. After crossing the stream we initially continue straight on but the path is horrendously muddy and we turn back to take a path off left through trees alongside a stream.

We cross a trunk across the path – admiring the lovely but slightly misty view on the left.

At the end of this path we carry straight on across the stream and uphill slightly, bearing left towards Darlands Lake. At the bridge we admire the view and then continue on along the path around the lake – keeping the water on our right.

We make a complete circuit of the lake, returning to the bridge…

and now taking the wide grassy path uphill on our left.

At the top of the hill we leave this lovely open space at a gate, turn left onto the path and at the private road we go straight on and out through a gate to the main road. Here we turn right, passing the Orange Tree pub, walking past the primary school and across the green to the road ahead, Greenway, which runs parallel to the main road, Totteridge Lane.

At the end of this road we turn left onto Longland Drive, then right onto Totteridge Lane. Crossing at the zebra crossing we continue up the road, past the tube station to the ever fantastic Waiting Room café. Here we indulge in a delicious early lunch – warm halloumi salad is always a favourite, but the delicious Christmas special toasted sandwich runs it a close second! Yummy coffee and then a short walk back to the car. Perfect pre-Christmas burst of fresh air. Highly recommended as ever!

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