London Loop Walk 1:
Enfield Lock to Chigwell
14 January 2006
The London Loop (London Outer Orbital Path) is, as its name says, a path around
the outside of London of around 240 kilometres (150 miles). Officially it starts
at Erith on the south bank of the Thames, but I decided that I would start at
Enfield Lock, our nearest official stage starting point. If I do all of it, I
don't want to finish at Coldharbour Point, which sounds anticlimactic, and
finishing back at Enfield, through some familiar territory, sounds interesting. I
also started at Enfield Lock itself, rather than at the railway station, as that
isn't an inspiring finishing point, either. Whether I will walk it all remains
to be seen, but it is an interesting project.
The 24 stages vary from 6 to 17 kilometres each - this morning I did two of the
shortest stages: most of section 18 from Enfield Lock to Chingford, and section
19 from Chingford to Chigwell.
As I leave the car park, the first of many London Loop signs points the way
Having crossed Sewardstone Road, we climb Barn Hill, with views on this hazy
morning across King George's Reservoir.
These reservoirs together supply about a quarter of London's drinking water.
This varied route takes us through the site of the Scout Association's national
Green lane on Yardley Hill
Fungi on Yardley Hill
Golfers on Chingford golf course. By ancient law, all golfers on this course
must wear bright red.
The rear of the modern Royal Forest pub
The much more ancient
Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge at Chingford dates from 1543
Looking back down the ride from Chingford
Houses on the northern edge of Buckhurst Hill
George meets a tricolour Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, called Rupert, who
had escaped from his owner.
To prove it is still London, we cross the Underground - Central Line.
This lake next to the River Roding is a flooded gravel pit created during the
construction of the nearby M11 motorway and now forming part of a recreational
area with walks and sports fields.
Crossing the M11 as we approach Chigwell.
Section 18: 6.1km, 1 hour 30 minutes, 127 metres of ascent
Section 19: 5.9km, 1 hour 40 minutes, 92 metres of ascent
An enjoyable morning, and enough to make me want to do the next stage.
here we come!