London Loop Walk 17 – Cockfosters to Enfield Lock

Finally, the winter is (almost) over, and it’s time to continue my London Loop walk.
The tube seems to take forever to get to Cockfosters, but in reality, it only took 1¼ hours from Orpington!

The London Loop route goes right past the station, so it’s just a case of crossing the station car park road and then it’s countryside!

This is part of Trent Country Park, a lovely and well maintained area that would be worth further exploration (apart from the journey there…).

At the edge of the park is the 20 metre tall Sassoon’s Obelisk erected in 1702.

The path then follows Salmon’s Brook through Enfield Chase, a 12th century royal hunting forest.

Climbing a small hill, Docklands is visible on the skyline in the distance:

A short bit of road and a longish farm track leads to the attractive Hilly Fields Park.

Crossing the next road leads to Forty Hall Park:

The next stretch crosses New River, which used to bring water into East London:

All tranquillity is lost at the Great Cambridge Road (A10), but at least there is a (tall) footbridge to cross it:

From here on, it’s back to suburbia at Turkey Street:

A short walk leads to Enfield Lock station, and the start of the journey home.

9½ miles of London Loop walking today and 3 Geocaches found.

London Loop Walk 18 and 19 – Enfield Lock to Chigwell

For more information on the London Loop, see and



Polstead Friday

A much less active day today; Toby was quite unenthusiastic about his morning walk after the walks yesterday.

But we struggled out for a gentle 4 mile stroll around Polstead in the afternoon.

There were many of what we assumed to be badger setts along one track. They had certainly been busy over the winter, in some places, they’d almost blocked the path.

Dollops (or ‘Bluebell’) woods were as lovely as ever – we shall miss them.

Back to reality tomorrow…


The Only Way Is Essex?

Toby and I were dropped off in Horkesley this morning, with the intention of following the Essex Way long distance footpath to Stratford St Mary.

The roads at the start were very busy with commuters rushing to work, but we reached countryside eventually.

Eventually (after having to walk round a field of cows who really didn’t like Toby) we reached Stratford St Mary and the Stour Valley path that went back towards Polstead on the other side of the valley.

I struggled a bit with this ‘path’ across a freshly ploughed field, but Toby loved it…

15½ miles total, and 27 geocaches found. A busy day!

Stoke by Nayland

Much cooler and windier weather today, so we abandoned plans to visit Dedham Vale (Constable Country) and instead walked to Stoke by Nayland for a lunchtime drink.

Parts of the town are quite old and scenic:

But we headed to the one dog friendly pub, unfortunately a rather upmarket gastropub. Dogs are only allowed in the ‘tap room’ and it was hard work dragging Toby past lots of posh diners to get to it. The small room was packed with dog owners (and their dogs). Good beer and some interesting starters though, and Toby didn’t disgrace himself too much.

It was a nice walk back, albeit on familiar (to me) paths.

As a bonus, the last bit was back through the ‘Bluebell Woods’ close to our cottage – there seem to be even more than when we arrived.

6½ miles on this walk today. And our first geocache of the week!

Tuesday Lunch

We wandered down through the ‘Bluebell Woods’ (as somebody called them) to the village pub for lunch. They had set a table for us in the bar, but it was so nice that we decided to eat outside.

Another excellent meal (and beer). I’d really like to have a pub like that near home (or maybe not!).

Afterwards, we wandered back through the woods to have a gentle slumber in the sunshine.

Toby was also happy as Gemma had a rack of beef for lunch, and he had the bone.


Tuesday Walk

Yet another nice sunny day, so Toby and I get out early for a walk. We head East this time, a mixture of woodland and arable fields.

We did search for a geocache without success, but it was near a road and Toby was getting bored and wandering off.

The path then went through a country estate that has had lots of new money spent on it.
Then back to normal countryside, eventually heading down to the River Box valley, which we followed back to Polstead.

Toby enjoyed playing in the river again!

And back past Polstead Church, resplendent in the sunshine.

9.5 miles this morning.


Monday Walk

Another lazy day today (though less so for Gemma and Lucy as they are hard at work revising). Toby and I went for our morning walk as usual – much colder than yesterday, but dry and occasionally sunny.
After lunch, Tina, Gemma, Toby and I went for a longer walk from the cottage. A lovely variety of different paths and views.

Toby had fun trying to eat fir cones

Later on, he enjoyed getting very wet playing in the ford

All in all, a nice 5 mile walk, and Toby actually slept, albeit briefly!


Polstead Lunch

We walked through the bluebell woods for an excellent lunch in the village pub. The pub was very busy due to the sunny weather, but ‘our’ table had already been reserved, so no problem!
Afterwards, we walked back by a longer route via Polstead Heath.

The blossom can be spectacular at this time of year:

Another 5 miles walked – quite an active Sunday!



Polstead Walk

It’s a lovely sunny day, so Toby and I went for a walk around Polstead while the rest of the family were waking up. It was all on paths that I have walked before, but in different combinations.

Toby enjoyed playing in the ford just down the road.

We then followed the River Box for a bit, then crossed it by a pretty bridge.

Then up the hill to a bench I remembered with great views of the area, including Polstead Church in the distance.

More paths through a variety of woods, fields and forest.

We then walked back through Polstead village and Dollops Wood (full of bluebells) to our cottage.

A nice 5 mile walk to start the day. We’re off to the pub for lunch soon!