LONDON LOOP STAGE 10
Moor Park to Elstree
I walked this section on the 30th June 2005. I arrived at Moor Park station until about 12:30, much later than I usually start a walk. It had been raining quite heavily in the morning although while I was out it was mainly dry apart from one small shower, not long before I got to Elstree Station. This walk was notable as it was the first proper walk that I wore my new leather walking boots. Usually walking around London I wear my lightweight walking boots but I knew my feet would get soaked from all the rain there had been earlier. Although the new boots did not rub anywhere or cause any blisters, after walking the Thames Downs Link path yesterday my feet felt very tired and the soles of my feet quite painful, almost as soon as I began walking the stage. I think this is due to the soles of the new boots being very stiff and inflexible at the moment rather than due to any lack of padding. I had packed my old boots in my rucksack just in case the new ones got really painful but there is only one way to get the new ones worn in so I didn't use them. It will be interesting to see how my feet feel next time I wear them.
The walk sets off from Moor Park station walking in woodland besides the tube line before reaching some open space besides the Sandy Lodge golf course. The first three photos above were taken in quick succession. The first one shows a tube on the line, the second some cinnabar months on a thistle in the grassland and the third a slightly more distant view back towards Moor Park. The first golf course of the day is then reached. Walking this stage on a damp, cloudy midweek day was probably ideal as it meant that the golf courses I crossed, there are three on this stage, were all pretty deserted.
The A4125 is then crossed passing through a small wooded section, in which I got quite soaked from the wet greenery, before reaching an area of open grassland, photo four. A short stretch of road walking past houses then leads to Oxhey Woods, photo five which the London Loop path then follows for some distance along very pleasant paths. Not long after the B4542 is crossed some official London Loop signposting reappears, photo six, although the signposts are very intermittent in nature. The photo also shows how overgrown some stretches of the path are, the loop sign pointing into a thicket of brambles. Photo seven also shows Oxhey woods and photo eight was taken on the footpath near Hatch End which was completely overgrown which made walking rather difficult, brambles and stinging nettles were a bit of a feature on this walk.
A stretch of road walking along the B4542 leads to the A4008 which is crossed and then a path leads up to the second golf course of the day, the Grimsdyke Golf course. Photo nine, below, shows a panel describing the Grim's dyke although it was too dark and overgrown to get a decent photo of the dyke itself.
Photo ten is of the view across North London towards Harrow from Old Redding, there were several points on this stage of the walk that offered good views towards central London. It was probably on stage five that similar views were last seen, although from a very different aspect, looking North rather than South on that occasion. The path then crosses the A4140 and skirts round the barbed wire fences of Bentley Priory on a long concrete path, photo eleven. At least this wasn't overgrown and made for easy walking. The park itself was quite interesting with good views in places. There was a herd of cattle grazing, numerous rabbits about and I also saw a large number of baby frogs hopping all over the place. Photo twelve was taken from the Harrow Weald ridge looking down across the M1, a clear marker of the walks eastwards progress. I had quite a long rest near here before crossing under the M1, over the A41, signposted 14 miles to central London, and tackling the road section along the A411 to the Aldenham Reservoir, photo thirteen. The roads were very busy as it was rush hour and the A41 took some time to cross safely. The final photo was taken just past the reservoir on the path towards the A5183, the final golf course of the day and Elstree itself.
My tired feet, and the occasional overgrown section of paths meant I had walked this stage very slowly and it was 6.00pm when I got to Elstree station. The GPS made this stage, including the links to the stations, 11.7 miles long.
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