09 May, 2006

Hendon to Highgate – Walk 11 of the Capital Ring.

One of the nicest walks so far in many ways and especially on the domestic architecture front. So it should be as it incorporates Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Starting at Hendon Park I took a walk to Brent Park. This was not clearly signposted and I did get slightly lost on the way. Brent Park was tatty it just looked like waste ground but the 1000 year old duck decoy lake was interesting to see as were the little pillars (like a fallen down bridge) over the Brent River. This led me to the mutton brook and eventually to Hampstead Garden Suburb, a model suburb, laid out by Parker and Unwin.

The suburb is the forerunner of 1920s council estates but unlike these the suburb has had money spent on it and consequently is a very pleasant place indeed. The Lyttleton Playing Fields had an interesting 1930s pavilion (see Picture) and the walk to East Finchley station passed through a 1930s development with a little green area in the middle of it (see picture).

lyttleton Pavillion Posted by Picasa

beauty in suburbia Posted by Picasa

East Finchley station has a sculpture of an archer on it to symbolise rapid transport. Ironic it should be on the Misery line but the extension to East Finchley must have seemed rapid when it was built.

Cherry Tree Wood (formerly Dirthouse Wood as it was where London’s night soil was dumped) is more of the ancient Middlesex woodlands. This is a nice park and somewhat unexpected in the middle of the traffic on the Great North Road.

Highgate wood is where the Capital Ring was launched in 2005 and there is a commemorative plaque. The City Corporation has opened a café there which was very busy. The whole wood was thronged with people unlike the nearby Queens Wood which was so peaceful I sat in it for a good quarter of an hour and saw nobody!

Highgate station represented journey’s end – for now at least.

Capital Ring inaugauration plaque Posted by Picasa

No comments: