16 September, 2006

Cockfosters to Turkey Street: a stroll along the Turkey Brook London Loop Sect 17.

This section is a part of the Loop that manages to miss out almost all of the worthwhile sights as it meanders along the Turkey Brook.

The first part after the car park and cemetery runs through Trent Park which contains an obelisk to the memory of the duke of Gloucester and another one built as an eyecatcher in the landscape. It certainly does catch the eye, but the loop does not pass it, except from a distance. In the middle of summer here you can’t see the house at Trent Park, which is a campus of Middlesex university, because all the trees are in the way. Another sight missed.

The loop then takes in some pleasant open fields where there were cows grazing. They came over to see who was wandering round the edge of their field. Here’s a picture of one of them

The next section was a lot more of the same although the fields were empty, except for a few horses. I got slightly lost here and walked up a farm track towards Botany Bay cottages, but soon got back on the loop again through a memorial plantation called Brooke Wood, although I don’t know whose (or what’s) memorial it was – Mr or Mrs Brooke or Brooke the racehorse – could be any of those. Although the Ordnance Survey map says it is on Cuckold’s Hill, so I wonder if there’s a story there?

Here’s a picture of the farm.
The path came out at a road called the Ridgeway and there I broke to search for lunch – it seemed quite a long search to a shop but I found one.

After lunch the next section led me down a drive to a farm and a mini version of Beckingham Palace called the Red House stuck in the country. Hilly Fields Park is rather pretty with the Turkey Brook running through it and wooded valleys including a bandstand in the valley.

I crossed a hazardous road into the grounds of Forty Hall which is another interesting place the loop misses. I don’t have time on these trips to do these things as I need to get the walk done! The old channel of the New River runs through here almost completely dried up. We met the end of the new river on the Capital Ring at Clissold Park. The new river isn’t either new or a river but is still quenching the thirst of Londoners after 400 years. The course was straightened in the 1850s and the old channels were left to their own devices. The path led by a fishing lake in Forty Hall grounds, then comes out near a Thames Water establishment which IS the New River which ducks under the Turkey Brook at this point. I crossed a road by a foot bridge (no hazards here) then walked by a cemetery and crematorium into a suburban street – yes, you guessed it – Turkey Street. The station was waiting for me so I left the loop at this point and joined Co√∂perative member and staff at the Thames Festival, which was thronged! Posted by Picasa

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