London Loop: 1. Enfield Lock To Chigwell

M@
By M@ Last edited 109 months ago
London Loop: 1. Enfield Lock To Chigwell
We cross the Central Line tracks north of Buckhurst Hill. The arrival of the Tube in these parts led to the rapid growth of many small hamlets, but the area retains an air of the countryside.
We cross the Central Line tracks north of Buckhurst Hill. The arrival of the Tube in these parts led to the rapid growth of many small hamlets, but the area retains an air of the countryside.
The beautiful village of Chigwell is our final destination. Tubes into London run every 15 minutes off-peak.
The beautiful village of Chigwell is our final destination. Tubes into London run every 15 minutes off-peak.
We emerge onto Chingford Plain, a wide open space for picnics and flying radio controlled vehicles.
We emerge onto Chingford Plain, a wide open space for picnics and flying radio controlled vehicles.
After a suburban trek through Enfield (full-blast reggae, faint smell of dog turd, too much sky), we turn left along Turkey Brook, which leads to the somewhat dilapidated Enfield Lock.
After a suburban trek through Enfield (full-blast reggae, faint smell of dog turd, too much sky), we turn left along Turkey Brook, which leads to the somewhat dilapidated Enfield Lock.
We descend into Epping Forest.
We descend into Epping Forest.
Gilwell Park is the international centre of the Scouting movement. Acres of adventure playgrounds and outward bound youths.
Gilwell Park is the international centre of the Scouting movement. Acres of adventure playgrounds and outward bound youths.
Carroll's Farm on Daws Hill is a picture perfect Essex weatherboard house.
Carroll's Farm on Daws Hill is a picture perfect Essex weatherboard house.
We cross meadowland and scale the Sewardstone Hills to achieve this view of the vast King George's Reservoir. The four tower blocks mark the Alma Road estate in Ponders End.
We cross meadowland and scale the Sewardstone Hills to achieve this view of the vast King George's Reservoir. The four tower blocks mark the Alma Road estate in Ponders End.
The Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge sits above Chingford Plain. The 16th Century building was a Tudor hunting base. It is freely open to the public for free. You can handle a crossbow, try your hand at Tudor joinery and dress up as Sir Walter Raleigh.
The River Roding flows parallel to the M11. The neighbouring lake is a modern creation, dug out to provide gravel for the motorway.
The River Roding flows parallel to the M11. The neighbouring lake is a modern creation, dug out to provide gravel for the motorway.
The silence of the forest is disturbed by a race.
The silence of the forest is disturbed by a race.
Preposterously cute little horses on the banks of the River Lea.
Preposterously cute little horses on the banks of the River Lea.
A series of water courses and bridges leads out to the River Lea, where we found this sunken living room.
A series of water courses and bridges leads out to the River Lea, where we found this sunken living room.
Crossing Rangers Road, we look back towards the hunting lodge and mock-Tudor pub buildings. We recommend the small refreshment booth, which sells a cracking cup of tea for just 70p.
Crossing Rangers Road, we look back towards the hunting lodge and mock-Tudor pub buildings. We recommend the small refreshment booth, which sells a cracking cup of tea for just 70p.

The London Loop is a 140-mile walking path that encircles London. Described as the 'walker's M25', it cuts through historic greenbelt, ancient villages and modern suburbs, all within 30 minutes reach of Zone 1. We twice-blessed Londoners can live in one of the world's cultural capitals while enjoying the natural and landscaped surroundings on our very doorsteps. So, as spring arrives, we embark on a year-long mission to walk right around the capital via the London Loop. A bit like what Iain Sinclair did, only with more pictures, a Google Map and no complex prose to wade through.

To start, we're heading north to Enfield Lock. The Loop runs eastward, through the ancient village of Sewardstone (now mostly garden centres), through Epping Forest to Chingford, and thence on to Buckhurst Hill and the Roding Valley, finishing at Chigwell; a journey of nearly 9 miles.

We're going to let the pictures (and their captions) do the talking, as no written account could do these walks justice. Better yet, get the guide or download individual sections, and get walking. There's so much more to London than even we thought.

Last Updated 22 March 2009

AndrewS

Good luck - the London Loop is not as scenic as this all the way round.

Purplestripedsock

If you now have a taste for Urban Rambling, I can also recommend the Capital Ring but have to laugh and agree with AndrewS, you picked a nice starting point and good luck with the industrial wastelands.

M@

Hey, it's all good stuff. I love a nice industrial estate as much as a butterfly meadow.

steve_w

There's (inevitably) a Flickr group for the London Loop path photos...