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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

London Loop: Day 11: Elstree to Cockfosters

Scratch Wood
Scratch Wood

The first hour of this walk is dismal, and is probably the least interesting section on the entire Loop, but persevere and the rewards are there. The last three miles from Barnet to Cockfosters are sublime, so if you're not too fussed about completing the whole Loop and fancy a good long day walk, you could do worse than start at High Barnet station and walk all the way through to the end of day 12. It's one way of chopping out the first bit, anyway.

Crossing Barnet

Livingstone Cottage in Hadley
Livingstone Cottage in Hadley

Unfortunately the rural plodding alongside the trickling Dollis Brook doesn't last forever, and Barnet gets in the way. The houses of outer Barnet appear pretty suddenly and the Loop has to go right through town to get to the treats on the other side, but although this is a pretty long suburban section, it's not without its interesting side. Remember day 7 when the Loop passes through the entire British class system as it winds from Kingston to Donkey Wood? Well, the Loop section through Barnet is similar but in reverse, and it's over a much smaller distance.

Beech Hill Lake
The popular fishing spot of Beech Hill Lake is not far from Cockfosters