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11 May 2019: Waltham Cross & Forty Hill

Event led by Martin T
Attendance: 11 men
Distance: 9.8 miles (15.7 km)
Time: start 11:07, end 15:32, lunch 45 minutes
Terrain: pavement, towpath, field, track, on public highways, footpaths and bridleways.
Elevation: start 22m, high 71m, low 16m
Weather: mainly dry, some light showers, sunny intervals, ~14°C falling to ~7°C with windchill.
Number of sewage works: not sure, possibly 1.  Certainly smelt like a sewage works
Number of churches: 1
Number of bridges with an awful lot of steps: 4
Number of golf courses: 1


This was a circular walk of 9.8 miles from Theobalds Grove railway station, E to the River Lee Navigation, S to Enfield Lock, W to Forty Hall via Turkey Brook, W towards Clay Hill, N then E to Waltham Cross.

This walk was a mix of town and country.  The walk started with a residential area boasting a hotchpotch of properties from all eras - ranging from late Victorian to modern infills, with a predominance of 1960s tributes to the 1930s.  The route included the towpath of the River Lee Navigation, railways, the A10, two posh houses with colourful gardens, the edges of residential estates, a long path alongside the Turkey Brook - a tributary of the Lee, a small vineyard (!), the New River (including the old course), scrubland countryside, the M25 and Cedars Park.

Alongside Turkey Brook, next to Turkey Street station, we found a public work of art, the Turkey Brook Guardian.

Forty Hall and Gardens was a very pleasant lunch spot.  We used benches on the far side of the pond to admire the Forty Hall, occasionally entertained by a family of geese chasing pigeons away from their goslings, and pigeons far more interested in sex than anything else.

We ended the walk very happily surprised that this walk offered so much in spite of its suburban nature, an interesting variant of gritty metroland.


Words by Martin Thornhill and Peter O’Connor.  Pictures by Peter O’Connor.

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