Despite the challenges of a rail drivers’ strike on some lines and signal problems at Kings Cross, 17 poly ramblers, including some new members, assembled at Hadley Wood station for the start of a 7 mile walk to Brookmans Park.  After recent heavy rain, the weather looked as though it would be dry for most of the day and fortunately it stayed that way.  Andrew joined us half-way along the walk making our numbers up to 18.  This is a walk that despite its brevity, is a varied walk and a good one to do when the days are short and the weather unreliable.

Leaving the village of Hadley Wood with its large detached houses, we set out across fields carefully navigating our way across 2 major roads taking heavy traffic out of London to the M25.  Thankfully our path went under the M25 and as we entered the ancient wood of Northaw we began to leave behind us the drone of traffic.  Although rapidly losing their leaves, some of the trees were still clinging on to their beautiful autumn colours.  It wasn’t long before we reached the village of Northaw where we stopped for lunch at the Two Brewers pub.  Both food and service were very good.  Those who had brought their own lunches, joined the rest of us at the pub for drinks.

After sitting inside a warm pub for an hour, the temperature seemed to have dropped a couple of degree when we emerged outside to re-start the walk.  Our walk initially took us along a road through the village and then we struck out along a path that thankfully was not as muddy and slippy as I’ve experienced it in the past.  We eventually reached The Folly Arch, an old fake gated brick archway, which is all that remains of Gobions Estate a magnificent pleasure gardens that existed in the eighteenth century and which is now a nature reserve with a very pleasant wood and a lake.  Walking through this we eventually came to the village of Brookmans Park and the end of our walk.  As the tea shop was shut and it was getting late, we decided to forgo stopping for a drink,and instead headed to the station and trains back to London.

Mary. Photos by Ida and Stuart