This is one more of the fun sections of the Capital ring around North London; from South Kenton to Hendon. If you like the idea of wandering through pretty parks, along canals and through all the greenest areas of London, you can find other sections of the walk here. Unfortunately, I have managed to lose some of my photos from last year *sob* I might be able to get them back when I borrow a friends macbook charger, but for now, this post will have to have very few photos.
This walk is only 10km, so you can definitely add one of the other sections on either side. I thought there are a few lovely places and views on this walk. TFL’s description says it is one of the most rural parts of the Capital Ring. Having said that, I suppose things never feel that rural if you’re a country bumkin rather than a real born-here Londoner. My main impression was that we walked though pockets of greenery linked up by residential areas.
At the start of the walk, the first greenery is Preston park. I was quickly distracted by the outdoor gym and had a play. I am grinning like an idiot in this photo because that “gym” equipment is just so fun! You just sort of swing your legs until you start flying!! I only stopped because my husband started to wander off!! Next, we wandered through more residential streets over to Fryent Country Park. The grassy pathway into the country park goes between two houses just off Uxendon hill, so be careful not to miss it!
Once you have gone a little way into Fryent Country Park, it really feels like the countryside. You soon take a hard right and start walking up Barn Hill. The views from the grass* were pretty, looking back to Harrow. (*I say grass, but it was pretty soggy and muddy in the spring!) Then you get to walk into a wooded area. There is a really nice hollowed out tree that you can climb inside if you are so inclined. You can probably guess…I was so inclined!
Once you make it to the top of the hill, you can walk around Barn Hill pond. There is a nice view down to Wembley stadium and West London. I hope I can get hold of more photos to add later as I know I took quite a few up here. Next, the path turns back on itself. We descended the hill and crossed Fryent Way, which was covered in Daffodils when we came past.
We managed to get pretty lost in the next part of Fryent Country Park. In the end we used the map on my phone to guess a vague direction until we found one of the capital ring sign posts again. The paths are very, very muddy in spring. This might be the slipperiest, muddy section of the whole capital ring(!) It *does* feel rural though. You can see the white arches of Wembley stadium in the distance. This looks better framed by greenery.
Once we escaped the mud, we were quite happy to walk around suburbia for a while. We stamped our feet along the tarmac to attempt to remove a little clay, but it didn’t help much. I never expected an urban walk to be so muddy!
There is a pretty church called St Andrews on the way to the Brent reservoir. The TFL guide says that this church was actually built near Oxford Circus back in 1847, but they moved the whole church here in the 1930s when the urban population started to move from the West End to more rural areas! I am not sure why they moved the church to here as there is a second (Old) St Andrews church just a few steps down the road from the first one.
The next area of wilder(ish)ness was the Welsh Harp open space near the Brent reservoir. We stopped here to eat lunch while we watched people practice sailing on the reservoir. It is a lovely place to stop and watch the world go by. It is really easy to follow the path along the reservoir. half way along it turns into Woodfield Park, and there are some cool bird watching areas.
Be careful once you leave the reservoir! We followed a Capital ring sign straight over Cool Oak lane and kept walking along by the edge of the water. I think someone might have turned the sign to make it face the wrong direction! You should turn right along Cool Oak lane to walk towards Hendon! Basically just don’t trust the capital ring sign posts in this section! We kept looking at our phone map to navigate our way through the suburban streets near Hendon. The M1 appears suddenly as you walk along Park Road. It is a pretty busy and stinky road. However as the whole area is so built up, we didn’t notice the A1 until we actually had to cross it!
I didn’t take many photos of this section as it was just more and more mid-century housing. I did find this cool looking tree decoration on the way to Hendon Park though.
We couldn’t find any public loos on this walk. However there are some pubs and cafes near South Kenton station and Hendon Central station. While I was searching for other people’s photos I found a blog that said there are loos in Preston Park station and in Hendon Park.
You can find the TFL map for this section here and the google map here. The sign posts can be a bit iffy on this part of the capital ring. Even if you don’t have a printed map, make sure you download the capital ring google map to your phone!!