Capital Ring – Hendon to Highgate

It was Easter Weekend and on the Saturday I went for another walk with my wife, another short section of the Capital Ring which goes around London, carrying on from Hendon, where we had ended our previous walk with a kosher ice cream.

There was no ice cream on offer today, as it was not only Saturday, but also Passover, and for the next few miles we passed or were passed by numerous small groups of Jewish men, and a few Jewish women, one of whom stopped to ask us why she saw so many people walking past her house and had never heard of the capital Ring – though there were signs for it at both ends of her street.

One of the advantages of walking the Capital Ring is that it is generally extremely well marked, with signs on lamp posts at most junctions as well as waymarks on paths though the various areas of woodland. However we did manage to take a wrong turning, or rather not to turn where we should have done, mainly because I was busy trying to photograph the start of the River Brent, formed by the junction of the Mutton Brook and the Dollis Brook.

Because I’m busy taking photographs I tend to leave the navigation to Linda, who is in charge of the book of the walk. We took a walk up the Dollis Brook as far as the North Circular before I realised we had come the wrong way and we turned back. But it wasn’t a great problem, and I think this section was really one of the highlights of the walk.

Hampstead Garden Village which the walk goes through is really a failed experiment; built to be a garden village to house a community of all classes in 1906 it was soon taken over by the rich.

It was a very hot day, and by the time we reached East Finchley I was able to persuade Linda to take a rest at the Bald Faced Stag, a short distance off the route in East Finchley. The name comes from a stag with a white streak or stripe on its face which was apparently caught nearby. It seemed a decent enough place despite being a ‘gastropub’, though the beer was at a fiver a pint .

Most of the rest of the walk was through Highgate Woods, and close to the end we came across an interesting and controversial structure, built without permission and threatened with destruction. It seemed so entirely in keeping with its woodland location that I felt it should be allowed to remain.

It really was a nice walk, though my legs were tired by the time we reached Highgate. It isn’t a long walk, but we did make a few diversions, and photographers always wander rather to add to any distance. You can see many more pictures at Capital Ring – Hendon to Highgate on My London Diary.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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