Meadows, woods and villages on the Northern Heights
Book3* Walk 228
* Online only
Length: 14 Km or 9 miles
Toughness: 2/3 out of 10
Getting there: Catch a Northbound Northern Line Tube to High Barnet ( Journey time from Bank about 35 minutes) alight at Totteridge & Whetstone Underground Station (one stop before High Barnet)
Totteridge & Whetstone Underground Station at 11:00am ( I'd suggest you plan to get there 10-15 minutes before 11:00am)
Buy a suitable Travel or Oyster Card - I would suggest up to Zone 5 should you wish to return from Cockfosters ( Totteridge & Whetstone is in Zone 4 ).
You may find ticket details and prices here
With the possibility of Industrial Action on the railways, our Transport Aficionado has suggested we take to the Northern Line Tube and give the Totteridge Circular Walk an airing.
This Walk explores an area of greenbelt that would have been engulfed by the 1930s expansion of London's suburbia but for the resistance of local residents. The result is a large chunk of countryside that intrudes into London on the so-called Northern Heights - the hills above and behind the more famous ones of Hampstead and Highgate. At one point on this walk you can actually look down on Alexandra Palace and Highgate Hill, and have the illusion that everything in between is still countryside.
You may find full details of the walk here
and a downloadable PDF here
Suggested Lunch stops The Three Hammers
, Hammers Lane, NW7 4EA tel:020 8959 2173
in Mill Hill. 7.1km (4.4 miles) into the walk (5.8km/3.6 miles by the short cut) is the recommended lunch stop - an efficient chain pub run by Ember Inns, which serves food all afternoon. It has a variety of seating areas, including a small glassed-in patio and an even smaller garden, and should be large enough to accommodate a group.
For an alternative to the pub, The Waffle Café
in Belmont Children's Farm in Mill Hill (more or less opposite the Three Hammers) is a large, but somewhat basic Café offering paninis, baked potatoes, and pasta specials. You can access it without paying to enter the farm.
Another lunch option, just off the main walk route is the Rising Sun
tel: 020 8959 1357 offers "rustic Italian food" in a slightly upmarket table service restaurant with a small outside patio. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes, but does lunch 12-2.30pm on Wednesdays to Saturday, and all day on Sundays. This is not a large place, however, so it is a good idea to phone and make sure they have space.
For picnics, the park just beyond the Three Hammers in Mill Hill has a view over the north west of London and several well-placed benches. When the ground is dry in spring and summer, the greenbelt fields throughout the walk also have numerous pleasant places to stop.
On option e) Short walk from Totteridge to Cockfosters The Monk Pub on the edge of Hadley Green is a possible lunch stop.
Suggested Tea stops
In Totteridge village the Orange Tree is a popular village pub which had an upmarket makeover some years ago. Late in the afternoon it is usually quiet enough, however. It has some outside tables by a duck pond, but also next to a rather busy road.
Tea options by Totteridge & Whetstone station include The Waiting Room tea room 020 6445 0424, 50 metres up the hill from the station on the lefty, which is open Tuesday to Saturday to 5pm.
Alternatively if you carry up the hill from the station for 250 metres to the high road there is a Costa Coffee, open till 7pm Monday to Saturday, with Coffee Culture just beyond it, open until 7pm Monday to Friday.
On option c) Longer walk to Barnet, The Monk pub
(not yet checked out) looks promising and advertises a garden at the rear.
There the inevitable Starbucks (open to 6.30pm Monday to Friday) and Costa Coffee (open to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday) but a better option if you can get there in time is The Coffee Bean (open to 5.30pm), which has nice cakes and open air seating in a courtyard, or Harris and Hoole
A modern Café which is open till 6pm Monday to Saturday.
On option d) Longer walk to Cockfosters, the Cock & Dragon pub is a possible tea stop, but in summer, if you are finishing the walk not too late, it is worth making a small extra effort to go to the Trent Park Café
a popular local haunt which has an excellent selection of cakes and other food. It is open till 7pm "if it is busy".
Return tubes should be frequent and regular, there's also a plethora of bus options.