Car-free adventures aroundEnfieldNorth London

London’s most northerly borough is full of surprises. In the heart of an urban jungle, home of the world’s first ATM, you can explore flowering gardens and fresh water supplies, rich farmland and riverside walks. Here are five rural adventures on the fringes of England’s capital city…

  1. 3. Visit Forty Hall

    An extraordinary Jacobean Mansion in lovely grounds with ponds and woodland, Forty Hall is the jewel in Enfield’s surprisingly sparkly crown. Free to visit with a great café, it feels almost too good to be true. A relatively new network of trails through the estate takes you past the farm and vineyard.

    • From Myddleton House (see 2 above), turn right along the road outside the entrance. Just before a brick bridge, turn right through a gate and left over a footbridge.
    • You can head left here to have lunch at Forty Hall’s Nice Green Café or turn right and right again to follow the Forty Hall Loop (with its purple waymarks) for two miles first, past farmland and forest.
    • Through a door in the corner of a walled garden, you will finally reach Forty Hall by this route and the café is on your left
    • Leaving the estate, turn left onto the road past the church. Just after the school, turn right onto a tarmac path. Keep straight and follow the London Loop signs back to Turkey Street.
  1. 4. Walk the London Loop from Cockfosters

    Surrounded by woods and rolling countryside, Enfield is a bit of a hub for long distance paths. One fabulous local hike takes walkers from Cockfosters tube station at the north end of the Piccadilly line, along the waymarked London Loop to Enfield’s Turkey Street Station.

    • This 8 mile walk heads across Enfield Chase, once a royal hunting forest and beautiful place in any season. There are great views, patches of ancient woodland, and a series of useful pubs and cafes, like the Robin Hood in an area called Botany Bay, just over half way to Enfield. The 313 bus stops outside the pub every 20 minutes if you decide to head straight to Enfield Town from here.
    • The second part of the route passes through Clay Hill and the lovely estate of Forty Hall (see 3 above) with the option of detouring to one of the gardens (and cafes) mentioned earlier.
  1. 5. And on to Epping...

    Heading further on, eastwards from Enfield, the London Loop reaches Chingford on the edge of Epping Forest, more former royal hunting grounds, five miles from Enfield Lock station. This section has views across the reservoirs that dominate the Lee Valley.

    • Not far from Chingford Station, with views across Epping Forest, are Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and the neighbouring Butlers Retreat cafe in a restored weatherboarded barn and open from breakfast until (early tea time).
    • To get to Epping Forest from Enfield without too much walking, hop on the good old 313 bus from Enfield Town station. From Chingford Station, where the bus route ends, simply turn right up Ranger’s Road and follow it out into open country.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount

Visit car-free in 2019!