Last weekend M and I did another section of the London LOOP, a long walk which circumnavigates the capital. Like the Capital Ring before it, it’s become something we do on a random weekend when we realise we have nothing better to do and the weather looks good. As such, this latest section was our first since April. We are by no means hurrying it.
Anyway, the end of section 15 and all of section 16 took us from Stanmore (the end of the Jubilee line) to Cockfosters (the end of the Piccadilly line), with a surprising amount of beautiful countryside, pristine woodland and interesting architecture.
Having only ever associated the likes of Stanmore and Cockfosters with being wedged onto a hot tube train and hearing the final destination mentioned, it was a big surprise to see what those places actually look like.
Naturally, the actual terminus is on a busy thoroughfare, but for Cockfosters in particular, we approached it up a lovely linear parkland with views back to the city, through a quaint little village lined with interesting buildings, then passed through a kilometre or two of pretty woodland flanked by a golf course and private roads. It was not at all what we expected, and therein lies the repeating appeal of the London LOOP, and – to a slightly lesser extent – the Capital Ring.
We were caught out by the length of the daylight – which is funny as we were aware that the clocks go back next week and didn’t anticipate any issues on this walk. But by the time we entered the final stretch of woodland, darkness was setting in and the few faces we passed were difficult to make out. It was wonderfully quiet for this stretch, and although we knew from the map that we were skirting the edge of a relatively thin stretch of woodland, it wasn’t hard to imagine the slow envelopment of foliage around us taking the form of a much larger forest. And then – joy of joys, and only minutes after one of us mentioned the potential for it – we heard an owl. Not bad for a day walk reached by tube train.
We covered a distance of just over 30km and obviously took pictures all the way round. I was using a mix of my dSLR and my phone, and I was using my phone (a Motorola G7 Power) to take a few snapshots, as well as for Strava and a some checking of OS Maps.
I’ve prattled on about this phone’s battery life before, but let me tell you – when I finish a day like that with that intensity of phone usage and I still have half my battery life remaining, I continue to be astounded by the performance of this phone. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference to relying on it for full-day (or even multi-day) exercises.