TOTTERIDGE & WHETSTONE Northern Line (High Barnet)
LONDON TUBE RAMBLES
A summer ramble totalling about 3½ miles (two separate routes)
From the station turn right and go along Totteridge Lane (under a mile, but uphill) until you reach the village green. Along the way you will see a sign for the Dollis Valley Green Walk which runs from Mill Hill to the edge of Hampstead Heath.
The ‘green’ is in fact a common - a large area of grass with willow trees and ponds. Have a wander round. The simple Old House on the south east side of the green near the main road is Georgian. When you get back to the Orange Tree pub, go to the right-hand corner of the car park to find an alleyway with fences on either side. (If you intend to visit the church, you should follow Route A first, as the Folly Brook route leads away from Totteridge.) Soon you will come to a chirpy cottage, Green Lodge - late 19c Gothic revival. Turn left onto a lane (Totteridge Green) that runs alongside the common and wander to the right.
Route A St. Andrew's Church When you get back to the pub cross the main road carefully. Go down the path between trees, passing a curved post name sign (a style adopted by many Totteridge houses) and turn left. When you are at the end of Northcliffe Drive have a quick look at some picturesque Tudor-style houses. ‘Saxons’ on the right and ‘Normandy’ on the left are especially noteworthy. Hand-made tiles and twisty chimneys abound.
Return to the main road and walk for a little longer until you find the church. Largely rebuilt in 1790, it has an earlier weatherboarded bell-tower with battlements. Don’t miss the seventeenth-century tithe barn on the left. The area in front of the church was once an animal pound for lost and strayed livestock – the term lives on in our present day car pound. Notice also the ancient yew tree, which could be as much as 2000 years old. The baroque tombs in the churchyard are also worth investigating and there are some Georgian houses opposite the church.
After having a look round this area, walk up to a triangle of grass on which stands a War Memorial. Following the line of the road (signed Mill Hill) and crossing Barnet Lane with great care, you will come to The Priory, a timber-framed seventeenth century building whose chimneys are just visible above the tall laurel hedge. (Many of the houses round here are carefully tucked away from public gaze.) Next to The Priory is the later Totteridge House. From here you can either return to the Tube station (possibly cheating by catching a bus from the stop in front of Totteridge House) or return to the Orange Tree to embark on the route described below.
Route B SUMMER STREAM RAMBLE TO WOODSIDE PARK TUBE STATION (roughly 1½ miles) Please note that this is not suitable for young children needing buggies, or for those with any kind of walking difficulties, as parts of the route become extremely muddy after rain, and there are narrow gates and rough paths. However, this is a rewarding wander, which takes you along the Folly Brook, through woods and meadowland rich with wildlife of all kinds - you might even glimpse a Muntjac deer.
Folly Brook. Start off from the OrangeTree pub and take the path from the car park as described above. However, this time when you are at the farmhouses, instead of returning to Totteridge Green, turn to the left immediately after the pond (where there is a seat). Go down a shady fenced pathway to the left (waymarked ‘Barnet Countryside Walks 7'). Shortly you come to posts with a space to pass through. A bit further on is another set of posts. From here there is a breathtaking countryside view. Continue along the path, which now slopes downwards until you see another set of posts.
Further on, yet more posts are waymarked 'Walks 7 and 3' and 'Woodridge Nature Reserve'. Do not pass through this entrance, but turn left in front of it to trace the Folly Brook on your way to Woodside Park Tube station which is about a mile away. Making sure the stream is on your right, take the rough track over open meadowland. (Warning: almost immediately you have to negotiate a small dip which may be very muddy.) Before long some houses are visible, but then the path meanders by the brook. Eventually you will come out at a Sports Club. Continue to Southover Road and cross over to the gates of the Dollis Brook park (part of the Dollis Valley Green Walk). Enter the park and cross over the concrete bridge you will soon reach. Cross this towards Westbury Road and there turn left. Keep going up Holden Road and cross to Station Approach for the Tube.
Photos: (click on images to enlarge) Meadow view on way to Folly Brook
Streatham Cottages/The pond with Laurel Farm House
'Saxons', Northcliffe Rd
St. Andrew's church/Tithe Barn
View from path to Folly Brook
Totteridge & Whetstone is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to go to www.londontuberambles.co.uk to see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!