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About 2½ miles from Barkingside to Fairlop Waters through 
Essex countryside with wide, wide skies. Plus an amazing 
building at Newbury Park station.

Barkingside Tube station itself (once part of  the Great Eastern Railway, hence the initials on the ironwork) is an attractive Arts and Crafts building of 1903. Leave it via a short road that curves to the left. The famous Barnados Village, complete with church, can be glimpsed ahead as you go briefly into Crown Road before turning to the right into Station Road. It ceased operating as an orphanage in 1991. Walk down Station Road which becomes a track and then branches off to the right. Take this path and you will find yourself in the middle of treeless fields where you might hear a skylark singing. There are two farms at the end of the track which create a little oasis of rural activity.

Near the second, Aldborough House Farm, is an interesting eighteenth-century building originally attached to a large house.  When this was demolished in the early nineteenth century. the chapel was left for local people who lived a long way from a regular parish church. Following the building of nearby St. Peter's church in 1863 it fell into disuse and was regarded as little more than an outhouse.  The red brick façade collapsed in the Great Storm of 1987, but has now been restored and the old chapel is now a private dwelling. You can read more about the history of the area here. Walk past the chapel following the path which has a lovely view over the fields to the left.
When you reach Aldborough Road turn right to have a look at St. Peter's Church, then return to the road and go back left, walking towards the Dick Turpin pub.(Confusingly the address of this is Aldborough Road North, though the map just says Aldborough Road at this point). After the pub and a farm you will come to a riding stables. Turn right into Painters Road and look into the field nearest the stables to find a tree that is quite dead, but rather creepily retains its complete branch structure. Bird-watchers will be interested to know that Little Owls have made this their home for many years, so if you are patient you may see one. (They are daytime birds).  Retrace your steps to the white gates of the stables and go down the track. This is not actually a public right of way, but what is known as a 'Permissive path', so it is fine to use it. Watch out for horse-riders who are also allowed along this way. Notices warn that there may be livestock loose in the field you walk through, but those with local knowledge tell me this is not a problem.


On reaching a gravel path, go right, skirting Fairlop Waters Golf Course, then take one of the tracks going north in the direction of the lake - or, if you want a longer ramble, go through the Nature Reserve. When you get to the waterside turn left, walking alongside the golf course towards the Club House.  There is usually plenty of boating activity, which is entertaining to watch, so you might decide to turn right instead and do a much longer walk all round the lake. For more details about what can be found at Fairlop Waters, go to their website *  which has a useful map.

To reach Fairlop Tube station for the return journey take the track near the main entrance behind the Club House which runs parallel to Forest Road and links to it just before the station. Alternatively,  walking along the road itself takes you past Forest Farm, an attractive collection of Victorian buildings dated 1855. The royal initials on the plaque show that the area is Crown land – originally it was part of Hainault Forest.. In WW2 Fairlop Plain was one of 21 airfields in Essex, eventually becoming a barrage balloon launching site.


Newbury Park is a couple of stations down the line  Although it is not a great place for walking, anyone interesting in architecture should hop off the train on the way home to see the wonderful reinforced concrete arched bus station with copper-covered barrel vault roof. It was designed by Oliver Hill in 1937, but building had to be postponed due to  WW2 and the bus station didn't open until 1949. The original plan was to rebuild the Underground station but this never happened. Thank goodness the bus station plan was not abandoned as well.


Access: This route is passable for buggies in dry weather, though the hedge in Aldborough Road may be overgrown with brambles in August making it hazardous. Owing to the rural nature of  some of the route, wheelchair users would find the terrain very awkward in places, though Fairlop Waters itself is fully accessible.

'Owl tree', Painters Road
Barkingside Underground station
Old chapel, Aldborough House Farm
St. Peter's Church, Aldborough Road
Fairlop Waters
Plaque at Farm in Forest Road.
Two views of Newbury Park bus station.

*This is a local authority website and occasionally the URLs of such sites are changed without giving a re-direct. Although I do check from time to time, it would be much appreciated if you would let me know via 'Comments' (top of the Home Page) if this has happened so I can amend the link.

These are just a few walks from the many at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found 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 click on the link above and see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!
© DR