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WEST FINCHLEY, WOODSIDE PARK (Northern Line, H. Barnet)  

Dollis Valley Greenwalk. A very pleasant stream trail. I have combined these two stations in one entry as the route can be done in one long ramble of about 4 miles.

The surfaced paths throughout both section of this route mean that it is fully accessible

From WEST FINCHLEY Tube station go left for a few metres then cross over via zebra to get to Courthouse Gardens. Almost immediately turn down Fursby Avenue. After a few minutes cross Chesterfield Road. Soon you will come to a bridge over Dollis Brook. There is a path in either direction. I have split the walk into two sections.
Southwest: From Fursby Avenue go over the bridge and take the left-hand Dollis Valley Greenwalk waymarked path which at first leads past well-kept allotments (some great sheds.) Soon the trail goes through woodland. In the spring the whole area is a mass of wild garlic – very pretty, if a trifle pungent in hot sunshine! Just before a small bridge go right. You will soon catch a glimpse of Finchley Golf Course. Follow the surfaced path heading roughly south all the way until you come to a large T junction. Ignore the road to the left, instead turn right towards a bridge. After crossing this, the way curves left to lead you out of the woodland onto Dollis Road. Go right to discover a huge viaduct constructed in the 1860’s to carry the Northern Line railway to Mill Hill East - well worth a look.
Now for the return journey. In fine weather the sure-footed can explore some of the woodland paths away from the brook on the way back, perhaps making a start by not crossing over the second bridge, but taking the track straight ahead. This soon bends to the right, where there is a pond. After pottering around here, (can get very muddy), go back to the hard path and over the bridge. Continue until you get to the bridge you didn't cross at the beginning, and go over this to pick up the route back to West Finchley Tube Station.

Allow about 45 minutes (pottering pace) for the round trip.

Northeast: To continue the walk cross over the bridge on Fursby Avenue, and enter a park-like area via the entrance on the northern side. Take the wide tarmac path by the side of the stream which should be on the right. After a few minutes you will come to a children’s play area. Carry on, then cross Argyle Road to pick up the route on the other side. This section ends at Southover Way. (To go further still along the Dollis Valley Greenwalk see the entry for Totteridge & Whetstone below.
 If you want to end the walk at this point by going to nearby Woodside Park Tube station, retrace your steps from Southover Way. Look out for a small bridge on the left. Cross this and walk up a wooded path to Westbury Road (which becomes Holden Road). Turn left. Keep on until Station Approach.  

WOODSIDE PARK Tube station From here you can do the same routes as those described above/below. Leave the station via Station Approach, turn left at Holden Road, following the line of the road straight on as it becomes Westbury Road. Almost immediately, opposite a pillar box, there is a marked pathway. Cross over to this and five minutes from leaving the station you are at the leafy Dollis Brook.

It is possible to continue along the Dollis Valley Greenwalk to Totteridge. To do this, at Southover Road turn right and walk a few minutes along the busy road until Tillingham Way. Soon you will see the sign for the brookside walk on the left hand side of the road.  At Laurel Way cross over and pick up the stream again. This area is known as Whetstone Stray, its  open meadowland being a total contrast to the southeastern trail. From Fursby Avenue it's about 45 minutes to Totteridge (slow walking - why hurry?)

When you reach Totteridge Lane go right to get to Totteridge & Whetstone station, about five minutes walk past a parade of shops. On the way you may notice there is yet another part of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk. It's rather less interesting that the rest of the route, being two tidy paths bounded by the stream on one side and the railway on the other. I opted to leave the brook at this point and explore Totteridge Village. (see 
Totteridge & Whetstone).

Photos:Dollis Brook, viaduct, Whetstone Stray

MAP for West Finchley walk
MAP for Woodside Park walk
West Finchley/Woodside Park 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 even in the most unpromising areas 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  to see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!

© DR