Did my second A-Z walk yesterday. The first one ended at Oakwood Station, which is reasonably convenient for me to get to, so that's where I started the second.
My original plan was to head pretty much straight across to Ponders End Station via a few pubs; but once I'd made a little Google map to help me figure out the route, I decided it would be silly to go all the way up there and not take the opportunity to wander around Trent Park. So I did. I got a bit lost, several times, due to entering the park slightly to the west of where I'd intended to, and to thinking that the line between Oakwood and Cockfosters points north, which it blatantly doesn't, and I knew it doesn't because I walked parallel to it the other week, sigh. But it wasn't particularly serious getting-lost, and I'm fairly sure I knew exactly where I was about half of the time. So far, so fun. (Squirrel count: approximately 15, all grey.)
Not wanting to have to retrace my footsteps at any point, or go in too obvious a circle, I'd decided that the best route would be straight up through the park, circle around the university campus, head up to Hadley Road, and then get back down to Enfield Road (and the Jolly Farmers pub for lunch) via this track marked here on streetmap. Now, my A-Z only marks the first and last thirds of this track, but streetmap definitely implies there's a way through. Still, when I got to Vicarage Farm there was no sign of footpath markings, and enquiry at the farm revealed only that there was "probably a way through to Oakwood down there, I think that's the way the police go, yes, just climb over that little fence".
Over the little fence was a field of uncut grass, with vague signs of previous pedestrians heading south; so I followed them. I quickly arrived at a tarmac track which led south ahead of me, but which obviously led back up to the farm in the other direction. At this point I realised that the people at the farm had probably misunderstood the direction I wanted to go in, since otherwise why would they have diverted me over the fence and through the grass? But I decided to press on and see where the track went.
It went on for a little way, then petered out, leaving me halfway along the edge of a field. I didn't really have much option other than to carry on walking along the sides of the fields in the same direction. I think I might have been trespassing at this point, though it could be argued that the people I'd spoken to earlier had given me permission. I'm quite sure I wasn't on a footpath, especially since I had to climb over a locked gate at the other end, when I finally did reach Enfield Road.
Although the main pub I wanted to visit was the Wonder, since it has an RGL entry by merit of being in the Good Beer Guide, it doesn't do food. Happily, Beer in the Evening came to the rescue, with the Jolly Farmers. A nice enough pub, decent food, real ale, and very friendly staff. Here I made the tactical error of ordering sausages and mash and attempting to finish it. This was silly because (a) I can never finish pub portions of sausage and mash; (b) I had a fair bit more walking to do; and (c) the pub has a very sensible policy of offering smaller portions of selected dishes, which I could easily have taken advantage of.
So the next part of the walk was rather slow, as I was digesting. It also wasn't very interesting — just streets of houses, basically, though I did divert in order to get a photo of Gordon Hill Station. By the time I got to the Wonder I was quite ready for another rest. Unfortunately I didn't feel very welcome there. I'd known in advance that it was going to be a bit of an old man's pub, which I'm quite fine with, and it may have been partly my own fault for asking to take a photo of the beer pumps, but I really did feel as though the landlady and the other customers were quite perplexed by my presence, and I had rather a feeling that I wasn't supposed to be there. So I didn't stay long, and I couldn't quite face the possibility of having the same experience in one of the other pubs I'd been planning to try out, so I cut the walk short and came home via Enfield Town Station.
There is a photoset on Flickr and a slightly noisy GPS trace on Google Maps (second half of the route only, alas, due to the app getting confused). I also sent a few SMSes to the KakeWalk Twitter account.
Next one should have been from Ponders End Station round the reservoir and home via Chingford Station, but I think instead it will be Enfield Town to Ponders End via some pubs. I didn't get a photo of Enfield Town yesterday, since it had roadworks in front. Hopefully that'll be over by time I get around to the next walk.