#30DaysWild 11 – Capital Ring section 11 – Hendon to Highgate

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Bit nerdy but I love the ticket hall of Hendon Central

I know  I said I wasn’t going to be doing any more Capital Ring before my op but I couldn’t resist doing the next stage as Hampstead Garden Suburb sounded pretty and I wanted to see me a spot of ancient wood at Highgate, so for the second weekend running, I headed out to North London.

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Decoy Lake in Brent Park, which although looks idyllic, literally (well just the other side of the building in the background) had the North Circular next to it.

Section 11 is a bit shorter than section 10 (which for me, had been physically tough going), my walking app (never even near 100% accurate) came in at 10 km for this one (with the walking to the start of the section and the walking to the tube station afterwards). Whereas, with a spot of getting lost, section 10 was for me, 12.57km and although that extra 2.57km did make a difference with the whole level of knackeredness, the terrain in section 10 was a lot harder than section 11 too. However, in a way, section 11 being easier sort of reduced the bouncy happy endorphin rush a bit. The route is much more urban and even during the green bits, for most of it, you still knew you were in the city because the noise from nearby very busy roads was very loud. And for most of it the green bits were a bit less wild and a lot more managed.

Brent Park was quite wild though

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Subway underneath the North Circular, the brook running on the other side of that fence looked a bit polluted

Hampstead Garden Suburb turned out to be okay, although not quite as pretty as I had been expecting, it was also a bit sad as the suburb was initially created for ‘all classes of people and all income groups’ and yet fast forward 110 years and it’s yet another exclusive enclave for the rich.

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What I really liked was Highgate Wood, wow, Highgate Wood had a completely different atmosphere compared to the other wooded areas I had walked through on this route. Highgate Wood is part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex, that once covered a large swathe of England, probably from the last ice age. When I walked into it, it instantly felt cooler (thank goodness) and darker, with the dense tree canopy and the loud bird song, which was amazing.

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The wood after it, Queen’s Wood, is also an ancient wood and was quite nice too, sort of a little Narnia like (minus the snow).

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Right, that is definitely it for me and the Capital Ring, until possibly next spring (unless my op gets delayed). I’ve done about a third now, so not bad going!



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