Monday, 26 November 2012

London Loop Hainault to Harold Wood 20th September 2012

I have walked this route many times before so I wasn't going to do it as a Section of the LOOP as I felt it had walked it already. But I thought I haven't walk it as a whole and felt I was cheating if I said I'd walked the whole LOOP if I didn't do this. So I had a bit of time to spare so I set off to complete this section.
Starting from Hainault I walked along the path and crossed the Hainault Golf Course.

I now pass across farmland towards Havering Country Park.

Now as I enter Havering Country Park,I take a look back for a awesome view across to London,being able to pick out landmarks such as The Shard,The Gherkin,The London Eye and Canary Wharf.

I continue along a path....

 and then enter the woods of the Park...

Then a walk along Wellington Drive.
A wooden barrier marks the entrance and the path rises slowly through an avenue of Giant Redwood trees, a common Victorian feature of country estates. The trees were discovered during the Californian Gold rush of 1869 and they became known as Wellingtonia’s in honour of the Duke of Wellington. Their towering reddish trunks may look impressive but these American immigrants are small compared to those that grow in their native California. There, they can reach up to 300 feet high, have a trunk diameter of 35 feet and live for 3000 years or more. They are the largest living things on Earth.
I eventually exit of the the park by some delightful houses in Havering Atte Bower.

Edward the Confessor’s Royal Palace at Havering-atte-Bower

The route now exits the park and leads to the village of Havering-atte-Bower.Nothing now remains of an important royal house that once stood here on the village green. Edward the Confessor founded a holy retreat here nearly 1000 years ago. Later William the Conqueror and King John built hunting lodges. Slowly, over the next 600 years, a large Royal Palace was established, with Charles I being the last monarch to stay here. It fell into decay and by 1815 there was nothing left. A Victorian flint church stands where the original chapel once stood and there are riding stables on the site of the old palace stables.
Church of St.John The Evangelist
I now walk down the road pass The Royal Oak PH,lovely pub had many a drink in here.

Weather Timbered House
Cross the road and continued on the London Loop path....
As I walk through a kissing gate I enter a field and to my right I can see a water tower.
 This is a water tower built in 1934 by the South East Essex water company to keep the mains water pressure under pressure in Romford.

Then by the side of the Water Tower is The Round House..............

                              Joseph Hardwick Pemberton’s Round House

 The Round House, a late C18th oval stuccoed country villa, was built for William Sheldon, and is said to owe its unusual shape resembling a tea-caddie to his profession as a successful tea merchant. From the C18th gentlemen's mansions and parks began to be built around the old village of Havering-atte-Bower, which had fine views southwards across the Thames. In the early C20th the house was occupied by the Revd Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, a famous rose-grower and President of the National Rose Society. Here he grew and hybridised roses, including the Alexandra Rose as well as various Musk and Shrub roses. The adjacent grounds of Roundhouse Farm have the site of a large kitchen garden, now grassed, enclosed with high brick walls.

I Continue through the field full of horses to the gate and across a small bridge...............

I continue up a hill and come to a field that was being ploughed and the path had been ploughed up too! Difficult work walking across a ploughed field!

After crossing the side of the field was awash with sunflowers,first of many to be seen on the walk.

 Then I come across the Wrought Iron Gateposts.....

Pyrgo House, Playground for Princess’s Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of Henry VIII

At the woodland's edge stands a pair of iron gateposts which once marked the entrance to the grand residence of Pyrgo. Nothing now remains of the house save this one rusting sentinel. In the 16th century, Pyrgo played an important role in determining the royal succession. Henry VIII had seen little of his second daughter, Elizabeth, since her mother's execution in 1536. In 1542, Henry VIII met her when he summoned both of his daughters to dine with him at the ancient house. Henry was impressed by Elizabeth and her sister, Mary, and decided to reinstate their place in the line of royal succession. This was confirmed by Parliament in 1544, restoring the sisters to their place after Edward thus giving England one of her finest monarchs when Elizabeth became queen.
Then further along the ploughed field and pass an elaborate house...........

 Then more sunflowers with some spectacular views..........

Then through another kissing gate into a field of yet more sunflowers....................

A look back towards the water tower,always so prominent up on the hill that it can be seen for miles around.
Then things went wrong for me,not sure how but I had taken the wrong path and was off route. The farmer drove up to me in his pick-up and pointed me back to the path.  I set off still not certain of the way, I wandered pass the back of some houses and then across the Tenchpond Plantations. Lovely pond with some small carp.

At this point the farmer drove alongside again,I was again off course. I was directed through his yard and onto Cummings Hall Lane and back on the loop again. I emerged out by The Bear PH. I remember this place, back when I was a kid there was a bear in a cage in the beer garden,long since gone.
I cross the road into Tees Drive and hust past Priory Road I enter a small wooded area alongside the Carter Brook that runs alongside Tees Drive.
 I emerge cross the road and follow the brook along side Chudleigh road and eventually cross another road and into Central Park in Harold Hill.

I leave the park cross the road and continue following the brook. I then reach the A12. I manage to cross the busy A12 and follow through some parkland, pass a dog training centre and into some streets and pass the King Harold Pub in Harold Wood.
I then reach Harold Wood Rail Station and the end of the walk and the journey home.