The Harrow-on-the-Hill and 5 park loop walk centres around one of the highest points in London. Up here on the Hill, Harrow Public School dominates. The school owns a major proportion of the property, not just buildings but all the green space around the hill. We’ll learn more about the Hill and School later in the blog.
On the loop you’ll find 5 Harrow parks created when this rural area began to be developed the arrival of the Metropolitan Line. At the beginning of the 20th Century the only settlements were at Harrow and Pinner, owned from Saxon times by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Discover these 20th C open spaces and parks. You won’t require any special footwear as you’ll never leave a path or pavement.
Begin where you want
I began the walk in Pinner, but the great advantage of a circular walk is you can start anywhere on the loop.
Pinner Village Gardens
Leave Pinner and head towards Pinner Village Gardens. Use the map to find the cut through from Marsh Road to Eastcote Road. Turn left at Cannon Lane and take the first left. As you enter the park you’ll find a charming painting attached to the fence.
Pinner Village Gardens has an active voluntary group who help maintain the gardens along with Harrow Council. Click on the link above to see how you can help.
Exit at the top of the gardens onto Compton Rise and immediately turn left to Rayners Lane and then right to the Ridgeway.
At the bottom of the Ridgeway cross the road and enter Yeading Walk. The walk itself brings you out in Northumberland Road and follows a small part of Yeading Brook. The Brook rises in Headstone Park and follows a route down to the River Crane.
As you pass along the path enjoy the sound of the running water and the variety of trees on the banks of the Brook.
From Northumberland Avenue cross over Imperial Drive to Argyle Road and on to Blenheim Road and West Harrow.
West Harrow Park
West Harrow Station opened in 1913 and began the development of the area that had previously been extremely rural. Harrow Public School extended it’s influence to the area as many of the roads are named after masters; Butler Road, Vaughan Road, Heath and several more.
After passing the tube station turn right into Butler Road and enter West Harrow Park.
The park dates back to the inter-war years and appeared on OS Maps in 1935 although many of the trees in the park pre-date this time. You’ll find a bowls club and cricket played here in warmer times.
Cross the park to the much grander Ridgeway entrance on the other side of the park.
Turn left and left again to Whitmore Road and follow this until you reach the A312. Turn right here and then take the first left to begin the climb up West Street to Harrow-on-the-Hill.
The first written records regarding Harrow-on-the-Hill date back to Saxon times when the area was purchased by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 822. The area remained in the hands of the Archbishopric until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th Century. Lord North a favourite of Henry VIII received the manor of Harrow.
The views from the top of the hill are panoramic.
Harrow Public School opened in the 17th Century and speeded up the development of the Hill. As the School expanded in the 19th Century so did the local area with more commercial premises appearing.
The has produced 7 prime ministers, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Winston Churchill. Read more about the school’s history.
St Mary’s Church
St Anslem first consecrated St Mary’s Church in 1094. Unfortunately none of the original building survives, only the Chancel dates back to the 13th Century. Most of the church now consists of the restoration completed in 1846.
After wandering around the grounds where the illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron is buried head down the hill following the map.
Harrow Recreation Ground
The descent towards the underpasses and bridge that lead you to Harrow Recreation ground. Just follow the map and exit the underpass at Roxborough Road to enter the park. You have now passed halfway on the Harrow-on-the-Hill and 5 Park loop walk.
There are a host of public amenities in the park with facilities for cricket, football, tennis, bowls and basketball.
In addition you’ll find a green gym, children’s playground and cafe. Not ll of these facilities will be open during lockdown. The park opened in 1885 following fund raising initiated by a Master at Harrow School.
The quieter route is the one outlined on the map which keeps away from the children’s playground.
Follow the map route out of the park and you’ll pass St George’s Church Headstone.
The consecration in 1909 of this Gothic style church took place as the housing in the area began to develop with the arrival of the metropolitan line.
Continue along Pinner view and cross over Headstone Gardens. As you continue into Headstone Manor Recreation Ground you’ll also cross Yeading Brook fro the second time.
Fencing prevents access to much of the park as it undergoes a multi-million pound refurbishment.
Normally one can enjoy Headstone Manor and its museum. The museum traces Harrow’s history from the stone age to the present day. Wait for the end of lockdown to enjoy a visit.
Head along Headstone Lane until you turn right at Elmcroft Crescent. Follow this pleasant suburban street until you arrive at George V Avenue.
Cross the Avenue and ahead lies a small alley. This alley runs behind Pinner New Cemetery. The beginning of the path maybe a little muddy but it is quite easy to skip around.
You’ll arrive out at Wakehams Hill with views to the right of Manor Park Farm fields. You are now in Pinner and coming to the end of the Harrow-on-the-Hill and 5 Park loop walk.
As you proceed into Church Lane you’ll find a memorial to William Arthur Tooke. Tooke owned Pinner Hill House which is now the clubhouse for Pinner Hill Golf Club. In 1884 he paid for the refurbishment of St John’s Parish Church.
As you proceed into Pinner along Church Lane, Pinner House sits on your right.
This magnificent 17th Century building is now an old people’s home.
Not unexpectedly at the end of Church Lane you’ll find Pinner Parish Church dedicated to St John the Baptist.
Consecration of the church took place in 1320 and largely dates from the 14th Century. The church’s treasures includes a 15th century font.
The name Pinner has Saxon origins and you can discover more about the history of this ancient village from the local history society.
Only two pubs now exist in Pinner when there used to be more than 8. The oldest of which, The Queen’s Head dominates the High St. Records indicate 1540 as the opening of an ale house here. The pub originally called itself the Crown Inn, but changed it’s name after Queen Anne changed horses here in 1711.
Zizzi gutted the Victory when they took it over about 10 years ago. It is now a shell and needs some tender loving care.
If you enjoyed the Harrow-on-the-Hill and 5 Park loop walk then find more at Find a walk Britain.
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