The Pinner to Stanmore country walk takes the quiet way out of Pinner and Hatch End to open fields, beside a golf course, through the woods, onto Bentley Priory and then to Stanmore. From one of the highest points in North London there is a magnificent view of the whole of our great capital.
The 7 mile (11.2 km) walk includes a total of 612ft (186m) of ascent and takes approximately 3 hours. Take the H12 bus from Stanmore station to return to Pinner.
Starting the walk in Pinner
I began the Pinner to Stanmore country walk in the centre of Pinner on a beautiful sunny day at the beginning of September. I set an objective of walking to Stanmore Station with the least amount of road walking as possible.
Starting at Love Lane and continuing along Avenue Road I arrived at a cut through almost directly ahead of me. This long alley way leads to the top end of Barrow Point Avenue which I crossed and continuing more or less straight ahead between some trees I arrived in Woodhall Avenue.
This very pleasant and quiet road took me up to the busy Uxbridge Road.
I hurried across this trunk road and turning right I found another long alley.
This long cut through is slightly overgrown but is all paved making it easy walking. The path takes you from Uxbridge Road to the newer part of HatchEnd. When I emerged at the end of the alley I looked out for the footpath signs. You can also follow this from the map of the route.
Join the London Loop
After a few turns I climbed the style that took me into a large open field and joined the London Loop.
I turned right and kept the hedge on my right as I skirted the edge of this open area. At the top right hand corner of the field I passed through the hedge and entered the next field.
I kept to the track heading towards the pylon in the corner of the field. Here I entered another alley which followed close to the railway line.
At the end of the alley I met Little Oxhey Lane where I turned right and crossed the road so that I could remain on the pavement as I crossed the railway bridge.
The constant traffic along this road made it the worst part of the journey. However this section of the route only lasts for about 300 m to where the road meets Oxhey Lane.
I crossed over Oxhey Lane to continue the path directly opposite and upwards.
I regretted the fact that I hadn’t brought a box in which to put the massive number of blackberries that lined the way. At the end of the rise the path veers right and enters Grimsdyke golf course.
The golf course opened in 1910 with Sir William Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan fame, as it’s first president.
There are signposts to keep you from straying off the London Loop and I kept to the left hand edge of the course until I arrived at the top left hand corner. Turn left before you reach the top tee and pass along a dirt track.
Just before I arrived at the road I turned left again and entered the woods. On the right I found a series of pools of stagnant water and many birds singing. Unfortunately I don’t recognise many birdsongs.
I weaved my way along the path which crossed the water and came across Grimsdyke Hotel.
The victorian building had been home to Sir William Gilbert until he died in 1911 trying to rescue a girl from the pool he had constructed behind the house.
After passing the house I found the path slightly overgrown but easy enough to follow. You may want to follow the route on the map in this section.
I passed a rather large and imposing redwood.
After crossing the track leading to the hotel the path widens and becomes much easier to follow.
I continued along this path until just before it arrived at the road (A409). I turned left to walk parallel to the road until I reached some steps.
I climbed the steps and crossed the road to the entrance to Bentley Priory.
The area of Bentley Priory has a long history. Founded in 1171 as an Augustinian house of prayer, it remained an active religious institution until the the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.
1775 saw the old priory buildings demolished and a grander property erected which remained in private hands until purchased by the RAF in 1926. From the Priory the RAF ran Fighter Command during the Second World War. The RAF sold the property in 2008 for private development, so now, as an example, you can purchase a 2 bedroom flat on the estate for £800,000.
The grounds around the house are a nature reserve and from the entrance I followed the concrete path.
The solid path makes it easy walking whatever the weather. The route skirts the south side of the priory and I caught a glimpse of the buildings every now and then.
After awhile I arrived at a T-junction I turned uphill. Shortly afterwards I passed through a gate and along a cut-though. This led me onto a very posh private estate.
The estate is made up of a small number of very large houses. The gardens are beautifully manicured, both inside the walls and out. As part of the garden care along come the signs to “keep off the grass verge”. By implication this means, you must walk on the road.
I crossed the road to follow the London Loop signs.
The path runs more or less parallel with Warren Lane but then crosses it at the entrance to the cricket club.
I deviated slightly from the London Loop just after this point and walked along the edge of the fields of the rugby club.
I rejoined the London Loop near the club house and wandered through Little Comon down to Wood Lane.
The route continues along Wood Lane while the London Loop branches off to the left. I passed the Hindu Temple and continued until I reached a break in the buildings with access to Stanmore Park Nature Reserve.
At the entrance a group of volunteers were helping to increase the biodiversity of the site.
A little bit further and I was greeted by the best view on the Pinner to Stanmore country walk. The whole of London was before me.
Despite the sunny day the a haze hung over the city so much of the detail was shrouded. Nevertheless this is a stunning view of the capital.
The last leg of the journey
From here the path descends quite steeply and I weaved my way down into the woods.
Shortly after this I should have turned left but I mistakenly turned right and the trail led me out onto Dennis Lane. Not wanting to walk along the busy road to Stanmore Station I took the first left.
At the beginning of Valencia Road there is a sign indicating it is private, but nobody objected to my presence.
At the first proper junction there stands a group of 1930’s houses.
I find people either love or hate this Art Deco design. A recent open house tour of the art deco housing in Stanmore will tell you more.
From the junction follow the road down to Stanmore Station where I caught the H12 bus back to Pinner, a very enjoyable 3 hour walk.
If you enjoyed the Pinner to Stanmore country walk you can find more great walks at Find a Walk Britain.
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