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New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace

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New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace
Author: Thames Water, Published: 14 Mar 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide star1 New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide star1 New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide star0 New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide star0 New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide
London, Enfield
Walk Type: River or lakeside
New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide boot New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide
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A 5.5 mile waterside linear walk along the fourth stretch of the New River in London. In this stretch through North London the New River becomes a little more elusive. Half your journey will be along riverside paths with the other half through parks and streets where the river runs underground or out of reach. The New River has an unhelpful name, being neither new nor a river! It is a water supply aqueduct, completed in 1613, to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to North London. Before this time, London’s water supply was limited to the Thames, local streams and wells which were often contaminated. Thames Water has worked with partners to create a 28 mile long-distance path that follows the river’s course.

The route is relatively flat and follows some paved paths, but mainly unmade paths which can be fairly muddy after periods of rain and in winter. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates and some steps along the way. Whilst the route is waymarked, we found that some of the signs had been rotated round to face the wrong way so take care to check the map and directions regularly. The return leg can be completed by train (see the ‘Getting there’ section for details). Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours (plus extra time for the return train journey).

As this is a linear walk, you will need to arrange for both your journey to the start point, as well as your return journey from the end of the walk. You could use two cars, but we would recommend using trains. The start point of the walk is in Enfield, just a short walk from Enfield Chase Rail Station and the end point is Alexandra Palace Rail Station. The two stations are on the same line and the train journey is less than 15 minutes.

To reach the start point of the walk from Enfield Chase Rail Station, leave the station onto the main road (A110 Windmill Hill) and turn right. Cross Old Park Avenue and follow the road as it bends right, passing the church. Soon afterwards the road crosses the river and you’ll see the New River Path marked on the right, the starting point for this fourth section of the path.

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Walk Sections

Start to Bush Hill
Start to Bush Hill

Start point: 51.653 lat, -0.0874 long
End point: 51.643 lat, -0.0863 long

The walk starts from the point where the New River crosses the A110 Church Street in Enfield (opposite Trinity Church). Directions from Enfield Chase Station to this starting point can be found in the ‘Getting there’ section of this guide.

With your back to Trinity Church, walk ahead down the signed New River Path, with the New River running to the right. Soon the views over the public park in Enfield open up to the left and the river widens with a pretty island at its centre.

Whilst the New River continues to supply water to London today, this section is no longer part of the working aqueduct. This horseshoe loop through Enfield Town was bypassed around 1900 following the laying of three cast iron pipes between Southbury Road and Bush Hill. This redundant section of watercourse has been restored and the water levels are maintained by Thames Water.

Where the river swings left, keep straight ahead across the footbridge and continue ahead on the path leaving the river channel behind for the time being. Follow this fenced path which passes through the centre of Bush Hill Park Golf Course. At the T-junction turn left to continue on the fenced wooded path. As you emerge from this path you’ll pass the golf course entrance on the right. Keep ahead to reach a T-junction with the road, Bush Hill.

Bush Hill to Highfield Pumping Station
Bush Hill to Highfield Pumping Station

Start point: 51.643 lat, -0.0863 long
End point: 51.6285 lat, -0.0977 long

Cross over with care and turn right along the opposite pavement. Follow the road as it bends left to become Bush Hill Road. A few paces after passing Cunard Crescent on the right, turn right through the kissing gate to join the grass path running to the right of the New River. This section is part of the working New River which today supplies about 8% of London’s water.

Follow the river as it swings left and you’ll reach a locked gate ahead. Turn right down to the steps, through the kissing gate and turn left along the pavement. You’ll emerge out to a junction of roads. Turn left along Ridge Avenue and, immediately after the parade of shops, cross over to turn right through the kissing gate to rejoin the riverside path (the right-hand grass bank).

As you emerge up the slope to a kissing gate, turn left for a few paces and then turn right through the next gate to rejoin the path with the river now to the right. Further along, cross the footbridge and pass out through the kissing gate to the next road. Cross over and turn right for a few paces and then turn left into Farm Road. Follow the road over the bridge and then turn right through the kissing gate to rejoin the left-hand grass bank alongside the river.

At the next road bridge, use the kissing gates and bridge to join the right-hand grass bank. Just before the grass bank emerges to the road, you’ll see the 1885 Highfield Pumping Station on the left, a square tower building with long arched windows and ornate ironwork adorning the roof. There are many pumping stations along the length of the New River, each working to abstract water from deep wells to feed the river.

Highfield Pumping Station to Greens Lane
Highfield Pumping Station to Greens Lane

Start point: 51.6285 lat, -0.0977 long
End point: 51.6151 lat, -0.1095 long

Just beyond the pumping station, pass through the gate, cross the side road ahead and continue on the New River Path opposite. Pass through the next kissing gate and cross over the road (Barrowell Green). Turn right along the pavement and at the T-junction turn left along Greens Lane. Take the next left into River Avenue and follow it all the way to its end.

At the crossroads turn left along Hedge Lane for just a few yards, and then turn right through a kissing gate to rejoin the path immediately alongside the river. Follow this section for some distance, passing through a pair of kissing gates along the way. As you emerge to the next road, turn left and then turn right into Chimes Avenue.

Continue until you reach the green railings at the end of the road. Turn right here onto the fenced path, signed as part of the New River Path. Pass through the kissing gate, keep left for a few paces, turn right up the steps and then turn left to join the riverside embankment. Pass through the next gate ahead, turn right across the river and then turn left through the next gate to continue your riverside journey. You will emerge out via a bridge and gate to the next road, Greens Lane.

Greens Lane to Finsbury Gardens
Greens Lane to Finsbury Gardens

Start point: 51.6151 lat, -0.1095 long
End point: 51.604 lat, -0.1167 long

Turn right and then use the pedestrian crossings to turn left into Broomfield Lane. At the mini-roundabout turn left again into Shapland Way. As the road bends right, fork left to pass down the metal flight of steps to rejoin the riverside path. Along this stretch you’ll see the overhead cables of the rail line running to the right.

The path emerges out via a kissing gate to reach the North Circular Road. Turn left to reach the pedestrian crossing and cross over the dual carriageway. At the far side keep right up the slope and then swing left into the side road, Russell Road. Turn left through the kissing gate and then keep right along the left-hand grass bank of the New River. As you emerge to the next road, cross over the bridge and turn left to continue on the right-hand grass bank.

You’ll soon see the next large brick bridge ahead, marking the point at which the New River disappears into the Wood Green Tunnel. This tunnel was constructed in 1859, making the former loops of the river through Edmonton and Arnos Park redundant and reducing the length of the river by more than a mile. For the remainder of this section of the path, you will be following the course of the river flowing beneath your feet!

Turn right up the stone steps and you’ll emerge out to Myddelton Road (named after Hugh Myddelton who was the first Governor of the New River Company). Turn left along Myddelton Road and then turn right into Palmerston Road. At the mini-roundabout keep right and then turn left into Finsbury Gardens.

Finsbury Gardens to End
Finsbury Gardens to End

Start point: 51.604 lat, -0.1167 long
End point: 51.5983 lat, -0.1196 long

Follow the tarmac path ahead through Finsbury Park. Keep ahead over Nightingale Road and continue on the Hidden River Path opposite. Cross the next road, Bounds Green Road, and continue on the path opposite, passing the very decorative flint Baptist Church on the right.

Follow the main tarmac path as it swings left then right. Keep ahead to reach the corner where Dorset Road meets St Michael’s Terrace. Keep left along St Michael’s Terrace and at the end you’ll reach Alexandra Palace Rail Station, marking the end of this fourth section of the New River Path.

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network New River Path Part Four: Enfield to Alexandra Palace Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author thameswater and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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