Saturday 18 September 2021

The Saturday List #322 - Ten things to do on a Sunny autumn Saturday in the Borough of Barnet

 This morning was a truly beautiful morning. As I always do when I have the opportunity, I took our two trusted hounds for a long walk over the Totteridge Valley. The views are truly stunning and it is hard to believe that you are still within the boundaries that is the sprawling metropolis that is London. 

The Totteridge Valley

We may not get too many more days like this in 2021, so I thought I'd collate a list of some of the better things that can be done in our locality to enjoy the weather.

1. The Totteridge Valley and Darlands Nature reserve walk. There are many starting points, but perhaps the best is at The Orange tree pub. More or less next to the pub is a private road and you can gain foot access to the reserve through here. I'd recommend a walk down the hill and around the lake. The Orange Tree is not a bad place to rehydrate after the walk.

2. Arrendene Open space in Mill Hill is another great place to go for a walk. There are entrances on Wise Lane and Milespit Hill. When I was a child, we called them "The Donkey fields" as the Middlesex Regiment used to use the fields to graze Donkeys from the Inglis Barracks at Mill Hill. Sadly the donkeys were long gone by the time I appeared. 

3. Another walk that is highly enjoyable is a walk across Moat Mount Open Space to the Gate Pub. There are some wonderful views on this walk. Although not an option today, you can also walk from Mill Hill to the ground of Hadley FC and see the Borough's finest football team at their Brickfield Lane ground. 

4. Edgwarebury Park on Edgwarebury Lane is also well worth a walk around. It has a pleasant little cafe where you can get a coffee in the middle of the park. 

5. The Welsh Harp is the largest stretch of open water in the Borough. There are all manner of birds, etc that nest there. There are also some spectacular views of Wembley Stadium, which look rather incongruous from the waterside. You can also do aquatic sports at the site. 

6. Whalebones Park. This is a real jewel in the crown. The entrance is through the jawbones of Blue Whale, brought back by a seafaring Captain. It is worth seeing this while you still can, as the trust that own the site want to redevelop it, against the wishes of the kindly benefactor who set up the park in the 19th Century.

7. A question many people ask is where is the best place to eat Al Fresco in the Borough of Barnet? Street dining is all of the rage these days, however if you want a nice piece of cake and a coffee, it is hard to beat the little Cafe at Finchley Nurseries

8. As to the best pub garden? Well I've already mentioned the Orange Tree which is hard to beat, however I'd pick the Duke of York in Barnet

9. Of course, if you have your own garden, then there is always the option of a barbeque. The secret to a good barbeque is to get the best quality food. I would recommend the amazing selection of sausages, cuts of organic meat and marinaded chicken at Boucherie Gerard in Daws Lane Mill Hill. For Fish, Elias fish at Mill Hill East are excellent. Finchley Nurseries have a shop selling organic fruit and veg, which are also delicious on the barbie!

10. And Finally.....  If you  want to just chill out in the garden and have a nice glass of wine or a decent beer, checkout Mill Hill Wines.  They deliver to local areas and all of their wines and beers are top notch.

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