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Parks of New Barnet and East Barnet: A Walk along Pymmes Brook

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Ah, you there, bucolic stream of silver that trickles through the rolling hills of old…

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Well actually… here we are by the Pymmes Brook, which runs next to a carpark. A big sandy functional carpark, which I have to admit sort of breaks up a walk that one might have along Pymmes Brook, which is a modest brook (a small minor tributary of the River Lea) that is more famous for being troublesome and being the source of floods, rather than for its natural beauty.

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Here is a documentation of a walk through the rolling hills of New Barnet. You might ask, in what way is New Barnet new? Well its just a mile away from the so-called original High Barnet, so named because of the High street being located there, although High Barnet is also supposed to be one of the highest settlements in London itself. This is the approach to New Barnet from Oakleigh Park. Rolling downwards towards the lowlands of Tottenham, as it were.

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An old sign of New Barnet

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Another sign about the history and heritage – fighting the good fight to remain legible before being scratched off with graffiti…

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I love that this sign is in caps. Its like someone unreasonably shouting BROOKSIDE at you.

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Something draws me to this place. It could be the quaint little public toilet in the middle of this scene, next to all the bins stacked higgledy-piggledy together.

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Although this is in an extremely residential and dense area of Barnet, the Pymmes Brook offers some escape…

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You can, for a moment, pretend that you’re in some wooded forest.

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If you follow the river southwards you’ll get to Oak Hill Park.

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No jokes, they’re asking for people to identify graffiti tags here.

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Going further south it enters more endless residential suburbia.

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As I trod noisely along the banks of Pymmes Brook, I alarmed a wee little moorhen. Also known as ‘skitty coot’ because they are the most nervous of waterfowl that churps and twitches its tail nonstop whilst fleeing when it sees huuuumans.

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Naturally, there were balls to be found in Pymmes Brook. It seems that on every single walk I seem to find a lost ball.

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Pymmes Brook leads me into Brunswick Park.

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It is a genuinely lovely park with an expansive field and lots of beautiful grand trees to the right. Pymmes Brook still runs to the left.

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And scenes like this.

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There were many open pathways in this park and it had the ability to make you feel like you were in a huger park than just somewhere in Barnet.

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Problem is that I still wanted to follow Pymmes Brook, but for some reason if you follow Pymmes Brook into Brunswick Park, it just stops with a huge hill in its way. There was no way around this hill it seemed. So… I had to go up this hill.

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After crawling up some muddy hill (also because I am very bad at climbing and ascending slopes) I found myself mysteriously inside a cemetery!!! Was there a better way to go about going from Brunswick Park into the cemetery? I don’t know but I also hadn’t expected that it would be such a vast cemetery.

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Worse still, I could see from the light that it must be getting very late (ie: the sun would set at 4 or 5pm) and in winter most cemeteries don’t open till late! Meaning there was a genuine risk of being locked into this cemetery…

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So I began running for the gates of the cemetery.

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Along the way I saw this curious rock with a flower logo next to it.

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Just a flower symbol. I still don’t know what it is. Any ideas?

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I made it out of the cemetery just in the nick of time but by now it was too late to try to find where Pymmes Brook eemerged on the other end of the Former Great Northern London cemetery.

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So I eventually found my way back to New Southgate Station where I could get straight home from…

The Walk:

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