After a fallow quarter, the early May bank holiday weekend gave me the first of the set of Get out of town! walks. The choice of the northern route was informed by which Tube and train routes were being disrupted. An early Saturday start (at 0730) gave me the luxury of Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden without the crowds. The route was pleasantly quiet along the New River Path and through Clissold Park, but by the time I was walking through Finsbury Park and along the Parkland Walk, the hordes had stirred. I was debating the value of pushing on to High Barnet station (and having to climb off-route to reach it) as I approached Totteridge Lane around one o’clock: the first spots of rain made the decision for me, and I trotted up to the Tube station. The rain soon turned into a full-blown hailstorm, but by then I was safely on the train.
An early Sunday start appears to be anathema to TfL, so the second day’s walking was Monday. Sunday services on the Bank Holiday buses, so nothing till mid-morning from near home, but a brisk 2km gave me a train just after six, and a couple of buses across north London, and I was back at Totteridge Lane to start at 0720: again, very few people on the paths.
A lugubrious basset hound on Hadley Green excepted, the first time I had to guard against bumping into bodies was at South Mimms motorway services, a rather unusual pedestrian refuelling point. My arrival at Old Hatfield was well-timed, giving me the time to tour the old village centre before catching the hourly train to Kings Cross.