A few months after moving into our house in north London, I stumbled upon the Dollis Valley Greenwalk. It was a rainy Monday. I don’t mind the rain, I welcome it. It makes for a quieter walk, and when I do cross paths with other walkers they tend to be alone like me.
Recently I took two friends on the journey, and when it started to rain they wanted to get the bus home. I wasn’t happy.
It was a similarly wet day when I set out on my walk yesterday, alone again. The Dollis Valley Greenwalk winds from Mill Hill through Barnet to the Hampstead Heath Extension. I join the ten-mile trail in Finchley and tend to continue into Hampstead Heath.
My walk takes in rivers, woodland, playgrounds, suburban gardens with summer houses, and a dual carriageway. I see how the other half live when I go down the mansion-lined street along the Hampstead Extension.
My legs are weary but these walks occupy my mind and remind me of what’s important. As England is placed into a new lockdown, it helps to see the wood for the trees.