GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Harrow Weald Common

2 miles (2.5 km)

This area of common land in Harrow has some nice footpaths to try. There's 18 hectares to explore with woodland, heath and pasture. The common has a car park off Old Redding Road where you can pick ip the trails. Head west and you will soon come to Gilberts Lake and Gilberts Orchard. You'll also pass Grim's Dyke, an ancient earthwork which runs for three miles between the common andPinner Green.From the high points in the park there are nice views of Central London and the Chilterns. The Harrow Viewpoint on Old Redding is a popular spot and a great place to soak in the extensive views.
The common is also great for interesting flora and fauna. Look out for magnificent redwoods, rhododendrons and marsh plants like yellow iris and willow scrub. Keep you eyes peeled for wildlife such as red fox, muntjac deer and a variety of butterflies in the summer months.
The London Loop passes through the common so there is scope for extending your walk. If you head east you can visit Bentley Priory and Stanmore Common where there are more good walking trails to try. Heading west will take you to Oxhey Woods where there is a fine sculpture trail.

Postcode

HA3 6SE - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Harrow Weald Common OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Harrow Weald Common Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Borehamwood Walk starts from the train station in the town. It visits the common, Aldenham Country Park, Bentley Priory and Stanmore Commons. It's a nice way of seeing some of the walking highlights of the area using public transport.
For more walking ideas in the area see the London Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Gilbert's lake

Gilbert's lake

Harrow Weald Common - geograph.org.uk - 1280841

Woodland path on Harrow Weald Common. Taken on the London Loop Footpath looking south.

Grim's Dyke Hotel, from the garden. - geograph.org.uk - 311183

Grim's Dyke Hotel, from the garden. Grim's Dyke is most famous for its association with the librettist, Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, the writing half of the Gilbert & Sullivan partnership, who lived in the house from 1890 to his death in 1911. The name Grim's Dyke comes from an ancient defensive earthwork which runs from Pinner Hill to Bentley Priory. The House was built there in 1870 for the Victorian Painter Frederick Goodall, who had bought 100 acres of land at Harrow Weald in 1856 but was unable to build for 12 years until the expiry of a lease. During that time he landscaped the area and planted trees, setting aside 30 acres parallel to the ancient earthwork for the house and gardens. Work started on the house in 1870 and was completed in 1872. The house was designed by Norman Shaw, a well-known architect of the time who also designed the New Scotland Yard building. The Gilberts bought the property in 1890. During his 21 years there, Gilbert made a number of changes to the house and grounds. He planted trees and rhododendrons, developed the farm which was part of the estate, and built a number of greenhouses beyond the moat and over the dyke. There was a kitchen garden, orchard and vinery and, for Lady Gilbert who was a keen gardener, a sunken rose garden was constructed on the terrace above the moat.

Garden of Grims Dyke Hotel, Hatch End (geograph 5359324)

Garden of Grims Dyke Hotel, Hatch End. Gilbert's greatest joy was the large lake he had excavated to the south of the house. It had an island in the middle and a changing hut and boathouse on the shore. Every day in the summer he would bathe there - a habit which eventually cost him his life. On 29th May 1911 Gilbert invited two local girls to swim in the lake. He died attempting to help one of them when she got into difficulties. Gilbert seems to have lived very happily at Grim's Dyke surrounded by animals and pets, of which there were a great number, many wandering freely about the house. He worked every day in the library where he could look out through the French windows onto the croquet lawn. Lady Gilbert remained in the house until her death in 1936. Between 1963 and 1968 the house was used as a film and television location. In 1970, when it was converted into a hotel, Grim's Dyke was designated a building of special architectural and historical interest. The present owners took over the property in 1996 when the Grade II listed building was extensively restored and refurbished in the country house style.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Harrow Weald Common.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Harrow Weald Common.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)