Stage 17 – An Unexpected River


Stage 17 of the London Spiral cuts across the north of the metropolis along an unexpected river – Pymmes Brook. I guess if you live in Southgate or Friern Barnet, you already know the stream, but it came as a surprise to me to find 10 miles of river flowing parallel to the Thames.

I first noticed it as we finished last month’s walk, by the clattering, mixed-up junction of Fore and Silver Streets at Edmonton, a stream in deep concrete walls heading under the street and out of sight.

Pymmes Brook culverted underneath Edmonton for its last mile, ’til it reaches the Lee.

For a walker Pymmes Brook offers some refreshment to the senses, especially so near the north circular, so it’s worth following its course for a few miles, from Edmonton through Arnos Grove to Whetstone.


Meeting place: just outside Silver Street station, Edmonton. Take the overground from Liverpool Street station, train every 15 mins
Date & time: Sunday January 15th 2017, 1pm
Distance: the walk is an easy 7 miles
End point: Totteridge and Whetstone station, 
Route Map 
Cost: No charge

Contact: 077932 00932

There’s a spiral in the little park at the side of Silver Street station, presumably an old railway turning circle, as the tram lines are still there:


Here’s Pymmes river by Pymmes Park, Edmonton, fast flowing and contained in a brick and concrete channel:


Pymmes Brook near Broomfield Park:


Broomfield Park:


Pymmes Brook through Arnos Park:


A designer made some effort with this railing, then the council put another railing up:


The brook is getting narrower, as we follow it upstream:


Playing fields at Oak Hill Park :


A drizzly winter’s day. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Finished with a refreshment at Em’s Coffee on Totteridge High Road.


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