When I first heard a couple of years ago that a new country park was to be built a few miles away, I thought WAHOO because I thought it might be like my beloved Walthamstow/Hackney/Tottenham Marshes and there’d be miles and miles and miles of trails for me to run around, so when I heard a week or so ago that the Conningbrook Lakes Country Park had opened, when I woke up this morning and pondered today’s Juneathon activity and remembered the country park, there was nothing else for me to do but to go exploring.
I cycled the scenic, traffic-free route up to the Julie Rose Stadium and hoped there would be a sign to tell me where the park was, and there was indeed a sign that even I couldn’t miss.
Once inside the gate, however, there were no more signs to tell me where the park was and I didn’t think the entrance to the park would be inside the stadium, so I locked my bike up and went exploring in the opposite direction and found a bit that didn’t look very park-like.
Undeterred, I headed towards a gate that someone had rebelliously left open.
As someone had rebelliously left the gate open, despite a sign clearly asking for the gate to be kept shut, I decided to also rebel and ignore the sign that clearly said no pedestrians.
At the end of the path was a car in front of a gate and I thought PLEASE DON’T BE DOGGING and I tried really hard not to look in the car and went up to the gate but the gate was locked and a voice from the car said ‘It’s got a combination lock on it, it’s for members only’ and I turned round and in the car was a young lad eating an apple and wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and he said but you can climb over the gate though.
I said I was looking for the country park, the new one, and he said yes this is it and I said I didn’t know where the entrance was and he said it’s at the stadium, did you come through the quarry? and I said yes and hoped he didn’t know that I didn’t actually have a clue what a quarry was and he said that’s the wrong way but it doesn’t matter. I said if I go over the gate and just keep walking and follow the lakes round, will I get back to the stadium? and he said yes, so I said cool, thank you, and then I climbed over the gate and found the lake and swans and stuff and you can look at the pretty pictures below.
After I’d walked round the lakes, the trail led out through the running track and stadium, and right outside the exit was my bike and I might or might not have felt a bit foolish that the entrance had been about two feet away from where I locked my bike.
Cycling: about 10 miles
Walking: 1.3 miles
Juneathon’s completed: 5/30