Monday, November 23, 2015

Roding Valley

This is the 9th station I have now visited on the Central Line on my 'Above the Underground' challenge. Roding Valley is the first of the stations on the Central Line loop.

There are 9 stations altogether on the loop but Roding Valley is the least used station not just on the Central Line but on the whole of the Underground network. It is also one of just 12 stations on the network  that doesn't have any exit or entrance barriers on either side of the station. This is the first station on this line that doesn't have a car park.
And yes, it was deserted when I arrived. As well as not having any barriers there are no members of staff here either. Of course, the station has CCTV and a button to press if you wish to speak to a member of staff. Having said that, the station was clean and even had a toilet and waiting room.
I began my look around the area by exiting from the front entrance. Other than a row of shops there wasn't much of interest to note. I decided this would be a short visit.

The obligatory hairdressers was amongst the shops as well as a newsagent that seemed to sell many items besides newspapers and sweets. I did ask if he knew of any buildings or places of interest but I was met with a blank expression.

Walking over the bridge it was possible to see where the branch line for the central line loop leaves the main line which carries on towards Epping.

I walked along the road which is named Forest Edge which gives you a bit of a clue as to what is beyond the line of trees. This section of Epping Forest is surrounded by housing. It is divided into two sections . One called Knighton Wood and the other is Lord's Bushes separated by Monkham's Lane. Knighton Wood was once part of the Buxton Estate and became an established ornamental garden with ponds, shrubs etc. After the death of the owner in 1930 the land was returned to Epping Forest. However  remnants of the ponds, bamboo and rhododendron bushes still remain.

Altogether the woodland covers some 53 hectares and is a beautiful area of mature trees with lots of accessible paths, ideal for walking

After enjoying a walk through the woods I walked back to the station

and wandered off in the opposite direction

At the end of Station Road is the Monkhams public house built at the turn of the 20th cent.


Crossing the road I made my way down Squirrels Lane and across the sports field as I wanted to look at the River Roding.

I didn't quite expect to see such a wonderful viaduct almost hidden away. As I was just admiring the structure, the iridescent blue flash of a kingfisher flashed past. I felt I had struck gold and found the hidden treasures of the area around Roding Valley Station.

I continued walking along the track which widened out into Luxborough Lane

Further along the lane was the Old Loughtonians' Hockey Club with its bright blue pitches. Across the Lane from the Hockey club there used to be a football training ground for one of the London clubs - Tottenham Hotspurs (aka Spurs) but they moved in 2012 to their new training ground in Enfield.

I then had to walk across a bridge over  M11, a 55 mile motorway which runs North from the North Circular Road in South Woodford  to the A14 near Cambridge. I have driven beneath this bridge many times on my journeys North but how different it will now feel as I drive along knowing what is either side of the bridge.

Time to make my way back to the station.

Close to the back entrance to the station is this small row of shops.The shops didn't inspire me. In fact on closer inspection they were more business premises than shops - therapy centre, accountants, hairdressers. But there was something about the last shop in the row that made me have a closer look, possibly because I couldn't work out what it was selling.

It turned out to be gun shop. There are very strict laws about gun ownership in the UK but according to their website this shop has been here since 1950 and is one of the largest gun shops in Essex although it seems a lot of their trade is in air rifles which are used for clay pigeon shooting..

Back at the station I crossed the bridge to the other platform to catch the tube back into London and before you ask, no there was no-one else at the station waiting for the train!
Sharing with Our World Tuesday


  1. Another very interesting description of the rail station and surroundings. The wood is especial;y beautiful and also that canal and viaduct. I'm glad yoou include so many photos of the area - it is such a different world from where I live. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Not much action at the station but I'm sure finding that wonderful old via-duct and seeing the king-fisher made your trip to Roding Valley worthwhile.

  3. It's all the more satisfying when we stumble upon the unexpected! The viaduct is so nicely situated! As it happens I've featured a viaduct today too!

  4. Hello, it is interesting following your rail station tours. I like the viaduct, river and the kingfisher sighting would have made my outing. Also, nice to see the forest area! Thanks for sharing your visit, have a happy week ahead!

  5. Interesting transitioning shots of the surroundings. In this overpopulated congested world, you found a route less traveled it seems … complete with a surprising merchant at the end of the trail. :)

  6. I enjoy seeing what is around the train stations during your various visits. I'm wondering why this particular train station doesn't seem to be used much. The forest nearby looks lovely.

  7. I do love trains!! And what great and interesting captures for the day!! I really enjoyed your post and photos for the day!! Thanks for sharing, as always!!

  8. I like the walkway connecting the platforms and the viaduct was a great find. Sometimes places that are quite boring on the surface can be very nice places to live.

  9. Another great virtual tour.
    Thanks for taking us along.

  10. Looks like it was worth going to after all. The last shop the big giveaway was the name Winchester and Beretta on the windows, really famous makes of guns. They may sell a lot of shot guns for clay pigeon shooting as I do not think an air rifle would be man enough but I could be wrong

  11. Just a few miles from the centre of London and yet a very rural feel to this area. I, too, know the M11 well and had no idea what treasures were alongside. I have never seen a kingfisher - lucky you!

  12. You exit the tube with no idea that after a bit of a walk you will come to such a beautiful wooded area. The old viaduct is lovely. Some of the building leave a bit to be desired, but there is far more beauty to the area and unattractiveness.

  13. oh I am just loving the forest, what a nice walk that would be, do you know how old the bridge is?

  14. Looks like a very lovely area. Some of the photos look a lot like the ones in another post I saw. I guess it stands to reason that similar things would crop up around train stations. I do like the old churches, the millionaire's row and the lovely park areas. I guess not many people will need a tube ride from those areas. Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting my post.

  15. That is strange that no one uses the station. The woods and walks look lovely though and the river and viaduct.

  16. Thanks for providing good information,Thanks for your sharing.



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