According to the Urban Dictionary, a snicket is defined as a “partially vegetated alleyway or cut-through in the north of England, usually with bollards at both ends and is poorly lit”. I suppose, in the leafy suburb of Pinner, we just call them alleys – and our mothers usually forbid us to go down them alone at night.
With that warning vaguely in mind, I consider the snickets of Pinner are by far the best way to walk around quickly and they’re absolutely all over the place. Quite a few are on the map, or at least identified by a footbridge over Woodridings Brooks or the Pinn, but there are several that aren’t marked at all. My plan is to take you on a tour of the top ten or so, so that no longer will you stare down a fence-lined path and wonder where it leads. All paths are paved and lit unless stated otherwise.
1. The Dell to Elm Park Road
If I’d known about this earlier, this would have been a very useful little cut-through. The Dell itself proclaims loudly that it’s a private road and do be aware that there are three deliberately tucked-away little cottages at the beginning of the snicket. As you proceed, you’ll find the dainty path becoming more genuinely snickety as you go along. You reach a t-junction a few minutes in where a fenced and formerly gated path takes you left into Little Common, which is a smallish park with a children’s playground. If you wanted, you could continue through the park on to Elm Park Road, which connects Bridge Street with the Uxbridge Road.
More interestingly, however, if you continue along the snicket proper, you eventually come out right by Haywood Close (off Elm Park Road), which would have, for us, made getting to Tesco and the vet’s a whole lot easier. You live and learn.
2. Between Waxwell Lane and Woodhall Avenue
This is pretty much the only one of today’s snickets signposted at both ends, so you might have a chance of finding it. If you proceed along Waxwell Lane as far as the Grail in either direction, you should find the entrance to the snicket where there are railings by the road. It’s quite a pretty snicket, which crosses Woodridings Brook and gives access to path along the stream. I can’t claim to have followed this path, but I reckon it comes out on Woodhall Avenue, but at the Uxbridge Road end. Useful if you don’t mind a bit of wilderness.
The snicket comes out at the pedestrian join between Barrow Point Avenue and Woodhall Avenue. I like it, because it means you don’t have to walk along the hideously busy Uxbridge Road. The overhanging flower bushes are pretty in the spring, too.
3. Uxbridge Road to Marsworth Avenue and Evelyn Drive
As you emerge from Woodhall Avenue, you will see opposite the old-fashioned signpost pointing to Uxbridge and Rickmansworth and beyond an H12 bus stop. I’ve always wondered where the snicket right next to it went – so off I went to explore.
It turned out to be the longest snicket so far and didn’t come out where I’d expected. In the end, when light did eventually appear (this one’s not lit, bear in mind), it turned out to be the quite thirties-esque Marsworth Ave. With some horror, I looked across the road and saw a continuation of the path. I gritted my teeth and pressed on, only to find that snicket 3a was a short hop across to Evelyn Drive, the next road along. From there, if you wish, you can walk along the signposted route to Oxhey Lane – which is a very long way indeed… I decided this really didn’t count as a snicket, and retreated to Paines Lane.
4. Little Moss Lane to St. Thomas’ Drive
I’ve suspected a snicket between Moss Lane and the duel carriageway for years, but never ventured down that end to find out. Hence it’s slightly off on the map, because I’d expected it to be further up.
As I wound my way up Moss Lane (the posh end of Pinner), I was losing hope that a snicket would appear. I thought I’d have a look to see if there was any sign of one up by the tennis club on Little Moss Lane (full of small children counting how many balls they’d managed to hit), where I’d never been before. No pavement by this stage – that’s how you can tell you’re in tennis class land.
Right at the end, there was a tiny snicket the length of one house – and beyond the great dream. It led out into Briants Close, which opens out onto St Thomas’ Drive, the extension of George V. I beamed smugly.
5. Between Moss Lane and Paines Lane
This one’s dull, but means you don’t have to deal with the gravel of East End Way.
No, really, it’s incredibly dull.
6. Barrow Point Avenue to… Barrow Point Avenue.
You’ll find the entrances to this snicket on the other side of the pedestrian join mentioned next to snicket 2 and opposite Avenue Road on the other side. There’s access to Oakhill Avenue in the middle. It’s not particularly scintillating, but if you want to get from Love Lane to the Uxbridge Road, it would be a bit quicker.
7. Barrow Point Avenue to Love Lane
The last of today’s snickets is only diddy, but once again crosses the Woodridings Brook. It’s a lot less vegetated than the others and quite well lit. Do beware of the steep slope at the Love Lane end.
COMING UP: Snickets 8, 9 and 10 – fields and hills.