Monday, 17 November 2008

Osterley to Greenford Station (The Capital Ring) – (Middlesex) – 16/11/08 – 6.5 Miles – 0kg – Helen

After a four mile walk round the outskirts of Osterley Park with Helen a couple of days previous, I decided that my newish £11 boot insoles were in no condition to carry on with. Therefore I started this walk with just two gel type heel inserts I had bought for £6 two days back. However after a half a mile I decided they were also a problem, and continued on with just the bare insides of the boots. In the event this proved the best course of action with the boots not giving me any problems during the walk, although I have to qualify that by saying I wasn’t carrying any weight in my rucksack, and I also had on some new £12 walking sock’s (as opposed to my usual 12 socks for a £1 footwear from Primark). So you can now consider yourselves up to date on my shopping.
Anyway the Capital Ring, and if you recall (or click here ) me and Helen began this back in July with stage 6 from Wimbledon Park tube finishing some two thirds into stage 7 by coming off the Grand Union Canal onto the Great West Road. Well on this occasion we rejoined it at exactly the same place on the canal (which cut out the official joining link for stage 8 at Boston Manor tube). Our destination would be Greenford tube on the Central Line and the official end of stage 8.

This section of the Grand Union Canal is becoming oh so familiar to us these days, however once we turned off at the bottom Hanwell Lock (there are six) to go alongside the Brent River, we were in unexplored territory. Following the path we soon reached Hanwell Bridge (which dates back to 1762 apparently) but instead of going under it, the deepish mud forced us to cross on the upper road. However once we were in the field opposite, the Wharncliffe Viaduct came into view. This being an impressive structure that was a regular sight during my childhood, when I would be out walking my aunties’s and uncle’s dog when they lived in Hanwell. As we went under it we were greeted by two cyclists who we had seen earlier on the canal, and who said they were also doing the Capital Ring (funny I thought it was for walkers). Presently we ended up in Brent Lodge Park where Helen decided to explore her inner child at the small zoo. However with time cracking on and the light and weather not looking to improve I managed to keep her out of the adjoining maze. Once back en-route we snaked round the edge of the park as instructed by the ‘Walk London’ instructions, and nearly became a trophy killing for one of those bull terrier type canines, but fortunately the owner was responsible enough to keep the aggressive mutt on a lead.


The weather had been spitting on and off from the start of the walk but as we crossed a section of Brent Valley Golf course and then went along the edge of Bittens Field (a reclaimed landfill site) it was raining heavily enough that my waterproofs were now being kept permanently on. Helen for her part didn’t seem to have too much in the way of waterproofs but did have a rather fetching pink umbrella (as pictured). From there we crossed into Perivale Park turning right at the bowling green and ‘half left at the tennis courts. Then it was over the A40 via the footbridge, round the perimeter of another sports field and another couple of turnings, before going under two bridges (one for the railway and one for the tube) and reaching the stage 8 finishing point at Greenford Station. So overall a very nice mix of the urban, footpath’s and park life. Well maybe not so much park life as the weather seemed to be keeping people indoors (but obviously not hardy types like us).

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