Lake District ? I spit on the Lake District. Peak District ? Oh pleeze !
No if you are a real walker the only place to be is Richmond Park, and on a baking hot July Saturday afternoon, that’s where many walkers come. For that matter so do many: joggers, cyclists, dog walkers, courting couples, skateboarders, parents pushing buggies, small children etc. I would mention the Deer as well, but in their case they actually live there.
Anyway talking of baking hot, the cumulative effect of the two weeks of sweltering summer we are currently enjoying (depending on your point of view of course), was starting to take its toll on me. Thus not only was I breathing quite hard on certain sections, but on a few occasions I started to wonder could I do the distance. Of course being the hero that I am, I made sure I did the full mileage, but once or twice I did actually sit down for a bit.
Lunch was at the usual café whose pricing policy seems to be to charge whatever it is they think you will stand for. In this case a sausage baqueete, a bottle of orange juice, and a caramel shortcake, came to £6.50. No doubt the cycling fraternity who were packing out the place, got their grub much cheaper. If that wasn’t bad enough later on in the afternoon the kiosk near Pembroke Lodge only had bourbons to go with my coffee. In that instance I definitely needed something more chocolatee, to mask the taste of the cardboard cup the drink was served in.
Interesting moment of the day was hearing the ground alive with insect life. Annoying moment of the day was some woman who was about 100 yards in front of me, dressed in a denim dress carrying some type of shoulder bag (i.e. she didn’t even look like a proper walker). Needless to say for the best part of two miles I couldn’t catch her up, let alone get past her (something I am used to doing to everyone else out walking there). I only managed to catch her when she had to wait to cross the road at Kingston Gate, and I then took an inside path to outflank her.
I also managed to buy a useful map of the park for 20p (suggested donation) at the Royal Parks shop. Thus seeing how Helen thinks my Outer and Inner loop route is the most boring walk in the world, perhaps I can come up with some new trails to tempt her back to Richmond Park. After all I love it there.