12 March 2019

Walking from Richmond to Greenford

One of the things that I am hoping to do more of now that I have retired is walking. I am being helped in this by a friend who has a similar ambition.

Our first attempt was a section of London Loop and while that was reasonably successful we lost our way a little on Hounslow Heath and struggled all the time to find the correct route due to a lack of signage.

Our second walk was on Capital Ring and that was a lot more successful and we did stages 7 and 8, starting at Richmond and ending at Greenford.

What the map does not make clear is that most of this walk was along waterways and in something under three hours we walked fifteen kilometres following the Thames, Grand Union Canal and Brent river.

We also spent most of out time surrounded by greenery and at times in was easy to believe that we had left the city. We had the mud on our boots to prove it too.

There were other times that the traffic roar from the A4 and M4 made it perfectly clear that we had not escaped the city after all.

Of the few built-up areas we walked through Brentford Lock West was the most interesting, not least because it was not even a thing when I last walked there; admittedly that was over ten years ago. The development of new flats around the lock looked attractive enough but I would not want to live there as Brentford is not big enough to be a regional centre and lacks the transport links to get to one.

One of London's smaller transport links started our journey home as we took the 2-car shuttle train, run by GWR (!), from Greenford to West Ealing where it connected to the mainline and we caught a connection to Ealing Broadway. There we had a delicious lunch at The Farm W5 before taking the 65 bus home through the driving rain that had kindly kept away all morning.

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