29 January 2020

Weekly Walk: Northolt Circular

Having done all the easy long walks e.g. Capital Ring and Thames Path, I looked to The Ramblers for inspiration, having joined them primarily for that reason, and found the Northolt Circular Walk.

At just over ten miles it was the right distance for us and it was an opportunity to explore a part of London that neither of us knew very well, largely because we had never been there before.

The journey to the starting point, Northolt Station, meant taking District Line East to Turnham Green, District Line West to Ealing Broadway, Central Line East to North Acton and finally Central Line West. A messy journey but it did not take long.

The walk was broadly in four sections.

We started going through parks including the impressive Northala Fields which was constructed from waste from the original Wembley Stadium and the new White City shopping centre. The red dot on the map is where we took the circular route up one of the hills.

The final section heading West took us along an unexpected country lane devoid of traffic and people and our first introduction to mud.

We then headed South-East along the Hillingdon Trail which consisted of mud and more mud. Luckily part of it followed a housing estate and we were able to go along the pavement there rather than strictly following the official route.

The final leg North was along the Paddington Canal, which we had walked previously. This was a welcome dry stretch.

The walk was a lot of fun, despite the mud, and the only downside was the complete absence of cafes and pubs after the initial section. That meant we missed our coffee break and did not get our pub break until we got back to Northolt where The Crown did the trick.

Considered as a test of The Ramblers this was a complete success, i.e. the walk was fun and the instructions were easy enough to follow, and we will be trying more of their long distance walks in the future.

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