19 February 2020

Weekly Walk: Richmond to Harrow on the Hill

As with last week's walk, this route was directed mostly by curiosity and the transport network.

On previous walks we had gone through various parts of West London mostly travelling east to west so we wanted to go south to north to see different aspects of these suburbs.

The Overground was the most obvious route home so we set off at 8:30am heading for Harrow and Wealdstone. We had no firm route in mind but we did have a destination.

Initially we followed the river to Kew Bridge, a path well-travelled but it was better than going by bus or train. Once across Kew Bridge we were in new territory where we remained for (almost) the rest of the journey.

Between the M4 and several railway lines was a massive development of flats and the new home for Brentford FC. We were the only people there ot wearing hard hats and we had to wait for overhead operations to stop at one point.

Crossing under the M4 we came into Gunnesbury Park. We started by a pond and left by another. In the middle were a few playing fields and not a lot else.

From there we walked north to Ealing along minor roads that ran in parallel with the familiar 65 bus route. It was quiet on the streets and many of the houses were attractive Victorian brick-built. It was a pleasant enough walk though, being suburbia, there was little of substantial interest.

One of the features of the walk was finding ways to cross major transport routes that crossed ours. The first was the main line into Paddington and to cross this it was easiest to go through the centre of Ealing and to use the bridge by the railway station.

Immediately passed that we reentered side-roads. Here the housing went up a notch ot two.

It was not long before we hit the next obstacle, the A40. My phone kept advising me to turn right and to follow the North Circular but I was never going to do that so once we had got past Hanger Hill Park we turned left and were soon rewarded with a subway under the many lanes of thundering traffic.

That only delayed the problem and we were forced to follow the A4005 for a while, at least that was not as busy as the North Circular which turned towards the west at that point as we carried on going north.

At the first opportunity we came off the main road and headed east for a while into South Perivale before resuming our journey north.

We hit Perivale at a good time for coffee and headed to The Lunch Box where we had been a few months before when forced off the nearby canal due to resurfacing work. I think we both had the same as we had last time which for me was Set Vegetarian Breakfast No. 1 with brown bread and a latte. Good food and great value. Places like that are a highlight of our walks.

It seemed easiest to follow the A4005 after that as it was going our way and was not that busy. We veered off when we saw a sign for Harrow on the Hill and we started dreaming of expensive beers in ancient pubs. It was quite a long detour and as hilly as we remembered from the last time we were there.

Unfortunately we had forgotten, ot not realised, that there are no pubs along High Street in Harrow on the Hill. There may have been some on one of the side roads but they all fell away steeply from the High Street we were not tempted down in fear of having to come all the way back up again having failed to find a pub. At least Harrow on the Hill had given us several nice buildings to look at which was a pleasant change.

So we headed for Kenton.

Kenton is as nondescript suburbia as everywhere around it but at least it had a pub. Sort of. Next to the railway station was The Beefeater, as bland a pub as you could find and with no draft bitters available. I had to have a Staropramen which was OK but a long way off a first choice.

From there the Overground took us back to Richmond in about half an hour. Getting there had taken us a fraction under four hours of walking in which time we had covered almost 23km.

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