03 October 2016

Strolling ... up two hills in the west

A lovely day for a walk. This one was part of Walk London, an offering of guided walks by Transport For London ... the idea being that people use public transport to get to and from the walks.
Leafy suburbs
 The lift at Greenford (Central line), starting point of the walk, is a sort of cable car -
 We set off down a meandering path, shared with bicycles -
...and along a stretch of the Grand Union Canal -
White beaks=coots, red beaks=moorh
 The name of this narrowboat brought back a twang or two of remorse mixed with nostalgia -
 ... whereas this strange boat seemed part locomotive, part submarine ... and all wrong -
 We filed along to Horsenden Farm -
... and up Horsenden Hill -
Note the Capital Ring signpost - we were walking part of  Section 9
- only 70-some miles to go to complete the ring!
View to the west, with Windsor Castle somewhere near the horizon 
View to the northeast - that's the next hill we'll be climbing
 Here's one of the things I love about England -
Deciduous forests with very little undergrowth
 ... and this is another - the way the name of the street can suddenly change -
London Road becomes Sudbury Hill
 Reaching Harrow on the Hill, we found a small market on the green. Most of the houses in the village, our guide said, are part of or connected with the school. The gabled building at the rear was once a pub called The King's Head, and when it changed use its sign and gantry was erected on the green -
 A gilded Victorian postbox -
 At the top of the hill is St May's Church, the highest building in Middlesex. It dates back to 1087, but little of the original building remains.
Victorian stained glass
The poet Byron was a pupil at Harrow School from 1801 to 1805 - he would sit in the churchyard and see this view -
 "...he sat dreaming by "his favourite tombstone" (the "Peachy Tomb"), as recorded in "Lines Written beneath an Elm in the Churchyard of Harrow", which is reproduced on a memorial in front of the Peachy Tomb, erected by the son of one of Byron's school friends in 1905. The Elm burnt down sometime prior to 1935. Byron's daughter, Allegra Byron (by Clair Clairmont), is buried in an unmarked grave outside, very near to the south porch."
 Down the hill, past this sculpture in the park -
... and heading home from Harrow on the Hill station (Metropolitan line).

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