London Diary –Spring into Summer! (2)

Yippee hooray the sun came out, and the sky was a concert of blue patches and myriad of white puffs. I could hear children running and shouting on the soccer field. That was in the early morning. Things changed a bit later in the day.

But no matter. Spurred by the success of yesterday, I was eager for more lovely spring outing exploring London.

Walk London Spring into Summer continues with day 2. We are doing Twin Peak of Capital Ring, a section of Capital Ring between Greenford and Harrow on the Hill. After lunch at Black Horse, a pub by the Paddington Canal near Greenford station, we met up with the group which was about 60 people this time, twice as big as yesterday. Our guide were Marlene and David, who are both small in size and appeared to be septuagenarian. Marlene was the lead and goodness gracious, she was strong and as sprightly as can be, setting a brisk pace the entire way. Long walk and two steep climbs later, she was as fresh as when we first started, and we actually finished almost 30 minutes earlier, 4.5 miles in 2.5 hours.

We started at the head of the line but it proved to be difficult to stop to take photos and enjoy the moment and still keep up with the place in the line. I decided to forget about that. What good it is if you can’t stop and enjoy it along the way :o) The whole thing was a bit too hurry to my taste but we managed. After this however, I need a whole week to rest up :o) On the other hand it was worthy every bit of the effort.

In fact, I think today’s route surpasses yesterday’s, we saw delightful green space, interesting locales, and reached hill tops with stunning views.

Leaving Greenford Tube station, we took up Greenford Road by McDonald at Westway shopping center, and quickly entered a nature preserve, where we were surrounded by verdant green, butter cups, cow parsleys and lots of hawthorns.

In a little while, we found ourselves by the canal. We followed Padding Canal for about 20 minutes before changing direction and starting the climb up to Horsenden Hill, which is the highest point in Ealing. The path to the hill top was lovely with profusion of cow parsley lining and enlivening the way. The view of west London once atop the hill was absolutely rewarding and refreshing. You can also see the spire of a church north west of the hill. That spire in the distance is Harrow on the Hill, our next stop.

Harrow on the Hill seemed far from Horsenden Hill, and it was. First, we went through a tract of woods, which is so dense, deeply green and jungle like that it seems out of character, not what I expected to see in London. Once out of the woods, we were back to town and civilization.

After a bathroom break at Sudbury Hill Tube station, we zigzagged our way through residential neighborhoods, passing rows after rows of terrace houses, a small number of which had gardens in the front. I like the brick houses here, they are on average characteristic and handsome, but I’d much prefer them to be detached houses, single family home set in a decent size yard, with nice lawn and garden, which of course is a handful minority in a crowded city like London.

It had been an upward climb for about an hour by now and I started to feel the weight on my body and the reluctance of my legs, then the scene turned interesting. Elegant houses and eventually, the beautiful buildings of Harrow School loom ahead. A boy’s boarding school founded in the 16th century, Harrow School is one of most expensive private schools in UK at more than £12000 per term. Its impressive list of alumni include Lord Byron and Winston Churchill.

On top of the hill, a few steps from Harrow School is the grand church of St Mary and its soaring spire, which we saw from Horsenden Hill. Next to a stone tablet with inscription of Byron’s written words is a look out with stunning view of west London. Walk London Spring into Summer ended with a pretty high note.


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