Sunday, December 3, 2017

Berrylands to Hatton Cross

I resumed walking the LOOP on Saturday, taking a train out to Berrylands, where I left off last time. This colorful mural, down in the community below, greeted me on the train platform.

I walked into Kingston-upon-Thames, where I came across the Saxon "Coronation Stone." Supposedly several Saxon rulers, including Ethelred the Unready, were made king here. The stone sits on an impressive plinth adorned with their names in Celtic script, and covered with pennies from superstitious visitors.

From there the path crossed over the Thames, where these rowers were pulling beneath the bridge.

This woman brought some food for the waterbirds. I think she may have gotten more than she bargained for.

From the river, the path led into the immense Bushy Park. I passed beneath these trees and what I at first thought was a large flock of birds. Then I realized they were actually shoes. That's a lot of shoes!

In Bushy Park I made a slight detour to see the Diana Fountain. From the name, I thought it was going to be a memorial to Lady Di, but it's much, much older than that. It dates to 1637, from the reign of King Charles I, and since 1713 it has stood in a circular pond in the center of the park's Chestnut Avenue -- lined with chestnut and lime trees and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who also produced St. Paul's Cathedral.

I saw this Egyptian Goose in a nearby wildlife and bird park, along with parakeets, ducks, moorhens and lots of other birds.

And although many of the pictures I'm showing you depict somewhat urban features, I wanted to include this one -- of a woodland in Bushy Park -- because it more accurately represents the kind of landscapes I was seeing for most of my walk.

I passed deer lounging in a field in Bushy Park -- but I didn't get very close. (Trusting visitors occasionally get gored by deer in the Royal Parks when they invade their personal space.)

I also passed some Art Deco houses and flats -- definitely not London's typical semi-detached!

There were many, many more sights, including the River Crane, a small river that I followed for much of the walk, multiple parks (Brazil Mill Wood, Donkey Wood, Hounslow Heath) and some interesting neighborhoods. After walking about ten miles, I finished at Hatton Cross, which is right next to Heathrow Airport. I really enjoyed this segment -- there was a lot to see!


  1. Thanks for this account Steve. Interesting. I wonder what the rare shoe birds feed upon. Do you ever get them in your garden? They usually appear in pairs.

  2. Now that's an amazing walk!
    Too bad we don't have a presidential stone here. It could be inscribed, "Donald, The Unqualified."
    There is a shoe tree in Nevada I've seen. Bizarre.

  3. You don't just don't run into these things. You have to do some preparation to make it worthwhile.

  4. I will remember this"...covered with pennies from superstitious visitors..." always. It describes so much of what I see everywhere in many different ways. Love that cormorant on Diana's head, and the shoe tree, and all the sights there. What a wonderful walk!

  5. That was a great walk, Steve. I also liked the cormorant drying his wings while perched on Diana, and those huge deer.

  6. Wow, this section really had a lot to see. Those deer are quite a sight to see and the Diana fountain is beautiful. You must have been hearing the planes coming and going by the time you got toward the end.

  7. sometimes your london pictures leave me with such a sense of deja vu. this is one of those posts.

  8. Ten miles is a pretty good hike! What a nice variety of photos.

    And yes, those deer don't look like they would tolerate any nonsense! Is deer hunting allowed in England?

  9. YP: Weirdly, I find them under my bed!

    Ms Moon: I actually feel kind of bad for the shoe trees. It can't be good for them. I'm surprised the park lets them all stay. (And why are shoes so inexpensive and disposable that people can afford to fling them up into a tree? Doesn't that say something about our economic system?)

    Red: Actually, TFL (the London transport organization) has done a lot of the preparation by giving walkers downloadable guides to tell them about what they see on these walks. All I have to do is get out there and walk, and follow the guide!

    Robin: The cormorant made the Diana photo, I thought! I got about ten shots, but only in one of them is the cormorant on her head with wings outstretched.

    Catalyst: I know -- those are impressive racks on those deer! Dave's family would want to go hunting, I'm sure.

    E: :)

    Sharon: Yes, the planes were close by at the end, but I haven't yet walked directly beneath the flight path. I think that comes on the next segment.

    37P: You have a lot of London memories sleeping in your brain, I'm sure!

    Jenny-O: No, they cannot be hunted. Not these deer, anyway. They're in a royal park and as such are the property of the crown, as I understand it. Rangers do cull the herds from time to time, though.

  10. what a great segment. and what is the big deal about tying your shoes together and tossing them on power lines or in trees? I wear my shows until they fall apart.