Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Boston Manor to Greenford


I really wanted to walk another leg of the Capital Ring before I set out for Germany today. I knew if I didn't do it yesterday, it would be at least another week before I had a chance. So I took the tube to Boston Manor and got out on the path.

This might be one of my favorite segments of the entire walk. So much of my time was spent in green landscapes like the one above, along a secluded stretch of the Grand Union Canal and then the River Brent. I had perfect weather -- comfortable temperatures and enough sun to need sunblock.


I joined the canal at Osterley Lock, where I sat on a bench and drank a coffee I'd bought at a cafe in Boston Manor. I noticed that some of the paving bricks near the benches had been carved or sculpted, or were molded to include images of bolts, wrenches and even a cassette tape. The bricks were in terrible condition but I could still get a hint of what some of them might have looked like.


I found a pair of coots along the canal, feeding their three chicks on a nest.


The canal is always scenic, with brightly painted narrow boats moored along its banks. (This one is named "Dorothy.") At this time of year the banks are covered with flowers.


I saw lots of insects, like this hoverfly, as the path led through meadows of hogweed and cow parsley, red poppies and blue cornflowers and yellow blossoms like these.


The path led beneath one of the arches of Hanwell Bridge, and apparently sometimes it's under water so there's an alternate route to cross the road above. I managed to take the low road, but it was a bit squishy. According to my map, there's been a bridge here since at least the 14th century, with the present structure dating from 1762 and augmented by later widening.


A bit further on, I passed under the Wharncliffe Viaduct, built in 1838 to carry the railroad across the River Brent. It was a product of the fertile imagination of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed many railroad structures in the Victorian era. Queen Victoria herself supposedly stopped her royal train atop the viaduct so she could admire the view.

At a cafe in Brent Lodge Park I ate a vegetarian English breakfast (some people will find that a contradiction in terms) with egg, toast, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and veggie sausage. I sat out on the patio, where I was joined by a group of teenagers who were clearly on a school trip. Fortunately, they were well behaved!


In the town of Greenford, I left the path to wander the high street and found a deteriorated Boots pharmacy sign on the side of a building. (I didn't see a Boots so I think it must be pretty old.)


I also passed someone's charming little garden outbuilding.

The walk ended at Greenford tube station after 5.8 miles -- one of the nicest walks I've had so far in London!

16 comments:

Alphie Soup said...

What a delightful section of this walk; all the greenery and the brilliant fire-engine red narrow boat and the wonderful old viaducts.
Alphie

37paddington said...

Your pictures here remind me of the setting of that PBS series Grantchester. You've captured it exactly.

David said...

Just beautiful! Love the canal boat! Thank you for the pictures and interesting commentary of your absolutely beautiful day.

Ms. Moon said...

That looks to me like a walk I would take over and over again, each time seeing something new. How beautiful! From the grand vistas to the tiny insects on the flowers.
I hope your trip goes smoothly.

Red said...

There's no end of variety or what you may learn on these walks.

Linda Sue said...

*swoon*- all of this journal entry! You have found the best. I am so grateful for your legs , your eyes and your camera. What a gift.

robin andrea said...

That really is such a beautiful walk. Thank you for taking such grand photos of it and sharing it.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I loved this post Steve. You are such an observant guy. I hope you have a great trip to Germany.

Sharon said...

It looks like you have a perfect day for taking a long walk. You found some interesting things to photograph and some lovely scenes.
Safe travels today!

Comox Valley and beyond said...

What a wonderful day thanks for sharing your lovely photos so much variety in one day.

Sabine said...

That was a lovely walk report. Hope you will have a good time in Germany.

jenny_o said...

Those views seem very far from city life. Another wonderful collection of photos, very much enjoyed!

Safe travels.

Catalyst said...

I loved seeing the coots' chicks on their nest. And that river barge is beautiful, as was the viaduct. Good tour, Steve. Have a good time in Germany.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful scenes.

e said...

Is that charming building an outhouse? Have a good trip!

ellen abbott said...

I do love these segmented walking loops.