Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Journey to Sunny Hill
Yesterday I finally, finally took myself on a long-overdue photo walk. How long have I been moaning about not feeling motivated and being sick of my neighborhood blah blah blah? It's been a while! It felt so good to get out and see some new sights.
I didn't want to use public transport, given our lockdown, so I was somewhat constrained in my choice of destinations. I decided to walk to Sunny Hill Park, a pleasant-sounding place north of Hendon that I found on a map.
I started out in the morning and walked up to Golders Green, where I took some street shots of the interesting shops (above).
I revisited Brent Park, on Dollis Brook, to see if the deteriorating pavilions look any better in winter than they did last August. Answer: no.
As I moved up into Hendon, I found an old tiled butcher's sign on a shopfront. There was no butcher nearby, so I assume this is an old sign -- which read Lavender Butcher -- from a bygone era. It doesn't look that old, but it's hard to tell with tile.
Sunny Hill Park, it turns out, is quite hilly. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's located in an area with cheerful street names like Sunny Gardens, Sunningfields Crescent and Greyhound Hill. It wasn't very sunny, which in England in February isn't surprising, but it had some intriguing graffiti.
It also offered some impressive views. This is Wembley Stadium, 3.5 miles away as the crow flies. (People have complained about the architecture of Wembley, but it is the most immediately identifiable landmark on the skyline of Northwest London.)
I decided to keep walking north, up into the Mill Hill area, seen here from a terrace in Sunny Hill Park. I got as far as the Arrandene Open Space, and I thought a quick walk through the woods might be fun before I retook to the city streets and headed home. But the paths were a sludge of mud and I turned around quickly. It was a day better suited to paved surfaces.
I walked back down through Hendon, where the monument to the local war dead sits on a traffic island in the middle of busy Watford Way. I walked south through Hendon Park and cut over to the Clitterhouse Playing Fields, where I sometimes walk Olga. The crocuses were blooming away, having just emerged from our recent winter snowfall.
Altogether I walked 13 miles (or 26,000 steps according to my iPhone health app). So much time had passed since I'd had a long walk that I'd begun to doubt whether I could do it again, so I'm glad to see I can. I've still got all this week off work, so I'm already planning my next one!