This is a long photo heavy post written mainly for my own purposes so I can look back and remember our short holiday. I don't seem to have mastered the art of precis I am afraid! I hope you will however enjoy coming with me on the walks and perhaps check out some of the links for more info should you wish.
Next door to this quintessential English cottage was the White Horse pub where we had lunch - I didn't take a photo of it but click here for info and pics. I must admit that inside the noise was less intrusive but I am so glad I don't actually live in Longford. After a sit down, a drink and a delicious sandwich lunch we made our way back to Harmondsworth going through the recreation ground which according to an entry in my baby book is where I had my first outing the day before we left for the Forest of Dean never to return till now.
Heathrow Airport started in 1929 as a small airfield on land southeast of the hamlet of Heathrow. Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very big airfield started in 1944, the year I was born, stated to be for long-distance military aircraft bound for the far east. But by the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War 2 had ended. The government continued to develop the airfield, as a civil airport, known as London Airport and later as Heathrow. So Harmondsworth would still have been a peaceful little village when I was last there morw than 72 years ago - couldn't find any blue plaques to commemorate my birth though!
We made the bus journey back to West Drayton and from there onwards by various buses which took ages and by the time we got back to our hotel I had had enough of free bus pass travel though we did see parts that others never reach!
The path runs between the ghostly deserted platforms at Crouch End - it must once have been a sizable station as the platforms were quite long - and one could almost hear the trains and the passengers waiting on the platforms as we passed along. Somewhere along here I must have dropped the printed pages we were following probably because I had my mac on then off then on again as the rain stopped and started and so we had to try and remember the route and information from here on.
Finsbury Park - no photos as I was feeling a bit cross about losing the instructions! But we discovered there was an excellent cafe where we had lunch and a drink and set off again feeling better about it as after all it really didn't matter and one of the good things about walking in London is that you are never far from civilisation and bus stops so the chance of getting lost is minimal.
Capital Ring which is a 78 mile circular walk round the capital about 5-10 miles radius from Charing Cross (considered to be the centre of London).
Even when it passes industrial estates on the other side it is still peaceful and pleasant.
here to find out more - click on About then History to read how this once neglected resevoir which had been treated with chlorine and sodium phosphate gas to ‘clean’ the water and which was then unsurprisingly devoid of any wildlife was to have been filled in a used for building land but was saved and is now a lovely peaceful area open to the public free of charge. I believe it opened in May of this year and I can certainly recommend a visit.
Now we couldn't remember the route and so we finished up in Stoke Newington and from there got the bus. We have since discovered that we missed Abney Park Cemetery which sounds interesting being a non-denominational burial ground set out as a garden cemetery in 1840 and now a nature reserve too. Since we had enjoyed our walk so much we resolved to make the Capital Ring a project and to walk all 78 miles of it - in short sections of course! So next time we go to London we can start the next section where we left off this time and see the Cemetery then.
Queenhithe Dock (incidentally the only remaining Anglo Saxon dock in the world) We used the leaflet in the link here which provides more pictures and information on the story and the walk..
Royal Exchange now no longer used as a stock exchange as trading there ceased in 1939 when WWII broke out it now houses an exclusive retail centre with restaurants, cafes over 30 stores selling luxurious brands. In other words a temple to consumerism!
The Bank of England and
17th century memorial of a chubby boy was to mark the point where the Great Fire of London ended, it alsoacted as a warning to Londoners that their gluttony had been the cause of the fire. Why? Because the fire began in 'Pudding' Lane and ended at 'Pye' (or Pie) Corner! Do check out the link for more on this little lad. According to the leaflet we were following neither pudding nor pie meant anything to do with eating but "puddings" were dropped from offal carts going from the meat market on Eastcheap to the Thames and the "pie" or "pye" came from the name of the Magpie tavern which used to stand here! We finished our walk here and didn't continue to the London Museum as stated in the leaflet.
We had a sandwich lunch in Lincoln's Inn Fields, a nearby park, and foolishly perhaps decided to do another walk after lunch this time round St James but all that walking on granite pavements was much more exhausting than the green walks we had done earlier in the holiday and everything began to blur into a mixture of buildings and churches and the only things which really stood out from this walk were the Silver Vaults which I didn't like finding them claustrophobic and scary with the big heavy safe door at the entrance down in the bowels of the earth and all that silver so much that I felt rather as I do in a supermarket these days - that there is just too much and so I don't want any of it! I couldn't wait to leave. Though I dare say it would be the place to go if you wanted something specific and knew what you were looking for. I give you a snapshot here in the little video. What do you think?
caravan offering a drop in counselling service free of charge to anayone who needed help. I'd just had enough and we made our way back to our hotel to rest our feet and our brains!
And I promised birthdays too and so it was that Mr M had his 80th birthday during our stay in London and we celebrated by meeting up with the Wanderer in a little Italian restaurant cum shop in Notting Hill where we had a delicious meal and sat chatting together till it was nearly 5.00 and they were beginning to set tables for dinner! Since we hadn't seen the Wanderer since February there was a lot of catching up to do!
On our last day we decided to go straight home as the forecast was for a hot day and so we made our way to Waterloo in time for the 12.20 train and were home by 3.00 having enjoyed a great few days in our capital and having discovered some more interesting corners which not so many people visit - shopping did we none nor did we go to any shows nor do any of the usual tourist things. But we were content that it should be so.
If you have made it this far you deserve a medal.