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The London Loop - Leg 2

A Weir on the River Colne

October 2006

The London Loop Leg 2

Hatton Cross Station to Uxbridge Station

Saturday, 28th October, 2006






The London Loop is a 140 mile walk around London and roughly just inside the M25 (although you do not see it) passing through as many green places as possible such as parks, woods, commons and riverside protected areas.


The West Essex Ramblers covered this, in about 10 mile stretches, over the winters of 2006/7 and 2007/8.


We followed the path using "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, œ13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

Click below for largest image as specified

Some commentary on the photos,

which is also a reflection on the walk

[Road information is just to help identify where we were].


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From Hatton Cross Station we walked NE beside the A30 then started the walk properly. We were east of Heathrow Airport and just north of the "Balancing Reservoir" shown on the map in the photo.

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The path follows the river Crane, northwards, to Cranford. It began in a rural setting, as shown in the top two pic's, then passed through a park and a small housing estate. Where rural, the aircraft to Heathrow were low and not audibly intrusive (pic 3), however, over the estate the noise was awful (pic 4).

[We cross the A4 Road].

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Leaving the airport behind us, we walked through a wooded area and then crossed a meadow to Cranford Park.

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Another map, this time of Cranford Park which sits just beside the M4 motorway. Legible in the largest image, it gives a potted history of the area.

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From Cranford Park is a view showing a distant plane arriving at Heathrow; close to the information map is St Dunstan's Church and a stable. Leaving Cranford through a pedestrian subway under the M4 (fought hard for when the motorway was built), we walked a path through trees close to the M4 and then turned away from the road to eventually cross the meadow in pic 4. All this time we were close to the river Crane.

[We cross a main road to a roundabout and walk north up the A312].

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The Grand Union Canal links the Thames (at Brentford) to the Midlands (via Braunston). Bulls Bridge is the canal junction where the Grand Union's Paddington arm leads to Paddington Basin. (An arm is a canal cul-de-sac). After walking north along the A312 we glimpsed Bulls Bridge to our right. Our route was west along the canal, but we went up to Bulls Bridge Junction, paused at the bridge, observed the canal sign to Birmingham then retraced our steps and continued along the canal in a westerly direction.

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Not taking notes, I think this was a view up the Paddington arm from Bulls Bridge.

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[Going west, we cross the A437].

We soon left the canal heading north.

This is the golf course in Stockly Country Park and its club house is where we had lunch.

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We turned westwards then walked across a single pylon bridge which crosses the A408 and links the two halves of Stockly Country Park. Finally we turned south to rejoin the Grand Union. I think the second photo was the canal to our left, looking east. The third photo is looking west (from a bridge) which is the way we walked: lastly, looking back there is the bridge itself.

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Just a nice tree on a nice walk.

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Still on the Grand Union Canal we reached Cowley Peachy Junction where the Slough arm goes west. The top right picture shows the bridge over the Grand Union. Then we had a view of the marina, shown in the left hand picture meaning, we had left the main canal. We continued along the Slough arm passing bulrushes and an angler (of several we saw here) before the canal crossed the river Frays - seen just below the railings. (NB, I turned round to take this last photo, we were walking with the canal on our right)!

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A coal post, one of many encircling London after the Fire of London in 1666, installed for the collection of taxes from coal merchants.

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We turned right, by the post, onto a footpath (Trout Lane) which crosses the canal via a bridge. This gave us a glimpse the dinghy coming towards us.

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It did no take long before we were walking beside the river Colne on our way to a lake (in the photo) called Little Britain. This is because its outline is like Great Britain's. We stopped here for a drink break.

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We continued along the river Colne until a wide weir appeared ahead.

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From left to right: a tree was on our left then, at Clisby's road bridge (B470), we turned right and crossed over. Looking back we saw a house and garden. On the other side of the bridge, the path continued to the right of the river - Walking beside the river we saw a fisherman who had managed to seclude himself on the other bank.

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More river views: the river itself; the path disappearing though a curtain of willow branches; a small area set aside for Scramblers (they kindly waited for us to pass through) and autumnal reflections in the river.

18

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The lone angler - either ... had not care in the world - or ... had come here to get rid of his worries.

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We left the river at a side channel and eventually rejoined the Grand Union canal. There are many narrowboats along the canal near here, I've just chosen one of many views, this one includes a tree and a bridge.

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Just past the bridge in picture 19 is where this chap, on my suggestion that this was a three point turn, remarked it was more likely to be twenty!

We left the canal by this bridge (Rockingham Road) then made our way to Uxbridge station for our journey home.




Using a screen size of 800x600 is good for the 640x480 images as this maximises the size you see them, however, a higher resolution screen is recommended for the 2560x1920 images as this gives a much better overall sharpness of colour.




Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins