Continued from Part 1
Oreo Cookies in hand, we begin our walk towards Harrow-on-the-Hill. Of course we make our first wrong turn straight away, forcing us to make a detour through the Oldfield Recreation Ground, a standard small park including some kids playing football, who stare at me as soon as their ball rolls onto the path (I did kick it back to them), two men walking and a young couple sitting on top of each other (literally) in the corner. Not weird.
Onwards to the Greenford Road, or the A4127, where we suffocate under some traffic fumes. We continue under the rail viaduct, and crossed towards the Westway Shopping Park, a typical suburban retail park with such delights as Hobbycraft, Sports Direct and a McDonald’s Drive-Thru. Luckily, we leave the road now and join the footpath towards the Grand Union Canal, passing around the edge of the retail park, through a graffitied subway and past several dog walkers.
Luckily the towpath is properly built, unlike one of the later sections through overly muddy fields. The path was also relatively rubbish free although there were some rather dodgy looking items behind random holes in the bushes and fences. Apart from that, the canal is pretty clean apart from some weird ‘white stuff’ on the surface which we came across at one point.
Further along the canal are several boring industrial units and some far more pretty canal barges,
We leave the canal near Horsenden Hill, unfortunately having to miss the section through Horsenden Wood, following which we see two far more geared up walkers who I suspect were walking far more of the capital ring than we were.
While following the route through the backstreets of Sudbury, we pass the All Hallows Church, the two Sudbury Hill stations, towards the Clementine Churchill Hospital where I have (unfortunately) had to spend a few hours in the past. I quickly realised at this point we were meant to take a detour around the back of the John Lyon School playing fields, but I quickly managed to get us back on the route.
We head up towards Harrow-on-the-Hill and Harrow School, walking through the empty grounds and car parks.
At this point, my phone decides to give up forcing me to rely on the map, meaning that we spend over 20 minutes trudging suspiciously around the playing fields due to the lack of signage. After heading in what I thought was the right direction, we end up crossing a style (a strange experience in London) and going down a small alleyway between two houses into a suburban backstreet. I managed to work out where we were before starting to walk in completely the wrong direction, and end up back on the route at a roundabout.
At this roundabout, we first come across two young men in a car where one tries to get out, and the driver continues to jerk the car forward resulting in some loud cursing. I then checked the direction we should head in about 20 times and before choosing a particular route – which I realised was wrong when we ended up at London’s least used station – Sudbury & Harrow Road instead of South Kenton as expected.
After apologising repeatedly to my friend who was due to be back within 40 minutes, he asks if we can take a train from there. Unfortunately not, it’s a Saturday and that station only has 7 (or so) trains calling per weekday at peak times. After staring at my map for a little longer and beginning the short walk towards Wembley Central station, I decide that we should take a bus there. We end up taking the Number 18, out of a selection of routes which continues all the way to Euston.
Stay tuned for Part 3 coming very soon! View pictures from the walk here.