Once again we are back on the Ring Cycle, no not Wagner, but the walk around London and this time South Kenton to Hendon Central, here is what we found…
This route wasn’t the longest but it certainly felt like one of them and it was one of those 4 seasons in one day kind of walks.
We started off at South Kenton, an unimpressive start, but quickly into a park, Preston Park to be exact and a nice green space actually, it was create as one of those Specimen Parks, where they filled it with all manor of unusual trees, there are no Plane Trees at all, which is a major blessing if you suffer Hay Fever – trust us we know! And the Squirrels are some of the most social anywhere in London, so overall a great start.
After a few roads we found ourselves on a busy road over the railway bridge at Preston Road station and a quick stop for coffee in the only Coffee Shop we could find and Wow what a great Find, Maya’s Coffee, well go read the review (here).
On we went and followed the map down Uxendon Hill and into some woodlands which opens out into Fryent Country Park, a vast open space and this is where the heavens opened and the skies turned black, thunder, lightning, you get the idea! We stood under cover of trees and watched the hillside light up and blacken, before wandering on in our rain coats to find the pretty pond, the fishing Heron and a view of West London before heading down a steep and slippery path towards the car park and the other half of the park.
Now this is the point where we suggest an alternative route (we like a detour and this could be our suggestion for this section), don’t bother turning North and heading towards the view at Godfords Hill, it isn’t that impressive and adds about a mile to the walk and also there are no signs and no place markers to help guide you back. So in the end we walked about 2 miles around in a ever decreasing loop to get back to the eastern exit of the park.
but after a time we found the exit and headed on to a strange sight, St. Andrew’s Church used to stand on Oxford Circus, but was pulled down and rebuilt here in the village of Kingbury! We passed the church and headed around the graveyard to get to the Brent Reservoir, where the sun came out and the dog finally found water and a big stick.
After some time we headed off, through the park around the large lake and towards Hendon and this is where the journey turned yucky!! The walk goes along main roads heading towards and then under the A41, you can hear it from far away and the noise of rushing cars only gets louder. It’s also the first appearance of an object we saw a lot more of as we travelled around to the East of the route and indicated a level of filth and degradation – the abandoned Shopping Trolley – these are only found in scummy areas, you won’t find a wire frame cart left at the side of the side in Richmond, but here in Hendon we counted about 7!
Having descended under the busy road and travelled on along the side roads we approached the bridge over the Tube Line and Hendon Park, eager for the end, but discovered a new delight of the area, Heroin Bridge, yes the floor of the alleyway and bridge are covered in discarded syringes and burnt silver foil, clearly. We carefully picked our way over and into the park, where the section ends.
This is another problem with the CR, it will just end 1/2 a mile from a station, rather than finish at the station or even at the top of the park, closer to the tube line, no it just stops at the bridge. So we walked along the path, avoiding needles and rats and took our leave of Hendon.
Next time we return (thankfully only briefly) to Hendon and head towards the much nicer Highgate, so join us for that and other posts in the meantime!