October 2018 – I had spent a month in Ireland and had just arrived in London to visit family and lead a Shiatsu workshop. Having stayed the night with my daughter, I woke to find that the sun was shining and I thought I would take my rucksack on a nice walk across London to Chiswick to meet my sister. Approx. 7 miles / 11.5 kms.
I started at Kentish Town West underground station, and turned tail cutting through small streets as they took my fancy, avoiding the busy commuters rushing to work
Refreshed, I found the Owl Bookshop which was full of school children browsing. There was a lovely sense of excitement amongst them at the prospect of the reading.
‘Natural’ is a mix of MAP and Owl, being a café with books stacked in the window!
At the end of Kentish Town Road, I turned right into Hawley Road.
I took a left onto Castlehaven Road and left again onto Chalk Farm Road.
I wound my way between stalls and caravans selling food and other goodies.
On my left was the towpath…
Remember to check out Banksy’s famous artwork in the vicinity (24 – 26 Oval Road).
You can stand up and paddle on a board under the full moon, at hallowe’en and combine it with prosecco!
When I caught up with it (the church) I appreciated its six-petalled, flower windows.
There were bicycles and a wheel barrow on the roof of a house boat; paintings propped up against trees and hanging on sheets along the washing line; a bench with a proud goat who has curled horns (you will have to go and see!); there was graffiti galore.
Not long afterwards I realised I was not far from Primrose Hill on the right and alongside the world famous London Zoo opposite where the previously mentioned Waterbus makes a drop-off, just before the pretty wrough-iron bridge.
At the Prince Albert Ramp I had the chance of a detour for Camden High Street, and ahead was St John’s Wood, the Snowdon Aviary and Lord’s Cricket Ground. I trundled along taking photos of the wild plants. Joggers jogged and I got to the Jubilee Greenway completed in 2012 to mark the Queen’s birthday and the London Games.
My path took me around Regents Park, named after the Prince Regent, where there’s an Open Air Theatre and a boating lake.
Here there were delphiniums (even though it was October) and foxgloves.
At the Canal Gate (pictured at the top of this blog) I had to leave because the way was blocked off.
I carried on along pavements by busy roads, past underground stations and shops, discovering parts of London I had never visited before. I made my way to Chiswick via Holland Park Avenue, Shepherd’s Bush, the Goldhawk Road, Stamford Brook Road and Bath Road where I met my sister.
My phone ran out so I stopped taking photos and used my handy Belkin Pocket Power (a 5000 mAh portable charger which has been my saving grace many times) to recharge it.
Hot with the action and the weight of the rucksack, I was glad to sit down and have a cup of tea. Had I ‘world enough and time’ I would have visited St Michael and All Angels Church in Turnham Green, an Arts and Crafts building which a gentleman told me about as I stood waiting to cross a road. We had a most pleasant chat while he also regaled me with his life in India. I meet the most interesting characters when I walk.
The Regents Park and Primrose Hill both have excellent views of the London skyline. Royal Parks website.
Had we but world enough and time,This coyness, lady, were no crime.We would sit down, and think which wayTo walk, and pass our long love’s day.…The opening lines of ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell
Always check out footways.london for pleasant paths to cross London, a network of quiet and interesting streets.