On arriving at Northwick Park Station my heart sank to discover the toilets were closed due to a blockage. We set off, walking through Northwick Park with the hospital on our right. Turning right we followed the path between the golf course and hospital to Watford Road and along Pebworth Road. Continuing behind the farm, past the playing fields of the Harrow School, to St. Mary’s Church. Poly Ramblers dispersed into the church and back courtyard as there was the Christmas fair, a chance for tea, cake and a comfort stop. After taking in Byron’s grave and views from the viewpoint we made our way to the Ballot Box Pub, passing John Lyon School, and Perivale station, a drop off point for some, after lunch. I had not booked the pub as I was assured it should be ok. On entering, the barman was a bit cold but once the orders were placed, our food & drinks arrived quickly with good service. On leaving the Barman said ‘enjoy the rest of your walk’, and we did. We went to the top of Horsenden hill and viewpoint. Horsenden Hill: 2,500 years ago, Iron Age people settled on the hill, leaving behind large amounts of pottery. The Iron Age settlement is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument. During WW1, the summit came to the fore with a sighting of an anti-aircraft gun pulled by a horse- a defence against German airships. Today at around 84 meters (275 feet) it provides a natural viewpoint in London & is a popular kite flying spot. A stop at the farm provided another opportunity to buy cakes and drinks. From here we followed the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction Canal: In the 1800’s the opening of this junction enabled hay, the area’s main product, to be shipped into London in great bulk. In return London sent Horsenden ‘Mack’- an unpleasant mix of street sweepings, fish, meat offal & horse dropping – to be used as manure for the fields. The final stretch along the canal led us through woodland to Greenford Station.
Carol & Sunita. Photos by Stuart