London Loop - to Uxbridge


May Day; unsurprisingly, Dad was up in town photographing parades. But Mum and I walked the next section of the London Loop, from Donkey Wood to Uxbridge.

We started at Hatton Cross, with planes from Heathrow roaring overhead. The walk began through a park by the River Crane, which looked like the kind of place local schoolkids had to visit; information boards about the wildlife, burnt-out wooden benches.

After that there was a brief hop through suburban streets - right under the flightpath, with 747s making the ground quake every one-and-a-half minutes. Then back to the riverside.

St. Dunstan's Church

The river led next to a large 'country' park (near the M4 motorway). That's where we finally left the Crane, turning away toward a church.

Tree in churchyard.
1/30 at f11, 17mm, ISO200
Gravestone by wall of church.
1/45 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
One wall of a large old stable block beside the motorway.
1/125 at f11, 15mm, ISO200

Grand Union Canal

The route led us to some very busy roads (giant concrete flyover stylee) and finally down to the Grand Union Canal. Felt almost like home! Fifty miles along the towpath and I'd be back in Milton Keynes.

Across the canal.
1/500 at f11, 13mm, ISO200
Large Nestlé factory, which gave off a strange malty smell.
1/350 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
Factory from beneath a railway bridge.
1/350 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
Under the bridge - well, bridges, I guess. I liked that gap.
1/10 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO800
Just one more picture of that!
1/20 at f4.5, 17mm, ISO800

Business park

The route took a long way around through a large park with various offices in. We stopped atop a very windy hill on the non-business side of the park to eat our lunch. Some people arrived to fly their large turtle kite, which was pretty cool (it sort of inflated with the air, to become a three-dimensional flying turtle with neat twisting streamers).

Water feature by offices.
1/90 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
High-level pedestrian suspension bridge over a major road that split the park.
1/350 at f11, 22mm, ISO200

Canal again

A little further on, through a boring industrial estate, and we rejoined the canal.

Barn across the canal.
1/60 at f11, 22mm, ISO200

We turned off the main canal at a canal junction, following another branch (the Slough Arm, apparently).

Bridge with interesting raised footway, to cross at the junction.
1/90 at f11, 22mm, ISO200

A little fun was had jumping onto an old unpowered barge (possibly called a 'butty' or a 'lighter'), which was just storing rubbish. There was also an inexplicable concrete bunker, which reminded us of the pillboxes that are scattered across the Southern countryside - did somebody think Hitler would invade along the canal from Slough? Hrm.

Another footbridge - looked kind of like a railway bridge, but possibly wasn't - that took us across and away from the canal.
1/750 at f4.5, 21mm, ISO200

River Colne

Then to the River Colne, which actually comes out into the Thames in Staines; so the walk had direct waterway connections to the places where both of us live.

Lake by the river, postcard stylee (yes, the sun came out at this point).
1/500 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
'Damaged parapet'. Ya think?
1/90 at f11, 15mm, ISO200

Son of Canal

Eventually we got back to the canal yet again and followed it into Uxbridge.

Cool bridge across the canal for some ex-factory.
1/30 at f6.7, 22mm, ISO200
Canalside workshop.
1/125 at f11, 22mm, ISO200

Then into Uxbridge and onto the tube (which was totally not working in so many ways, since they pick bank holidays to repair everything, but did get me back to Euston station after about 74 changes). That's it!

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.