Dave Sergeant

This circular walk starts and finishes at Osterley House which I have visited several times in the past. It then explores the Grand Union canal and some scenic woodland beyond. Another walk from Inner London Ramblers.

The set walk starts from Osterley tube station. For convenience as I always do when visiting Osterley I started at Isleworth station and a half mile walk to there. The first part is through the non-National Trust part of Osterley Park and the first of somewhat muddy footpaths.

Passing through Osterley Park, the lake and house, fairly quiet on this February morning.

Out of the park, past Osterley Park Farm with its high walls, then over the M4. A quite narrow pathway leads through to Norwood Green Road.

St Mary's church is passed then into Norwood Green with a long avenue of trees.

Then a stretch of road walking. The Wolf mentioned in the guide is now the Lavish Lounge, an Indian Sisha resturant but the Lamb a bit further on is still there. Then the Grand Union Canal is joined which is followed for a while. Bixley Field is a former brickfield, now a park and children's play area.

Norwood Top Lock and the adjacent bridge. Then Glade Land Canalside Park with a large radio mast in it, Glade Lane which transmits the medium wave service of Liberty Radio and two others.

Another lock then Windmill Bridge, or Three Bridges, comes into view.

Three Bridges was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the last bridge he designed before he died inn 1859. It is so named because road, rail and canal all cross at this point. The now single track Brentford Branch line is a freight only line serving Brentford Dock for waste disposal. The bridge is an impressive structure. It was sad to see the graffiti and a large amount of rubbish below.

The locks of the Hanwell Flight are reached. Alongside here is the former Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum, now part of Ealing Hospital. Canal boats used to enter the asylum by the now bricked off hole seen in this photograph.

At the bottom of Hanwell Flight the river Brent joins the canal and a short section of Capital Ring section 8 is followed. I had a pleasant lunch in the nearby Fox before continuing.

Soon I left the canal over a footbridge and through an industrial estate to reach the Brentford Branch line again, crossing it to follow it on the other side.

Long Wood Nature Reserve is part of Brent River Park and is a pleasant although muddy small woodland. Lovely streams appear and there are board walks in places to stay off the muddy parts. All this just feet away from the M4 whose traffic can be heard at the top of the embankment.

After another stretch of busy road another bit of woodland is entered which leads down to Osterley Park. The walk ends by following the various trails in there to arrive back at the park main entrance and the trip home after yet another pleasant day's walk.

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