Dave Sergeant

This circular walk from Uxbridge from Inner London Ramblers explores the wooded areas betweem Uxbridge and Harefield before returning via the Grand Union canal. I had already walked the second part on the London Loop so did just the first part to Harefield, 8 miles or so which was enough for a hot June day.

There are several ways to reach Uxbridge. Today I went via Waterloo and on the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines, more expensive than via Richmond but a bit quicker and I arrived at the start at Uxbridge station around 11.15. I first popped into the nearby St Margaret's Church, there was a coffee morning there and at the side of the altar is a monument to Leonora Bennet which is somewhat unusual.

A short walk along the High Street brought me to Fray's River and the countryside. A pleasant walk along the river for a while.

Crossing the river by Alderglade Nature Reserve and a short walk along a lane brought me to Uxbridge Common. There was a fairground here and a pleasant area to walk through.

Then across the busy Park Road and across a large field to pick up a footpath leading to a big footbridge over the A40. A bit of noise for a few minutes.

A pleasant path around a large school and then after crossing a road we join the River Pinn and Swakeley's Park with a large lake.

Across the lake is Swakeley's House, built in 1638 for Sir Edward Wright and is now offices for an American pharmological company. It was unfortunately quite hidden in all the foliage.

The path continues alongside the Pinn and through the woodland. This is along the Celandine Trail.

The medieval Pynchester Moat is reached. This is a scheduled ancient monument and an information board gives some details. Again this was hidden in foliage and very little could actually be seen.

The route is now disturbed by the workings for HS2. The path is diverted around these with a complicated pedestrian crossing, although the signage was unclear I managed to work it out and stayed on track.

Past the workings for the moment the walk resumes its woodland aspect with a lengthy footpath down to New Year's Green and Pond Farm.

Then the path is diverted again, a lengthy fenced diversion around the area where the spoil from the tunnels is being deposited in huge mounds, the earliest of these already grassed over. At one point it crosses one of the contractor's roads and two huge gates were opened by the chap on the gate house just for me.

The next section of the walk is through Bayhurst Wood, part of Ruislip Woods and I pick up Hillingdon Trail. Some of the route guidance around here was a little hard to follow with the trail signposts few and far between, this hut showed me that I was on the right path.

Along the northern edge of the woods finally exiting at a swing gate.

Out into the open for a while with a good view across the Colne Valley, somewhat spoiled by the HS2 workings. Then a short stretch of woodland for the final section down into Harefield.

Harefield churchyard and church completes my walk. Through the churchyard and into Harefield High Street where I lunched in The Harefield before catching the bus back to Uxbridge and the journey home, a lengthy but very enjoyable day.

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