Greenford to Watford on the Grand Union towpath.

Bulls Bridge Junction

Bulls Bridge Junction

Nephew Phillip kindly dropped me back outside The Black Horse in Greenford at 9.30am ready for the first full day of walking along The Grand Union canal. Last night he cleaned up his 24 or so entries in my address book 🙂 and maybe found out why his son Marcus embeds himself into my Google photo albums wherever I am in the world 🙂

It was a lovely day and as always canals offer fascinating glimpses into town life, past Sotheby’s modern storage depot on an industrial estate to the Mohammedi Park Masjid Complex but then I had to resort to peering over the vast fence that stretched for miles by using Google Earth, t to find out it’s an Heathrow car park! Maybe I will have to carry a drone in future 🙂

At Bulls Bridge you hit the main Grand Union canal and do an abrupt right turn, must have been hard for the horses towing the barges! How did they manage not to muddle up all the towing lines at junctions like this?

The canal is a great mixture of industrial complexes where I play the guessing game and modern flats which have been built on derelict sites. Interestingly how the canal role has changed! now its an asset so the flats face the canal whereas industrial places always have huge fences shielding them from the canal.

The canal then gets more rural and is totally fascinating that it is so rural and you are totally unaware of cars etc. and only the noise of trains.

The first lock

The first lock

At Rickmansworth I thought it would be good to start looking for a b&b, alas the owners of such places can’t be bothered to answer their phones 🙁 booking.com could only find expensive places miles away. It was a pleasant evening so I kept walking, in the knowledge I was carrying a tent. Just before Watford i met a freindly walker out breaking his new shoes in. He told me of a great wild camping place near the Watford Rugby pitches so I was happy. I dropped off the canal to try eating at The Harvestor PH – nightmare place so I walked over to the Rising Sun and had my fish & chips there, the adjacent Premier Inn wanted £125 for a room 🙁 I politely declined and rejoined the towpath. I met the same guy returning from his walk and he gave me precise directions. I found the spot. Watford Rugby Club were still practising but I snook into a corner pitched the tent and had a great nights sleep for £0

A very enjoyable day with perfect weather. The Strava is here and the days pics here

Grand Union Canal jaunt – Day 1

GRand Union Canal armFinally, halfway through the year, the apartment sale is finally totally complete and I’m able to start travelling again albeit currently restricted to shanks pony as having 1/3 of my prostate removed in the HoLEP operation 3 weeks ago makes it inadvisable to do long bumpy bike rides for a while. I decided to stick locally as well  until all the pain when I pee has gone away.

The Grand Union Canal walk from Central London seems a good idea as it isn’t to strenuous but long enough to take a week or so. I still haven’t decided whether to go to Birmingham or take the branch to Nottingham.

Today was a late start as I first went swimming at Jesus Green and then posting my old thermostat that I sold on ebay. So I finally arrived at Kings Cross at 2.30pm.

It was an interesting walk along Regent’s Canal to Little Venice and then along the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union to Alperton finishing today at the demolished Hovis bread factory. Very pleasant except for the constant stream of cyclists bombing along 🙂

My nephew Phillip is kindly putting up with me for tonight, although a first for me was navigating across three bus routes to reach his flat. I ended up getting the busmapper app as the fellow passengers were too friendly bombarding me with all the options. Weird at 67 my first attempt at being on the buses!

Tomorrow it looks like a huge loop and heading south for 5 or so miles to avoid the hills at Harrow.

According to Strava I did 13.6 miles in just under 4 hours. The pictures of the day are here