Perivale to Northolt Walk

Easter Saturday - 31st March 2024 - was warm and sunny, just perfect for a good walk, the latest of my hilly London walks. Having met Cathy, Richard and Lorraine at Stratford station we took the central line to Perivale where we met Louise and Ken, who were on the same train as us, and were soon joined by Laurel and Fozi. We set off heading towards the Grand Union Canal and Horsenden Hill. Crossing over the canal we turned toward Horsenden Farm and visitor centre, where we had an early refreshment break (we’d only been walking 15 minutes!) at the pop-up cafe.

efog easter 240331 woodSuitably refreshed we started the climb up to Horsenden Hill, with fine views of the City and surrounding area on our route. It wasn’t too muddy, but was a good climb. We reached the disc and foot golf course and edged round this to the trig point on the grass plateau at the summit of the hill offering superb panoramic views. After taking in the views we descended to an old car park and followed the path down back to where we crossed the canal and turned to walk along the towpath.

We shortly reached the turn-off to Greenford station, where Fozi left us, heading off through an enclosure housing a family of beavers recently introduced into the area, whilst we continued along the towpath. After a while I spotted a couple of cormorants sunning themselves at the top of a tree and it then turned out there was a whole row of trees, each which two or three cormorants perched at the top of them, basking in the warmth of the day, and maybe scanning the canal for their next meal.

efog easter 240331 hillAfter a couple of miles we turned off the towpath and headed towards Northolt, passing under the A40 to Northala Fields, a park opened in 2008. We headed to the cafe for some, this time, well earned refreshments. Afterwards we climbed the second highest of the 4 man-made hills, created from the rubble of the old Wembley stadium and White City shopping centre redevelopment. Whilst not as high as our first hill, the views were still pretty good. When I reccied the walk I spent ages watching a Red Kite fly between the 4 hills, but no sign of any today. We then walked over to the lakes where a couple of swans were nesting in a fenced off area.

Exiting the park, I was still looking for a Kite, but no luck. We exited the park and walked up back to Northolt station. It had only been about 5½ miles but with all our stops had taken nearly 6 hours, but it had been a very enjoyable day. As we waited at the platform, Cathy suddenly shouted at us and pointed skywards, and there flying over the station was a.......pigeon, no a Red Kite. It just shows you never know where or when something may turn up.

Trev (pathfinder) Eley