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Archive for March, 2010

Breathtaking views and….er….breath-taking climbs

Box Hill, Surrey – An almost circular walk

An early finish at work allowed me to escape to Dorking for a beautifully sunny afternoon on the National Trust’s Box Hill Estate and the surrounding countryside. My route took in the largest vineyard in England, involved some strenuous climbs and followed, in part, the North Downs Way, one of the country’s Long Distance Footpaths.

Start: Dorking (Main) Station TQ170504

Finish: Box Hill and Westhumble Station TQ167518

Length: 7 miles/3-3½hours

How to get there: Both stations are easily accessible from London, either by Southern from Victoria via Sutton, or by South West Trains from Waterloo via Wimbledon, both of which take around 50 minutes. Not all return trains call at Box Hill and Westhumble however. Although I travelled to the main station in Dorking, unsurprisingly known as Dorking (Main), it’s also possible to travel to Dorking Deepdene or Dorking West, both on the North Downs Line served by First Great Western services from Redhill to Reading via Guildford.

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Walking in Wet London. Sorry, West London.

Capital Ring: Greenford to South Kenton.

The Vaughan Library, Harrow School

The Vaughan Library, Harrow School

Me and a few friends are trying to complete the Capital Ring, a circular walk that meanders for 78 miles around the inner suburbs of the capital. It lies nearer the centre of London than the London Loop, a 150-mile route that we are also tackling. Think of the Capital Ring as the North and South Circular, while the Loop is the M25. There is something of a contrast between the Loop, which is more rural in character, and the Ring, although many of the stages of both offer plenty of variety. This walk, Section 9 of the Ring, was no exception.

Start: Greenford Station TQ149837

End: South Kenton Station TQ173870

Length: 5½ miles/3-3½ hours

How to get there: Greenford is in Zone 4, on the West Ruislip branch of the Central Line, and is also served by First Great Western services from Paddington, which take about 25 minutes. Which was lucky for us as the Central Line was closed for engineering works. South Kenton (also Zone 4) is served by Bakerloo line trains between Harrow & Wealdstone and Elephant & Castle. The route also passes Sudbury Hill (Piccadilly Line) and Sudbury Hill Harrow (Chiltern Railways to and from Marylebone), while Harrow-On-The-Hill (Chiltern Railways, Metropolitan Line) and Northwick Park (Metropolitan Line only) are also nearby. For further details visit the Transport For London website.

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