London’s hidden countryside

Posted by Chris Green on Wednesday July 11 @ 1:31 am

I was going to do this post later in the day, but I can’t sleep, and I can’t settle watching TV, so here goes.

Earlier this evening I had to go out to do some stuff – pay in some money at the bank, post a letter, stuff like that. The deposit bit of my nearest Nationwide ATM was broken, so I had to drive a bit further than planned (Uxbridge) to pay in my cheque. This was probably not a bad thing as I was already feeling a little unsettled this evening, and hoped that the extra drive would help me relax – yes, driving actually relaxes me, it is one of the few outlets I have left to help me unwind. It is also why I prefer to drive places and not hit the booze rather than use scummy public transport and be able to drink.

It was a lovely evening, nice and sunny, nice and warm, the iPod was pumping the right tunes through my car’s stereo and the car itself was in the mood for some high-speed country driving, so I decided to take the scenic route home. Rather than thunder down the A40 from Uxbridge to Ruislip, I went via the B roads, and in particular, Breakspear Road.

It is not a road I normally drive down (in fact, I’ve probably only been down there about four or five times in my life. Driving down that very long road, which stretches from Ickenham to Harefield, was brilliant. It has a surprisingly high speed limit, and today was just right to go flying along it, powering along the straights, diving into the twisty bits, sliding the car past the occasional passing car and tractor, with the windows down taking in the fantastic countryside and views across North West London,  all less than a mile from my already leafy doorstep. I was enjoying myelf so much I forgot to turn off towards Ruislip and ended up going all the way to Harefield.

There is an incredible expanse of real countryside round here, and I don’t take it in as much as I should. This evening was a real eye-opener, as I’ve already spotted a number of areas I need to explore, and even a couple of nice looking country pubs that might be worth a visit along the way too. Also, with the lousy weather we’ve been having of late, it was nice to be able to go out and drive about for a little while with the windows open without getting cold, wet or both.

I need to do this more often!

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