King’s Cross to Birmingham (Grand Union canal) stage 2: Lisson Grove to Greenford

This is the second stage of the King’s Cross to Ivinghoe Beacon jaunt via the Grand Union Canal.

Route map
Route map

Took the bus from King’s Cross to Baker street where I walked on down past the Westway…

I’m up and down the Westway, in an’ out the lights
What a great traffic system – it’s so bright
I can’t think of a better way to spend the night
Then speeding around underneath the yellow lights

The Clash – London’s Burning

Joe Strummer subway at the Westway
Joe Strummer subway at the Westway

…and arrived at the trail head, Paddington.

Trail head at Paddington
Trail head at Paddington

It was lunchtime and the place was full of office workers eating and students lounging about smoking fags in the indifferent sun.

I soon hit the tow path proper and admired the brightly decorated narrowboats.

Colourful barge
Colourful narrowboat

The first hour of the walk took me through inner city west London, the tow path largely empty apart from the occasional cyclist, the canal itself largely empty other than Moorhen parents frantically feeding their endlessly chirping chicks.

The North Circular Road aqueduct took me by surprise!  It really was the last thing I was expecting and I stood for a while marvelling at the sight.

The photo I took below really doesn’t do it justice.

North Circular Aqueduct
North Circular Aqueduct

So admire this one instead (borrowed with thanks from www.canalworld.net) :

North Circular aqueduct (1978)
North Circular aqueduct (1978)

Just after the aqueduct I spotted the rather forlorn and smelly River Brent which leads on down to the Thames.  Another walk for another day.

The River Brent
The River Brent

The tow path took me past light industrial units and factories.  Signs along the way reflected the ethnic mix of the area.

Do not feed the birds
Do not feed the birds

Eventually I reached the suburbs…

Sudbury golf course
Sudbury golf course

…and took a diversion from the canal to walk up Horsenden Hill.

The view south from Horsenden Hill
The view south from Horsenden Hill

A couple of miles later I reached Greenford. Actually, I smelt it first as the Hovis factory is based just by the tow path.

By the entrance to the canal is a pub called the Black Horse.  I stopped there for a half pint of London Pride and reflected on a good walk.

A half pint of London Pride at the Black Horse, Greenford.
A half pint of London Pride at the Black Horse, Greenford.

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