As you must have realised by now, Michael and I are constantly on the look-out for cheap (make that free ;)) things to do in London. London is not a cheap place to live in, but the number of free activities going on is quite good, if you know how and where to look for them. I am not sure I have gained those skills as yet…but I am somewhere along the way.
Somewhere sometime Michael came across a number of free walks being held this weekend around London organised by Walk London, as part of Autumn Ambles. Should we join? Sure! The next problem was then which walk to choose. We decided to opt for the one passing closest to where we live – Walk 10 on the Capital Ring – to get to know the area around us as much as possible (also, it passed by Brent Reservoir, which we have both been interested in going to see). So Saturday morning saw us making our way to the bus stop to get the bus to the starting point…one problem!…no one of us made a note of which bus we should take! Oh well…we ended up taking the wrong bus, but still made it there on time (just about, after rushing from Kenton to South Kenton railway station).
We arrive at the place…hmm…we cannot see any big group…hmm…ahh…we see a woman walking towards us! She came up to us and asked us if we were there for the walk…yeps! She led us towards another two women…both quite a bit older than us O:)…More people come out of the pub nearby…again elder women. Hmm…I started getting worried here…are we going on some weekend jaunt with elderly women talking about coffee mornings and pie recipes??
Luckily we were not! After a while one man joined up, and last but not least a couple (even though we still brought down the average age quite significantly anyway :P). Also, most of these deceiving-looking women were mainly part of the Long Distance Walkers Association! I am sure they could kick my ass in any walking challenge! This meant that the walk proceeded at a leisurely but life-inspiring pace (good for me, but slow or quite leisurely, according to some of the others :P…However there were no complaints…we all seemed to enjoy the scenery, the other people, and just talking. Even though most of the others knew each other, we didn’t feel left out which was great).
The walk started from South Kenton, then proceeded on to Preston park, the lovely country park of Fryent, with the gorgeous views over London. By now we were half-way through our walk, so we made our way to the edge of the Welsh harp (which includes Brent Reservoir), where we stopped for tea at a garden centre. At this time one of the birdwatchers and volunteer conservationists at Brent reservoir joined up with us, and proceeded to take us around the reservoir and in to the bird hide they have constructed. Having brought a telescope with him, he then showed us different birds on the reservoir at the time, from herons and widgeons, to loads of others I don’t remember. It was great to see the birds and actually be able to tell them apart (with a lot of help from him :P), while getting information about them from a book he had (and which I seemed to take over for my own reading :P).
By this time we were close to the end of the walk, and as the others made their way to the train station we stopped just before on the main road to get the bus home. A good afternoon in gorgeous weather (I didn’t mention this yet…but the weather in London this weekend is GREAT!)