Two more sections of the London Loop complete - Hatton Cross to Uxbridge. My walking partner, Cos, and I wrapped it up into one walk of 11 miles.
We're back with the river Crane meandering through Cranford Park - so clear I longed to go in for a paddle.
We first passed huge BA hangers with tails of planes sticking out. We thought it was a bit quiet walking north at the east end of the runway. 'This is alright,' we thought, enjoying the sun and suburban scenery. Suddenly, over the top of our heads, there was a massive rumble followed by the huge underbelly of an enormous aeroplane. It was unbelievable. So close you could have reached out and touched it. Damn, we hadn't taken a picture. we waited for the next one but for some reason they all flew further south! Golly, now I know what they all complain about!
Cranford Park, former home of the Berkeley family, is yet another park where the mansion has long gone - demolished in 1945. But we did find the remains of the 18th century Ha-Ha and the stable block in yummy old red brick, once headquarters of the Berkeley Hunt.
St Dunstan's church is closeby, 16th century and nestling amongst ancient trees, on a site of religion since Saxon times. Oh, the continuity I love.
And guess what? The M4 runs just to the north. Such secrets you'd never know as you hurtle down the tarmacadam.
Now we join the Grand Union Canal and find ourselves walking up the Slough Arm of the Grand Union, a 5-mile stretch built to carry bricks, sand and gravel. When the last commercial traffic stopped in 1960, it was due to be filled in. Strongly opposed locally - well done, the locals - it re-opened in 1975.
We missed the granite obelisk, a coal tax marker, defining the boundary within which tax will be paid on coal brought into London. Apparently, the tax was introduced in 1667 to help rebuild the City after the Great Fire. Damn - how did I miss that one?
What followed was a joy. We ambled through the Colne Valley Regional Park, having left the Slough arm heading west, along the River Colne through beech woods and fields of cows. We even made it into Bucks!
Back with the Grand Union, we were soon in Uxbridge drinking coffee outside the impressive 1930s tube station with its stylised wheel and leaf spring sculptures, stain glass windows and former turning area for trams, now a pedestrian safe zone with our cafe and its delicious coffee and our jaffa cakes left over from the walk.