I reached Pinner at 4:00 pm. Are there no independent cafés anywhere these days? Still no cherry-topped buns: muffins aplenty but no buns. This must be addressed urgently.
The route from Uxbridge lies across Uxbridge Common then it needs some good compass work. The route follows the River Pinn through Ickenham to Ruislip, which is complicated in this section; the Greenway route seeking out green footpaths threading amongst so much suburban streetscape, but to manage to pass through such a thickly urbanised area with so little on road, within woods an across heathland, is an achievement. A marked map and a magnifying lens got me through though.
Then it emerges at the Ruislip Lido, disappearing into the autumnal woods beside station (that of the Lido’s miniature railway, that is). This is why the route is rightly called the Greenway, or perhaps orange-tawny-and-brown-way at moment. Soon though, Middlesex being Middlesex, it emerges in a polite suburb, in the Eastcote or Pinner (indistinguishable), and tracks the Pin Brook tight between houses then suburban streets to Pinner station (a real station this time).
This is of course Metro-Land: there are no “streets”, but “avenues”, “lanes”, “ways”, “closes” and “meadows” – anything to avoid the dread, urban word “street”.
Pinner is a good end for a day’s journey, at 20 miles from the starting point, and with an easy route to Croxley. However there is a long way to go, and that map is begging me to look further, across Pinner Park Farm (yes, a farm this deep in the suburbs), to an unpromising name: Headstone Lane. It is getting dark quickly though. I’ll see after I finish this cup of tea.
Please donate to the Stroke Association: click here.
(I am told that this can also be followed on Twitter: @wildthing_uk)