This is my original blog – all my blogs  since I started in 2009 - are here including those from The Ale Archive – all the beers I’ve sampled at home and on our travels since 2012.

Since 2012 most of our travel has involved a caravan. I now have a specific caravanning blog called (Get Your) Legs Down which not only documents all our trips but includes product reviews, site listings, storage locations, mobile service engineers and much more. It too is on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Beers, Trains, Boats & Planes – Part 2

Thursday brought with it a lunch appointment in ‘the smoke’ and the journey was easy thanks to Denham station being only twenty-five minutes walk – or in our case a five minute drive – away. The trundle into London’s Marylebone station took around twenty-five minutes passing Wembley Stadium on the way. Worth noting if you’re attending an event. Our destination was Finsbury Avenue, just behind Liverpool Street station and easily reached on the 205 bus. The underground would certainly have been quicker, in fact riding on the back of a snail would have been quicker, but we weren't in a rush and took in  a few of the sights along the way. I am continually amazed at the amount of building and redevelopment work going on.

Our lunch  was with Cover4Caravans director Richard and his internet expert Jason. Over some of the best steak I’ve ever tasted we had a good chat and catch up. Richard also very generously agreed to sponsor Twittercamp again for another year and we discussed some mutually beneficial projects too.

Friday gave us the chance to explore more of the local area and first up was Northmoor Hill Wood – a nature reserve right next door to the site. A 1.5km walk is indicated on the information board – not far but there are some inclines and at the time of our visit it was a bit slippery under foot in places. Not recommended for those with reduced mobility or wearing entirely unsuitable winkle pickers. Ahem. Nevertheless it’s a great place to wander and to give your four legged friends a run out particularly as there’s no dog walking area on site.

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A little further from the site  back on the A412 is the village of Harefield and we’d spotted a sign for a pub called the The Old Orchard the other evening and decided further investigation – in the interests of research obviously – was called for.

Wow, what a find – and for once I’m not talking about the beer. It’s appeal, as soon as you enter the car park is apparent - what a view! The lake you see is Broadwater Lake and along the bottom of it, hidden from view runs the Grand Union Canal. To the other side is the A412 and roughly in the middle on the far side too is the caravan site and Northmoor Hill wood. This area is full of very pleasant surprises.

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Now, this is where you might need to sit down. They had eight – yes eight – hand pumps on the bar, seven of which had real ale. And we had tea. Yes tea. As sorely tempted as I was – and what better views to sup a nice real ale to – we abstained. It is most definitely on the list for a return visit though.

Walkers will be interested in a leaflet you can pick up at the pub which details a circular 4.5 mile walk traversing part of the Hillingdon Trail – a 20 mile path that begins in Cranford and ends here in Harefield.

We had the car but we were able to stop at a couple of places on the way, one being Black Jack’s Lock just a few hundred meters from the pub car park:

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Back on the road out of Harefield we soon crossed the canal again and it was an equally agreeable place to stop with the Coy Carp on one side of the bridge and the tow path and Copper Mill Lock a short walk on the other. Those little cottages look so idyllic, but I’m not sure having a pub that close would be a good idea!

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Next up – and our last stop of the day – apart from the evening’s excursion - was to the 41 hectares that makes up the Rickmansworth Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve on the outskirts of the town. It was not surprisingly busy given it was half-term and the large – and free – car park was approaching capacity. Two lakes are the main features of the park and was being enjoyed by both kids and model yacht enthusiasts alike.

There was plenty enjoying the café too and we paused for a forgettable cuppa and an only slightly more memorable scone – or scon if you prefer. The café had a designated ‘Quiet Room’ occupied mostly by the grey (and white) army – those that weren't on duty with the grand kids in the main area anyway. And yes, I’m mostly grey now and would have much preferred the quieter room had there been any space!

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The evening saw us in Denham village a short drive from the site and blessed with three pubs – and VERY limited parking. We gambled – along with many others, correctly – that there would be no parking wardens about and enjoyed a nice meal in The Green Man. It’s worth noting that there is a footpath to Denham railway station some 650m away where parking is plentiful and we may not push our luck next time!

There is a bus service – right from the site to Uxbridge that runs 2-3 times a day, six days a week and it was this that we decided to utilise on the Saturday morning.

Whilst Uxbridge might not be top of the list for sightseeing it’s just a twenty minute bus ride and handy for shopping with many of the usual high street names represented. Yours truly even parted with some cash for a new pair of gloves – I’ll leave you to guess the material and colour…

It’s also worth noting that Uxbridge is on both the London Underground network and several London bus routes so it’s easy to travel further afield, although do be mindful of the return times of the local bus or you may have rather a long walk. There’s also a Saturday service from the site to Windsor but again, times are limited.

On the way to the caravan site you would have passed Denham Aerodrome – and most probably heard some of the coming and goings from the site. There’s a little café there too called the Crew Room which a fellow camper on site made us aware of. The usual fayre is supplemented by great views from the terrace of the comings and going on the airfield whether it be little Cessnas being flown solo or helicopters taking punters up on pleasure flights. We paused for some sustenance and I have to report that the fish finger sandwich was yum – proper fish fingers like I remember as a kid in plain white bread – not some  pretentious interpretation of one. The tea was also served properly - in a teapot.

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And that was our time up at Wyatts Covert. A lovely little site in area that has so much more to offer than is first apparent. Another one on the ‘must do again’ list. Check out our Site Arrival Video to see how easy the site is to get to.

Right. Christmas next and four site booked for the school holidays. It all starts again in just over five weeks – and I can’t wait!

Until then, thanks – as always – for reading. It’s really appreciated.

Cheers

Rich & Trev.


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