London Outer Orbital Path (Section 15)   5 comments

 

The London LOOP continued Thursday after work with another 9 miler following the 27+ done Wednesday.  As you can imagine, it went a bit slower than my usual pace.  And, with pubs spread out farther apart and fewer overall, I picked up the ones I could with slight diversions from the prescribed path (starting with the Dick Whittington just over a mile out of the Hatch End Station where this started).

 

 

This was a hilly section but I’ve run this area before and was prepared for it.  I wasn’t really prepared for the rampant flytipping just off most of the main roads after yesterday’s largely pristine landscapes.  Harrow, Herts, and Watford councils could take tips from Surrey as far as this goes.

 

 

But, the wooded stretches were spectacular.  At one point I was surrounded by rhododendrons that were almost electric.  They also shielded me, slightly, from the downpour that started on the golf course section of the path just before.

 

 

Emerging from this grove, the Grims Dyke Hotel presented itself.  This glorious pile was the home of one half of Gilbert and Sullivan and soon I struggled to excise Frasier and Niles singing light comic opera bits from the ear worm part of my feeble mind.  Could be worse, I guess.

 

 

 

The wooded trail continued east.

 

 

A knobby tree tempted me to climb it.  Good sense, for once, prevailed.

 

 

Trail passed through several farms, this one rearing free range delivery vans:

 

 

An industrial reservoir sits across from the 3rd pub of the run:

 

 

And, the reservoir is owned by a company with a vaguely Native American (that’s “Red Indian” in old money) logo.  For a moment, I was amused at the reservoir/reservation juxtaposition, and then …

 

… I emerged at a teepee campsite.  How strange.

 

 

Not much further along, a pub emerged (I thought) with, I thought, the unusual name The Shite Bell.  Dyslexia and dirty glasses aside, I trotted up to grab a pint.

 

 

But, no.  It was some sort of Jewish community centre.  Shite, indeed.  I returned to the trail.

 

 

The paint didn’t look fresh.  I wondered if this was a weather-related comment, or perhaps an instruction for the weak bladdered among us:

 

 

Finally reaching Elstree and Borehamwood, I grabbed a pint at the Wellington, then a kebab as I had not eaten since breakfast, and a large whiskey at the Hart and Spool.

 

 

There are plaques and signs all along the High Street commemorating the film professionals associated with Elstree Studios back in the day.  On the walk of fame toward the station, I spotted Gregory Peck’s star and the ear worm syndrome started again, this time with Dylan’s Brownsville Girl (I’ll see anything with Gregory Peck in it).

 

 

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