Stanmore – Harrow Walk – 25.01.2015

The sun was shining and despite seeing frost on the ground, I decided to take a short walk out to enjoy the sunshine while it lasted šŸ™‚ . I had half-heartedly had a route in mind, although it was not long into the walk that this idea went out of the window!. The start of the walk was mostly pounding the pavements, which is never much fun, so it was a relief to find a muddy path along the route! The path was not particularly challenging, but the mud was lovely and soft to walk along. The mud soon faded away and it became a very well maintained path. The footpath, was not as long as I had originally hoped and it soon reached yet another road to walk alongside. Just beside the exit of the path, I discovered the entrance to Stanmore Golf Club.

From 2015 – 25.01.2015 – Stanmore – Harrow Walk

As I was trying to retrace the original route that I had half planned at the beginning of the walk, it was not long before I became distracted with another public footway! The path was quite narrow and was very overshadowed by houses. I was rather surprised when the path was suddenly surrounded by Golf Course. It felt like an oasis of green in the middle of suburbia. Stanmore Golf Course started it’s life before all the surrounding areas had been developed, it was founded in late C19th and in 1893 a journalist said of the course –

“To the stranger who finds himself for the first time on the Stanmore ‘links’, it must be difficult to realise that he is within some half-hour’s distance of the great Metropolis. All around him is a well-wooded and diversified country, with Harrow Hill standing out prominently in the background. The ‘links’ consist of about 130 acres of grassland… The charm of the grounds is further increased by some woodland walks and coppices, with abundance of wild flowers scattered here and there, which lend additional beauty to the spot”

The ground was altered in the 1920’s, to very much to how it looks today. Sadly lots of the ground has been sold over the years and redeveloped into the urban surroundings that I had been walking.

Following the footpath through the Golf Course, I was presented with some great views across the local area. At the top of the path, I really did have a sense of being in the country, even it was just for while. Unfortunately it was not long before I had reached the roadway once again, and I had to think of a new route too walk. Aware that I was on the look out for a footpath, it was not long before I found one. I had come across the “Belmont Trail”, which was just as muddy as the first path that I had encountered , but I did not mind. The path sat between houses and was lovely and wide, I realised with the signs that this was also a cycle route. The path reached for a moment the urban sprawl but it was not long before I was back on the muddy route once again. It was here I spotted a number of signs with a steam train printed on them. I was soon to discover that this route was a dismantled branch line, which had run from Harrow and Wealdstone to Stanmore .

From 2015 – 25.01.2015 – Stanmore – Harrow Walk

The rail line, had been constructed in the late C19th by Frederick Gordon, after he had purchased Bentley Priory in Stanmore. He converted some of the priory into a luxury hotel, bought more property in Stanmore and was one of the founders of the Stanmore Golf Club. With all these developments, Gordon built the branch line to Stanmore to ensure the area had a good link into London. Sadly, the line did not produce the desired results for his dreams and his luxury hotel did not succeed. The line did eventually grow in use in the early C20th with the opening of the London Underground line in Stanmore. It was in the 1960’s with Dr Beechings reshaping of the railways, that the line eventually closed.

I found it quite tough to imagine how this muddy trail, would have once had steam locomotives trundling along it. The very faint 3/4 sign which I spotted along the way, seemed to be the only reminder that I could find that the line even used to be here. I had suddenly reached what seemed like the end of the line, as it ended at the Roadside. I was curious how I would be able reach the station from where this abandoned line just ended. Crossing the road, I was able to see train lines in the distance, but frustratingly there were quite a number of houses in the way! Using the roads, I found my way to Harrow and Wealdstone Station, but could not figure out how the branch line had originally connected to the mainline! The station itself has a sad history as it is mainly remembered for the Rail Crash of 1952, hopefully this line will never see such an accident ever again.

From 2015 – 25.01.2015 – Stanmore – Harrow Walk

Turning away from the station, I walked along Harrow & Wealdstone High Street, and just beyond I spotted a beautiful stone Clock Tower. The clock is in fact a War Memorial, which is very impressive. I will admit this is very different from the War Memorials that I have come across before on my travels. It was here I decided to end my walk for the morning and stroll back home for some lunch!

All the photos from this walk are below –

2015 – 25.01.2015 – Stanmore – Harrow Walk

One response to “Stanmore – Harrow Walk – 25.01.2015

  1. Pingback: Belmont – Pinner Walk – 01.02.2015 | Karen's Sponsored Walks

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