I have one friend who lives “out in the sticks” and told me that she pops in here for “scrappettes of life-up-town”. I’m more of a suburbanite than an “up-towner” but I suppose all things are relative. I am definitely enjoying the fruits of my planting at the moment. Don’t you just love spring and all things green that shoot and sprout? IT’s great to have some in your own garden but if I want to wander a little further I am so lucky to be close to the second largest of the Royal Parks, Bushy Park which covers an area of 450 hectares (1,099 acres). The Longford River, an artificial waterway 13 miles long originally created by Charles 1 in 1639 to bring fresh water to Hampton Court, feeds Bushy Park’s many streams and ponds.
I have been known to cycle through the park to work. It takes me about 35 minutes door-to-door with the journey split into convenient thirds. The first third involves getting to the park, the 2nd third cycling through the park and the final third the least pleasant negotiating the periphery of Kingston-upon-Thames by doing dreadful things like riding on the pavement. I’m not a confident road rider and I excuse my transgression by telling myself that I hardly ever see anyone walking on the pavements at the time when I am riding.
My ride to work takes me along the very bottom of the park. I cycle along that lower white path towards the Diana Fountain (the circle of blue surrounded by the orange road). The fountain, the surrounding pond and road bisect the mile long Chestnut Avenue planned by Sir Christopher Wren as a formal approach to Hampton Court Palace for William & Mary. The avenue has a single row of horse chestnuts and four rows of limes. From there I cycle the white path along the bottom right of the map, carefully avoiding the see-saw, the giant “P”, the woman in the puffball skirt, her pot-bellied companion and the wheelchair user!! Our family name for that path is “the rabbit path” for obvious reasons. If I am early enough my initial stage in the park allows me to see a heron and sometimes a flock of green parakeets.
My standard weekend, one-hour, walk takes me into the park at the bottom left of the map (the same entrance I use for cycling to work. From there I head north through the woodland gardens (orangey-brown areas on the map) and out again by Hampton Swimming Pool. Both these journeys only touch the edges of the park but I am a bit of a townie and anything more strenuous would probably be too much for delicate little me. Last year I blogged about this walk but the camera battery packed up halfway round so you can only see half the walk. Maybe I should return and finish the photoshoot?