The Capital Ring - Walk 4
Osterley Lock to Hendon
Section 8 to start with today and most of this section follows the Grand Union Canal which links London with Birmingham. It opened in 1805 as the Grand Junction Canal but after a 1929 'union' with other waterways. A highlight of this section is the Wharncliffe Viaduct, named after its sponsor Lord Wharncliffe, it is an impressive viaduct built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1838 to carry the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol.
The highlight of Section 9 is Horsenden Hill which provides a great viewpoint - on a clear day you can see the Chiltern Hills. A bit further on and you reach Harrow-on-the-Hill and Harrow School, one of Britain's foremost public schools - notable alumni included Winston Churchill, Robert Peel, Lord Byron and Benedict Cumberbatch. The school occupies much of the village with around 800 pupils spread around in 11 boarding houses.
A large part of Section 10 is a wander through Fryent Country Park covering 103 hectares/254 acres of rolling fields and small woods, which comprises of French Oak, Hornbeam, Elm, Ash and some fruit trees. Much of the end of the walk follows alongside the Brent Reservoir which was constructed between 1834 and 1835. It is informally known as 'The Welsh Harp' after a public house which was situated nearby until the early 1970s. It is the only Site of Special Scientific Interest, mainly due to the diversity of breeding waterbirds, in Barnet and Brent.
Distance: around 17.5 miles.