Showing posts from August, 2022

Excursions in Metroland : Stanmore

In the sea of suburban semi's around London, it is hard to find somewhere worth a potter.  One place is Stanmore and all within a short walk of the Tube Station.  The road opposite the station, Kerry Avenue, takes you up to Stanmore Country Park, a large (30ha) nature reserve which occupies a slope up to the highest point in the old County of Middlesex.  On the way up, you cross Valencia Road. Note the design of the houses. I think these are the best examples in London of housing in the 'Streamline Moderne' architectural style from the inter-War period, usually only seen on larger buildings, cinemas etc.  Valencia Road This style was very self consciously 'modern' in the period, echoing the aerodynamic, streamlined design of planes, passenger liners and steam trains. Some place this in the dying embers of the art deco movement. Now, I am no expert on art & design stuff, but see a bit more of the spirit of the Futurists in it. If that is a new one for you, look u

The Barrow Downs

   Link to GPX File of the Route  This is ‘figure of eight’ tour of the Western end of the Wessex Downs and includes famous neolithic sites. It starts from Hungerford on the River Kennet and heads over the interfluve between that and the River Lambourn before heading up the chalk hills towards the scarp. South of the Lambourn, the landscape is more wooded and mixed farming predominates. North of it there are open vistas; the few trees you see were probably planted as windbreaks. Going right back to the Neolithic, this used to be sheep country. In King Alfred’s time it was ‘West Wales’. Now, the dominant land use now is probably race horse training gallops. Most of the route is on minor roads with several long but not steep climbs. The exception is where it follows the Ridgeway along the hilltops so there is the alternative of a lower route which avoids the Ridgeway but is longer.  Zoom In The Highlights Hungerford. Charles II effectively negotiated his surrender of England to