Uxbridge to Ruislip (Heathfield Rise)
Thursday May 30th 2013
We left Uxbridge by the usual (and possibly only) route left down the High Street and round the roundabout – the green planting has grown well and is beginning to hide the back of the Pavilions Shopping Centre and the Atrium build. This is of course an alternative route to Ruislip which could have been achieved much more easily on the Piccadilly line.
The route takes the Harefield Road which follows the course of several waterways – some of these appear natural (The River Colne) others more man-made as in Frays River or the Grand Union. Like the U9.
This part of Uxbridge/Hillingdon seems to be called Swakeleys so I was a bit surprised to find this website as the area looks thoroughly 20th Century and residential.
The other slight mystery was that the bus kept promising me ‘Douay Martyrs School’ (I suspected a Hail and Ride error – see the H2 for further explanation of this) but while this was clearly a Catholic School it was obviously well camouflaged in amongst the greenery as I did not really spot it. Additionally, while my research tells me that Douay is near Rheims in France and the English College there, working in exile so to speak, produced it own version of an English Language Bible for use by Catholics, I am not sure where the martyrs fit in. Anyway it all seemed very remote from the tranquil streets of Ickenham, which we were steadily approaching, passing through a pleasantly wooded area and a bridge crossing the River Pinn, along which you can walk thanks to Hillingdon’s handy guide to the Celandine Way.
Leaving Ickenham, the ‘villagey feel’ continues as the bus makes it way towards Ruislip, though the grander homes of the earlier part of the ride now gave way to smaller more modest semis. The ride was very smooth (so smooth the one not pensionable age passenger fell asleep over the handle of her infant’s buggy) and the driver kindly paused for a lady who was waiting on the wrong side of the road and then chose to cross behind, encircling the bus completely before finally boarding: the mutters of other passengers indicated that they knew her ‘habits’ of old.
‘The White Bear’ pub would not have looked out of place in the country, though neatly situated between Ruislip Manor and Ruislip stations. The latter was the cause of our only slight delay on this trip – there appear to be major road and building works round Ruislip Station and none of the usual bus stops there were functioning.
Ruislip High Street still felt quite intact and intimate so it was not surprising that we picked up a handful more passengers for their trip home.
minute break, but took on a load of passengers mainly youngsters on their half-term break.
This route had been a very pleasant cross-country trip allowing me glimpses of some of the ‘bones’ of the original villages that now go to make up the commuter areas of Uxbridge, Ickenham and Ruislip.