Hatton Cross to Hanworth (Betts Farm) and back again
Thursday July 3rd 2013
The day started well if not brightly at Hatton Cross Underground Station – very glitzy but lacking in basic facilities. We orientated ourselves around the correct bus stop and opted for the first bus that came – it was the H26 (see later next week), a Felthamish route which finishes in the rather picturesquely named Sparrow Farm, now Sparrow Farm Estate. After a bit of erroneous wandering we asked a local who directed us to where we could find the River Crane – it being our intention to walk a stretch of the Crane in order to access the end of this route H25. If the plan worked we could finish at Hatton Cross and not need to ride both routes both ways.
We set off walking beside the overgrown but OK river knowing we had to get under the railway bridge, which we duly did, but then things went wrong: we seemed to lose the river and not find the road and then re-found the railway – wrong! – so essentially we had gone round in a circle albeit one full of bright wild flowers. We had a map but needed a better one (and needed to be better at reading it too). Though we asked a local postie (who was to be the first of three posties we saw out in their shorts today) for directions to the bus, he was obviously a car user so in the end, not best pleased, we found our way to the H26, which delivered us back to Hatton Cross and an immediate departure on the H25. That was by way of a preamble so here is the H25.
The first sections of the two routes run parallel along Hatton Lane to Bedfont. Our entire trip today was within Hounslow borough and everywhere we went Housnlow appeared to be renewing their pavements, thereby spilling onto the narrow roads and handicapping the drivers.
On the right hand side of the road are well spaced semis and bungalows, and in the gaps can clearly be seen runways and parked up planes. On the left hand side of the road are the more historic bits of Bedfont, including some curious horses (they must be totally immune to air traffic by now) peering over their fence, Greville House, whose future seems a little uncertain, the Two Bridges Centre (over the Rivers Longford and the Duke of Northumberland again), and doubtless the prettiest land mark in Bedfont – St Mary’s Church, compact with an intact wooden spire and almost dwarfed by its magnificent topiary peacocks – we noticed them on our second passing and managed to photograph them on the 3rd and 4th but this website is worth a look.
Another right turn took the H25 down Bedfont Lane, which becomes increasingly densely built up towards its Feltham end, crossing over the little known (to us anyway) River Longford.
I always think Feltham station is back to front with its entrance tucked behind and its rear end on the main road and bridge. We rejoined the H26 and quite a few other routes along Feltham High Street , which comes complete with village pond and a rather more conspicuous war memorial. There is a modest sign to an Ministry of Defence building which proves to be the ‘Intelligence Collection & Defence Geographic Centre’ – I imagine a sort of map mecca.
Turning off the main road again we followed Felthambrook and through what looked like an aspiring but not altogether successful industrial/business estate, with the General Roy Pub – apparently General William Roy was a cartographer who invented the ordnance survey map so was undoubtedly popular with the MOD of his time. The road narrows again and seems to come to another quite historic bit of the borough.
The church, St. George's, has survived better than the Hanworth Castle which seemed to have been favoured by Henry VIII as a hunting lodge when out and about on Hounslow Heath (I don’t suppose he had to contend with getting under railway lines and trunk roads to get from one place to another). Not quite Hampton Court but quite a triumph for the H25.