Saturday, 6 July 2013

The H25 Route

Hatton Cross to Hanworth (Betts Farm) and back again 
Thursday July 3rd   2013

H is for Hounslow or possibly Hatton Cross or even Hanworth. For once we did not get lost in Hounslow, looking for the right bus stop to start our trip, but instead managed to go round in a useless loop somewhere between the Sparrow Farm Estate and the railway. To explain:

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

It’s at this point that the two routes deviate and the H25 takes a sharp left to cross the Green passing the Bell on the Green pub and a rather basic war memorial close to the library; also somewhat surprisingly there is a gated estate just visible from the bus.  Local networks inform me that these are in fact endowed housing (sort of almshouses really) provided by a local wealthy widow and built in the mid-Thirties. Of about the same date are a parade of shops on both sides of the road, once thriving today they seem a little ad hoc. ‘InLust’ proves to be a modern Indian restaurant rather than anything more shocking.  By this time the bus was filling up nicely.

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.

From here on the bus does another 2 loops, crossing the Chertsey Way (Country Way) twice in order to serve two quite outlying Hounslow housing estates.  There are a few shops dotted around but by and large the community must rely very heavily on this bus route. The Bear Road flyover is all that remains of what was once a pub called the Brown Bear, and passing under allows the H25 to do its final loop round the Butts Farm Estate. Built in the Fifties it is now somewhat showing its age and our final stopping place was not enhanced by a pile of rubbish bags which had been ripped open presumably by foxes.  Shame there are no more brown bears to eat the foxes which seemed to have gained an upper hand.

Both our routes today ended in rather romantic sounding rural idylls – ‘Sparrow Farm’ and ‘Butts Farm’ – but sadly romantic is not the word that springs to mind and when you actually get there, which just goes to show you cannot always choose a route by it end destination.

To be fair this was an extremely interesting route taking us from the high octane planes of Heathrow through a variety of urban and less urban landscapes all within Hounslow borough. Map-reading not being our forte we were pleased our drivers today clearly knew which end was up.


  1. What a wonderfull experience!
    Thank you fot the photoes.
    Now my "trip by google heart" is more complete..sightseeing bus venice

  2. thanks for your wonderful route photos. I love River Longford for its true beauty...

    best regards,