When cycling do not read too much about places. Let your imagination soar. Above all allow your mind to work. The Victorians had a certain bold logic which sat well with architecture: Instance Isambard Kingston Brunell. Oxford is only one hour from London Paddington station. Pass Ladbroke Grove, the North Pole and Kensal Rise where road, rail and canal converge in North West London. North Pole near Willesden is for Eurostar train engineering. From Paddington cycle along the Grand Union Canal to Ladbroke Grove. All Soul’s Kensal Green Cemetary is a great city of the dead and open unlike Highgate which offers only paid accompanied tours. Please respect this sacred ground. Whyndhan Lewis mauseleum is here. The Reform Group are burried together in a vault. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the mathematician Charles Babbage are buried here. Both intimate and open views (Harrow Road) across Kensal Rise Cemetary are without equal in England. This was beyond the city edge in 1900. The vista from the canal is one of the great locations in industrial England. From Oxford cycle to London on the Thames Path over two days. Half way is about Reading, a spectacularly ruined town with a noisy centre and bland Surrey modern buildings. Oscar Wilde gaoled in austere Victorian jail here. So stay elsewhere. Based in Oxford, Oxfordshire is a county to cycle aimlessly through from village to village not particularly in any hurry. Oxfordshire offers a link to the Midlands via the canal towpath to Banbury. Or alight at Reading and cycle to London taking in Henry VIII’s Hampton Court and Syon Park.
OxfordApril 12, 2009