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Osterley park and Grand Union canal, Osterley, west London, England
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Osterley walk: A walk around Osterley Park, west London (5.5 miles)
Report by urban75 editor, March 2005

PART two: From Norwood Lock through Osterley Park, grabbing tea and scones in Stable by Osterley House and then back to the station.

Fox and Hounds, Romney Street, Knatts Valley, Sevenoaks, Kent
Old Norwood Free School, Southall

We crossed over the canal by the white bridge and walked along Melbury Avenue, turning right at the mini roundabout along Tentelow Avenue.

Further along we saw this delightful old school building, with a stone plaque bearing the inscription, 'A FREE SCHOOL. ERECTED BY E.B. 1767'

The Plough Public House, Norwood Green, Southall
The Plough, Norwood Green

The walk then continues along an enclosed public footpath, heading south from just before the Grade II listed Plough Inn is reached (the path is signposted 'St Mary's Avenue).

I wanted to have a drink at the Plough - a charming pub dating back to 1349 associated with Dick Turpin but, sadly, the place was being refurbished.

So we trudged on, across St Mary's Avenue and into a large open field.

Across the field, Osterley park, Osterley, west London, England
Across the field

We headed south easterly across the farmer's field towards the motorway in the distance.

M4 motorway, Osterley park, Osterley, west London, England
M4 motorway

Crossing the motorway was the least pleasant part of the walk, with the traffic making a right royal racket.

Osterley Park Farm, Osterley park, Osterley, west London, England
Osterley Park Farm

A short walk from the motorway we re-entered Osterley Park, passing a field full of chomping cows.

Muddy track, Osterley park, Osterley, west London, England
Muddy track

This muddy track led into Osterley Park House.

Osterley Park House, Osterley, west London, England
Osterley Park House

The original house on this site was a Tudor manor house built for Sir Thomas Gresham, Elizabeth I's Chancellor of the Exchequer. The nearby 16th-century stable block dates from this time.

In 1761, the founders of Child's Bank commissioned Robert Adam (1728-1792) to transform the now-crumbling Tudor mansion into an elegant neo-classical villa.

Designed as a country retreat with the focus on entertainment and impressing friends and business associates, no expense was spared.

Adam's spectacular interiors survive intact and the house is set in extensive park and farm land, complete with Pleasure Grounds and neo-classical garden buildings.

The estate passed down the family until it was given to the National Trust in 1949 by the 9th Earl of Westmorland.

Stable block, Osterley park, Osterley, west London, England
Stableyard, Osterley Park

These attractive 16th centry stables have been converted into a cafe, shop and exhibition space.

Osterley park cafe, Osterley, west London, England
Tea Rooms, The Stableyard

We only just made it in time to grab a warming - and much needed - hot cup of tea and a lovely plate of scones and clotted cream. Kudos to the staff too, who were very friendly, despite our late arrival!

Osterley Park House, Osterley, west London, England
Osterley Park House and lake

An early evening scene looking west across Garden Lake towards Osterley Park House.

Osterley tube station, Osterley, west London, England
Osterley tube station

One of the many fine examples of Art Deco stations to be found on the London Underground, Osterley tube station features a 70 foot tower complete with Art Deco lighting.

Opened in 1934, the station was designed Charles Holden, replacing replaced an earlier station sited less than 300 metres to the east of the present location, alongside the Great West Road.

Our walk is now over!


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