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Hayes Towpath

Bulls Bridge to Yeading Lane 3 miles (2 - 2.5 hours).

Hillingdon Trail

Map of the walk [913kb]»

  1. The walk starts at Bulls Bridge.
  2. From Bulls Bridge, turn left (north) onto the towpath alongside the Paddington branch of the Grand Union Canal.
  3. The canal was opened in 1794, with the Brentford to Uxbridge stretch, passing through Botwell and Hayes. In 1801, a branch of the Canal was opened from Bulls Bridge to the Paddington basin; this is 13 miles long and has no locks. I
  4. It was designed to provide speedy transport of people and goods between Paddington and Uxbridge and the 20 mile journey took about 6 hours.
  5. The plant with yellow daisy like flowers in summer is Ragwort, host plant of the orange and black Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.
  6. After 380 metres, pass under the Railway Bridge.
  7. Reeds growing on the canal bank and Willow, Oak and Thorn trees lining the towpath.
  8. On the west bank of the Canal, a scrub habitat consisting of Buddleia, Japanese Knotweed, Willow and Poplar have established themselves on the embankment.
  9. Keep a look out for Heron, Kingfisher and ducks.
  10. On the east bank, after another 230 metres, are Michaelmas Daisy, Codlins,  Cream and Elm, growing in association with Artemesia (wormwood) Bramble, Elderberry, Cow Parsley and Hemp Agrimony, with soft pink flowers.
  11. An old gas works extends along the east side of the towpath for several hundred metres. Crab-apple occurs in the vegetation on the East bank and on the west is EMI property.
  12. Pass under Uxbridge Road.
  13. The Hambrough Arms Tavern, Public House, provides food and 1 km to the east is Southall while
  14. further along the Uxbridge Road is Hanwell and Ealing.
  15. Go under the Uxbridge Road Bridge.
  16. 150 metres north, on the west bank the Canal Feeder used to enter the Canal.
  17. It was constructed in the early 1800's to carry water from the Reservoir at Ruislip to the canal at this point and used to keep the water levels constant because water is lost through locks, leaks and evaporation.
  18. By the mid-1800's however, the Feeder was in decline because the reservoir's water catchment area was limited; the small drop in level over this long route meant that the flow was sluggish and the ditch liable to silting and in 1850 the Welsh Harp Reservoir at Hendon was enlarged.
  19. Some stretches of the ditch have been filled-in and others culverted but it can be seen for much of its length between here and the Lido at Ruislip.
  20. Keep on the towpath to Spikes Bridge.
  21. The Dog Rose Ramble follows the route of The Hillingdon Trail for a few miles, from here.
  22. From Spikes Bridge and a few yards further along the canal notice 2 white posts denoting the borough boundary, with Ealing to the south and Hillingdon to the north.
  23. Follow the tarmac footpath between sloe bushes [the black fruits of which are used to make 'Sloe Gin'] and then leave it to enter the open space.
  24. Cross the grassed area, keeping allotment gardens on the south side, then follow the sports field edge, with a hedge and fence to the north.
  25. This is Brookside Open Space and there is a car park at the pavilion.
  26. About 700 metres on, is a tarmac path, leading south across the sports field to Brookside Road, which leads to Uxbridge Road.
  27. On the north bank of the Brook, at the western end of the open space, is an area of trees coppiced in 1993, to allow regeneration of the Oak and Ash.
  28. Join a tarmac path to pass under the Hayes By-Pass, then leave this tarmac path to cross an area of open grassland, bearing south-west to the bank of Yeading Brook (bordered by trees and shrubs) and continue along the north bank of the Brook across the adjacent open space to Yeading Lane.
  29. The nearby Industry Public House, which dates from the mid-19th century was opened to satisfy the demand of workers from the Yeading brickworks, which was the site of a thriving industry then. Refreshments are available. Buses 140 and 274 serve this area.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 28 Feb 2017 at 15:05