Sunday, November 19, 2006

Autumn walks - 17 & 18 November 2006

Tibury Fort WatergateThe weather synchronized perfectly with the weekend.

Saturday dawned frosty and sunny so we set off due east, for the coast. After a lengthy spell of chaos, enduring jammed roads on the Defenses overlooking the marshesNorth Circular; we eventually made our way past a closed-off flyover, and continued our journey to Tilbury. The Fort there was once an important guard post on the Thames River route into London with a grand gateway that was simply there to impress people passing by on the Thames. Nowdays, from the river, most of the gate would be obscured by the Thames flood defences.

Waterfront Amusement ParkFurther down the Thames estuary, is the town of Southend-on-sea. It is a typical British seaside town, (this means amusement arcades, amusement parks, masses of Pier Trainfish and chip shops, and general tat, not sand castles on the beach) but its claim to fame is the longest pier in the world. This needs to stretch past the shallow water at low tide into the Thames channel. The pier is 1.5 miles long, and a railway provides an easy way to reach the end. We choose to ride out, and walk back -very pleasant on such a beautiful afternoon.

Southend-on-sea pier
Hainault ForestSunday was also fine and frosty: a perfect day to do a walk though Hainault Forest and enjoy the autumn colours. We finished the Hainault Forestday with a drive through nearby Enfield forest. The trees there were absolutely stunning, a bright gold against the blue sky. Hainault Forest

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