Walking in a winter wonderland!

I don’t know about you but I love snow, especially when I don’t have to drive in it. The sad thing is that London doesn’t get a great deal of snow any more. It used to even in the 1980’s but the weather isn’t the same any more which on a personal level is super annoying to me as my early years were spent in Newcastle which is renowned for its rather climate and the way residents go out partying in the snow at night where the skimpiest of clothing and I remember going to school by sledge quite often.

So after most of the rest of the U.K. had been enjoying snow for a month or so, finally London got a piece of the action last weekend and where I lived, with a slight break for a few hours in the afternoon, it pretty much snowed from before 10am to 10pm, particularly hard in the morning and when I went out for a rather epic 4 hour walk around lunch time, the snow was already a good bit higher than my ankles.

I know lots of people like to play and enjoy the snow after it has fallen but I really like being out in it when its falling, even if it is colder and a bit hard work. Generally you have it all to yourself . This time it lasted for 3 days which is a far cry from the weeks it would stay when I was little but by modern London standards, it’s pretty good.

I didn’t intend to go walking for 4 hours but it snowed so hard, at times it was hard to see anything but I liked it and I even went exploring which was a bit crazy but on the other hand, it’s hard to catch coronavirus in a blizzard with no-one around so I thought I’d make the most of it. Who knows when such snow will return here? Maybe never.

A snowy trail

A snowy trail

Boudicca Pond

Boudicca Pond in the snow

You can see what quite a few of these places looked like in the Spring when I blogged about them at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.  

Brewery Pond and one of my favourite spots on it.

Brewery Pond and one of my favourite spots on it.

Caesars Pond

Caesars Pond in the snow

One of the places I wanted to visit was Grim’s Dyke.  I’ve written a few posts about this ancient place and you can an almost replica photo of the one below from the spring in this blog post.

Grims Dyke Snow

Grimsdyke in the snow

Grims Dyke Snow 2

More Grimsdyke in the snow

I knew that there was a sizeable lake 10-15 minutes walk along Grim’s Dyke.  I may well have visited there once when I was 15, I do like to go exploring.  For some reason, with the whole place to myself I thought I would go and find it.

Perhaps it wasn’t the smartest idea to go off exploring in the woods in the snow with all manner of hidden dips and gulleys but my pigeon sense of direction managed to find it.

My new lake in the snow

My new lake!

It’s actually quite renowned for its fishing and the photo above is taken from a wooden jetty which is one of the points people fish during competitions in the summer. As you can see the lake is largely frozen and snow is even beginning to rest on top after just a short while, something I can’t imagine happens very often now.   It was quite a magical moment just watching and listening to the snow.

Stanmore Hill in the snow

Stanmore Hill looking down to London

I made a loop back towards civilisation, which wasn’t easy as my footsteps had been covered by fresh snow and of course everything looks different when its all hidden away by a white blanket and all you can hear is snow.

The photo above looks down towards London 500 feet below with the house on the right behind the wall belonging to one of the movers and shakers in the iconic Fortnum and Masons Department Store in London a century or two ago .

Further down the hill is the home of Edward Adrian Wilson who played such a role in biological studies in Antarctica and died on the doomed mission of Captain Scott.  Though I had plenty of snow in my beard, I’m sure he would have given anything to only be walking around in -5 degrees.

London bus snow

A London bus!

As you can see my plan to enjoy the falling snow all on my own pretty much paid off, the London bus about the only moving thing around.

Common Road in the snow

The photo above is of Common Road which I came across after walking through the back of the Bentley Priory and past the old WW2 Pillbox.  One the left of the roads are the woods that I last blogged about in December Getting up to mischief in some old woods.  Normally this road is extremely busy.  I find it interesting that during the summer so many people complained that it was essential to break lockdown rules to get fresh air and exercise and yet for some reason when it is freezing cold, only me who is Shielding and obeys all the rules, still goes out.  Funny that!

St Peters Church Bushey Heath in Snow

St Peters Church in the snow

Another mile or so and yet another lake and I was back in my village with one of our village churches.  This is reputed to be the highest spot at this latitude between the Rocky Mountains in North America and the Urals deep into Russia.  You can see another view of the church in the spring at A look at my local Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association… Trough 

The Rutts Snow

And finally I was home and if you like the look of this snowy old street, you can see what it looked like back in the Victorian days. Bushey Heath now and then – Photos of my street from 130 years ago

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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4 Responses to Walking in a winter wonderland!

  1. Ankur Mithal says:

    For hot-weather denizens, a snowy landscape is magical!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can imagine. I much prefer the cold weather as it is much easier to warm up in the cold compared to cooling down in the heat. I remember how unbearable it was here last summer and there are many worst places for the heat. I’ve been watching the cricket the last few days and whilst the sunshine and warmth looks nice for a few hours, I will stick with the snow for now 🙂


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