January 6th Chichester Canal
I am Lancashire girl who is familiar with our counties three C’s, coal, cotton and canals. Canal walks bring back memories of my father, Sundays visiting the cemetery and then walking the picturesque Bridgewater Canal. My friend Raymond and I loved the Wigan Pier to Arley Hall and Wigan’s flight of 23 locks to Top Lock.
My husband and I parked near the centre of Chichester and followed the canal towpath, we hoped to get to the marina. Soon I suspected that this wasn’t a ‘working canal’ and a little research proved I was right. Still a great walk that would be perfect for our older dog.
One of the highlights was spotting a heron. And I’m excited to find another spot where water voles hang out too. The coots were plentiful and surprisingly brave and loud.
We didn’t get to the marina, hubby pointed out that we only had two hours free parking, but already made an improvement on last week’s 5k walk and moved up to 6k.
January 11th Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I wasn’t disappointed. Best of all I will have to go back, preferably with my sketchbook, because the tour of the West Cemetery was fully booked.
We got the tube to Archway (NOT HIGHGATE) and then caught the 271 bus, which it turns out we only needed for two stops. But since it was all uphill, my feelings of embarrassment quickly left. We got off the bus at Whittington Hospital and walked to St Joseph’s Church. Then we cut through Waterlow Park, past the duck ponds to the Swain’s Lane exit.
There is a small £4 entry fee, and we stepped into the impressive Victorian tombs and gravestones. Many with an abundance of stone ivy and angels. My main reason for the visit was to see sci-fi author Douglas Adams, but of course, I had to stop by the glowering bearded bust of Karl Marx. The cemetery was smaller than I had thought. We picked a cold day with grey skies, and we could hear the crows and the leafless branches of the trees tapping each other.
We walked back down Highgate hill and took a quick picture of Dick Whittington’s cat, but I was disappointed by the not quite 4k. So, we decided to stop at Camden Town on the way home.
January 11th Camden Town
I haven’t been to Camden’s markets since the 1990s and my goodness it’s changed. I offered to bring my daughter here for her upcoming 18th birthday, but she seems a bit lukewarm about the idea, so hubby and I made a stop.
We picked up on that unique vibe the moment we left the tube station. By now it was already 3 pm, so we didn’t have much time. However, we still looked at the eclectic market stalls, had a quick stroll by Regent’s Canal and sampled the Chinese cuisine in the Asian quarter.
It was a little sad that we didn’t bother to find a live music bar and stay a little later, but that’s life with kids! I had a coffee and a cake, plus a sit down on the tube between the walks so not sure if I can combine the total to six?