Hayes to Paddington

Some photos taken on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal.
Nestle Factory Hayes
Bulls Bridge
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
North Circular Road
Aqueduct over the North Circular

I knew this walk was going to be difficult almost as soon as I left home, not because walking along a canal is very taxing, but because of the weather which was incredibly hot. Even though it was reasonably early in the morning it was already over 20c when I set out and by the afternoon had reached at least 28c in central London, a bit hot to be out walking any distance in.
I took the train to Hayes and joined the canal there, passing the giant Nestle factory (photo 1) on the way down to Bulls Bridge where the Paddington arm of the canal ends. They obviously make Nescafe or some other coffee product there as the whole area around the factory smells like the inside of a coffee shop.
From Bulls Bridge (photo 2) it was a straight plod down the side of the canal to the Paddington Basin. The path keeps to the same bank the whole way and; somewhat unusually for the sections of canal I have walked along previously, there was not a single lock. Must be very pleasant if you're in a canal boat!
The path passes through a few country areas but often had either hedges or fences next to it that rather cut down on the views. Obviously as the canal gets closer to the centre of the town the landscape becomes more and more urban, reflecting both its location and the industrial past of the canal.
In a number of area's the old canal side factories have been replaced by modern housing developments, (photo 3).
One of the highlights of this walk for me was crossing the aqueduct that takes the canal over the North Circular Road, (photo 7), close to the Hanger Lane underpass. This is a road I have travelled along on many many occasion but I never knew or had realised that the canal was passing overhead, (photo 8).
A little further on there were a few views of the new Wembly stadium taking shape between the factories at Park Royal, (photo 9).
I know they haven't come out too well in the photo but as I was walking along the canal somewhere near Harlesden I spotted two huge fish in the canal. I know I often see anglers along the banks of the canals but I hadn't realised that there were such big fish too be found, (photo 10).
The path makes its way past a variety of different buildings, passing the cemetry at Kensal Green, the old Oak Common rail sidings, ducking under the Westway flyover before eventually reaching Paddington basin, (photos 15 and 16), from where it was just a short walk to the train at Paddington station.
The GPS made this stage, including the links to the stations, 12.9 miles long although this seems a bit of an understatement. The canal sign at Bull Bridge states Paddington 13.5 miles and I had walked 0.6 miles from the station to get there. I will have to try the old fashioned way of measuring the map with a piece of cotton!! The main thing I will remember this walk for though is how hot it was which is not really evident from the photo's.
At present this is the only stage of the Grand Union Canal I have walked although I hope to complete it's entire length at some point on the future.

Wembley Stadium
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
Paddington Basin
Paddington Basin

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