O is for Osterley Park
Published June 5, 2012
It seems that O is a letter that is destined to cause me trouble. After the thwarted attempt to visit a previous O-shaped destination, I selected another. This did not go completely smoothly either, but I’m going with it, because I am running out of Os (and I want to get to P!).
During our recent heatwave in the UK, I took a day off work and opted to head outside. It was somewhat impromptu, because I wanted to make the most of the nice weather and the free time. I’d only discovered Osterley Park a week or so before, and realised it would make a good replacement O. The house and park is a National Trust property, situated just off the M4, right by Heathrow.
I drove, I parked, I walked up to the house. You get some good views of the lake, the trees and the house as you approach.
Walking all the way round the lake was nice and relaxing, a few planes went overhead, people were walking, cycling and jogging in the sunshine. Then the big house comes into view.
I had to wait for a while to be able to snap the above picture, as a gaggle of children were on a school trip and gathered for their own photograph on the stairs. Those school children were faffing around so much, that I couldn’t deal with getting through the official entrance. I probably wouldn’t have gone into the house anyway, as they rarely let you take pictures in there. I was interested in the gardens, but the kids were going to take so long to get sorted that I walked in the other direction.
To the right of the house is an outbuilding for National Trust gift shops and cafés. I bought a sandwich and sat, soaking up the sunshine, watching the planes go overhead.
Then I decided that it would not be a truly wasted trip. There was a walk through the trees and round the lake that would be a perfectly fine idea on a day such as this was.
Although not officially part of the gardens, and clearly not as well kept, it was still a nice trip. You walk through the trees, which turn into more of a country lane, past a few tucked away houses, and then turn onto a longer path around the lake. This, in turn, brings you to another track that takes you back to the car park. The whole route is an extended triangle, of sorts.
Although I never actually got in to Osterley House, or viewed the gardens, I got me some sunshine and fresh air, and took some nice pictures, which is really what the alphabet adventure is all about.
Oh, did I mention there were planes by the way? We were so close to Heathrow that some of the planes went roaring through the sunshine, causing mini eclipses as they went. It was all very distracting. I knew I was going towards an airport, but I wasn’t expecting to come back with so many photos like this.