Having previously been south (on several occasions) and east (to the Dartford Crossing) on my bike, I thought I should try a different cardinal direction today. And so, today I went WEST, with weird visions of 'Firefly the Musical' dancing in my head set to a soundtrack of Lily Allen's The Fear and the Village People's Go West.
Setting insanity aside, I was discussing with a friend the other day the subject of Hampton Court Palace. I hadn't been since the my very first full day in London EVER. That would have been while I was on a summer trip in junior high, for the record, or roughly 15 years ago.
One of my favourite things about first moving to London (now nearly three years ago, if we can believe it) was the sense of stumbling across something I had seen or someplace I had been during my past journeys. Familiar street corners that I now knew the location of. A building here. A monument there.
And so I thought getting out to Hampton Court would be a great way to tap into a sense of nostalgia I hadn't had in a while in London.
My favourite part was actually riding through Wimbeldon Common, though. They have some excellent gravel paths tucked away in the woods that I was able to try my hybrid bike out on for the first time. It was really good fun, and I can see how people good get addicted to off-road cycling. It's really a much different feel and technique to road biking.
I also, after having difficulty finding the entrance to the palace itself, managed to stumble upon the 'London Riviera', which looked absolutely spectacular as the sun was setting. I'm sure it's not quite the Mediterranean, but it's worth a look and maybe a picnic if you happen to be wandering by!
HAMPTON COURT PHOTOS
(to prove I made it in the end)
(You can see more on my flickr photostream.)
Hampton Court Ride, 1 June 2009, about 30 miles
Work > Kingston > Hampton Court > London Riviera > Super Market > Home