EASTCOTE Metropolitan, Piccadilly LONDON TUBE RAMBLES WALK
About 2 miles, but can be extended if you follow the Celandine Route (details below)
Eastcote is a slightly odd place in that it seems to have no real centre, and the village is completely separate from the shopping area near the Tube station. Two large mansions, Haydon’s Court and Eastcote House were demolished in the 1960’s/70’s but it is difficult to see how these ever provided a focal point. Flats discreetly occupy the Haydon House parkland, and the Eastcote House estate is now open to all. There is no church because originally Eastcote was in the parish of Ruislip. Having said all that, there are some lovely old houses to be found and pleasant walks by the River Pinn.
To get to the village, turn right from the Tube and go past a long parade of shops in Field End Road. At Meadow Way is an old barn converted into offices. Cross the road at this point and continue along the east side - the whole area becomes much greener now. A bit further on is a hotel, parts of which date back to the 15th century. At the mini roundabout follow Field End Road round to the left. Near Robarts Close is an intriguing collection of cottages and villas. Make your way up a gentle rise and on the other side of the road, just after Pamela Gardens, you will see Eastcote House Gardens. Turn right at the junction into busy High Road Eastcote for the entrance, which is part of the Celandine Route. Follow this and you will soon find the coach house (I suppose there's a sort of logic that it's now in a car park). Go past that and you will be at a grand old dovecote, next to which a small iron gate leads to the 'secret' walled garden. After pottering round that, retrace your steps to the first entrance and cross over High Road Eastcote at the traffic island. (Please note that this road is difficult to negotiate. On no account try to cross further up near the car park. I've tried, and it's just not safe, especially as there is no pavement.) Once over the road, turn right keeping a lookout for a pub called The Case is Altered, the peculiar name being a corruption of the Spanish ‘House of Fun’ - splendidly depicted in its hanging sign. Further along the road are several sixteenth/seventeenth-century farmhouses etc., all facing the old estate. This was the main street in medieval times.
At ‘Ramin’ (possibly another corruption – Ram Inn) walk back, tracking the stream, until you reach Joel Street. (You can go through a park area that runs parallel to the road, but this has been sculpted into mounds by youngsters on their bikes and is now not particularly attractive.) Cross over the Joel Road bridge (again, take care - it's a tricky crossing) and go ahead, still on High Road Eastcote. At the junction with Field End Road continue straight on. Very soon you will see a magnificent half-timbered building - ‘The Old Barn’ - sadly in rather disappointing surroundings. In fact this was not originally a barn, but a medieval house with later additions. It was in use as a tea garden and during the 1908 Olympic Marathon the 13th milepost was placed outside it - no doubt they did a roaring trade that day! This particular marathon is remembered because the first athlete to complete it, an Italian named Dorando Pietri, was disqualified when, having collapsed in the stadium on the last lap, he was helped across the finishing line by well-meaning officials. Almost opposite, next to a bridge over the stream, is a modern bungalow with an anvil in the front garden. This was where the village forge once stood.
In spite of its scattered layout , Eastcote is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, and you can extend your visit by exploring more of the Celandine Route.
Incidentally, you don't have to walk back to the station, as there is a reasonably good bus service (No. 282) which stops at Pamela Gardens (mentioned above).
Photos: (Click on image to enlarge)
Dovecote and walled garden, Eastcote House Gardens
Old Coach House, Eastcote Hse Gdns/The Case is Altered pub
Old farmhouse, High Road Eastcote
'Ramin' High Road Eastcote
'The Old Barn' High Road Eastcote
This is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the link above and see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!