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HATTON CROSS Piccadilly Line (Heathrow) 

Once a peaceful hamlet, Hatton Cross is now more or less an extension of Heathrow Airport. Having filled my lungs with aviation fuel (how anyone endures breathing that stuff in day after day beats me) and been repeatedly terrified by huge aeroplanes apparently aiming straight for me I was surprised to discover that some farmland remains on the south side of the A30.

Hounslow Urban Farm (entrance fee) is about ten minutes walk from the main road. It covers 29 acres which makes it one of the largest Community Farms in the London area. There are also some animals in the triangle formed by Faggs Road, Dick Turpin Way and the Great South West Road, with geese that occasionally waddle about loose, browsing off any patch of grass they can find. To get to this rather strange area, leave the large and soulless Tube station by the Great South West Road exit and cross the busy road by the lights. Faggs Road is a bit to the left. Go down this, crossing Steam Farm Road where there is an old chapel building, part half-timbered (now offices). The name of the road comes from the fact that a farm nearby was the first in the area to use steam to power farm machinery.

When you come to a small green you will see on the left the seventeenth-century Green Man pub, which manages to look like a proper country inn. Continue down Faggs Road, keeping to the right hand pavement. Soon this becomes the very major A312 and you will think you must have gone wrong somewhere. However, you do not have to endure this busy stretch for long because the entrance to the farm comes soon after the junction with Causeway. Bizarrely, it’s also the entrance to Hatton Cemetery.

Straight away you are surrounded by extensive fields where, if you are lucky, you will see a variety of farm animals, including rare breeds such as the Highland cattle in the photos. If you pay to go into the farm proper there is also a café and children’s play area. At the end of the track you will find Hatton cemetery, which has nothing to mark it off from the farm. It consists of a field only partly filled with memorials. These include a section for Moslem graves which are oriented towards Mecca. A few bushes,  a ramshackle Portaloo and that's it. A lonely place, though oddly peaceful in spite of its noisy situation. I particularly liked one epitaph  'Gone fishing'. 

Frankly, this is an outing only to be undertaken by those with non-asthmatic children who do not mind having their hair parted at two minute intervals by low-flying jets. We’re talking direct flight path here. It’s all so weird I rather enjoyed it, and any animal-loving plane-spotter would be in the seventh heaven.
Nanny bit: Please take extra care crossing the roads in this area. Even the apparently minor ones are full of big scarey trucks.
Hatton Cross 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!

© DR