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Believe it or not, there is a small nature reserve under 10 minutes from the notorious gyratory system! Odder still, you will be walking round the banks of an old reservoir, which takes about 15 minutes.

In order to exit the Tube station, you must head into the vast circular hall which is situated directly under the Hanger Lane gyratory system. 
To get to the nature reserve (about ten minutes away) take Subway No. S4 on the right. At the exit steps you will see a sign for Hanger Hill Park. Take the steps on the left hand side and then walk left past shops until Brunswick Road.  Go down this hill and then left at Sandall Road (second turning). After a few minutes look out for the signpost to Clarendon Road. Opposite this is a gate and path into woodland. This is Fox Lane which you should wander down. Quite soon there is a wooden gate on the right that leads into Fox Wood Nature Reserve. The trees cling to the banks of a reservoir which was drained in WW2,  as it was considered to be a navigational aid for enemy aircraft. Opened to the public in 1991, there is a circular route which takes you round the old basin. There is now no water to be seen – but be careful, the way gets very slippery in wet weather. Begin walking on the path to the left. When you reach a sports field, exit the wood for a few yards, to re-enter it down steps signed Fox Wood. The reserve is remarkably peaceful, and one circuit provides about 15 minutes good exercise clambering up and down slopes and steps. Sensible footwear essential.

You can either leave the reserve by the gate in Fox Lane or return to the field and skirt round the edge on the left hand side, leaving by the exit at the sports club in Hillcrest Road. Go to the left and almost immediately turn down Fox Lane for the return to the station. You can now have a pleasant potter along the path which runs parallel with Hanger Hill Park where there is a large pitch and putt golf course, plus children's playground. (The entrance to this is just beyond the entrance to Fox Lane in Hillcrest Road.) Please note the reservoir nature reserve itself is not a suitable place to take small children.

Hanger Lane is just one route 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 above link to see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!

© DR