Huntingdon-Ashtead

22 Jul 2013 via King’s Cross and Waterloo

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Fri: train from Huntingdon to King’s Cross 1hr changing Underground on the Victoria/blue and at Oxford Circle to Bakerloo/brown line to Waterloo. Been awhile ago on the Underground, fortunately no problems with these well-marked signs. Thanks to KV for such good directions.

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Lovely walk to South Bank with perfect blue sky for the pix. Had to make sure to catch the River Thames and Parliament House to not mistake the Eye for the Flyer!!

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Last time in the London area was 2004, 9yrs ago!

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Another train from Waterloo, under renovation but the exterior gradual never fails to impress me. Crowds are not too bad but in this hot India summer, a walk around the area including South Bank was a wonderful idea since there was time. 30mins train ride to Ashtead from Waterloo.

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Sat: lunched and walked around Polesden Lacey, an impressive Edwardian era house with views of the Surrey Hills. An elderly man was playing Chopin on the grand piano and Paul commented that the player must have been as old as the instrument, but still charming to have life music.

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The gardens are lovely and so is the caretaker’s cottage. Found a tree in the cherry orchard and the cherries were sweet and juicy and, yes we are allowed to pick them. Tkx to Paul for the introduction of another tiny wild orchid, Pyramidal. The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth) spent part of their honeymoon here in 1923.

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Mrs Greville, owner of Polesden Lacey was the setting for pleasure, leisure, gossips, luxury and discreet dalliance among the upper class remarked:

‘I never follow people into their bedroom’ but of course she did not mention who might be following her into her bedroom or the many other inviting places in the large gardens 🙂 The Grevilles had no children and after she died, the house was donated to the National Trust. To view the house and garden, GBP12 S$23 appreciations to Paul who guided me thru’ this beautiful location and he also is a member of the National Trust.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey/

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Good to see Paul and to meet his mother, an impressive 86yrs lady who cycles to care for her veg garden plot in the allotment. Thank you to Mrs Krause for her inspiration and for the beets.

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Sun: gardening and weeding at Paul’s allotment; good for the nerves in addition to having fresh organic onions, lettuce, cherries, raspberries, loganberries for Sun steak dinner today. Decent crab salad lunch at The Olive Tree Cafe*** located in Ashtead Park Garden Centre on Pleasure Pit Rd! Indeed it has been a total pleasure and appreciations to Paul and his family for their hospitality. Life cannot be better than it is 🙂 🙂 🙂

Return round-trip train and underground tickets: Huntington-King’s Cross-Waterloo-Ashtead and back to Huntington GBP31 S$60!

..what thrills me about trains is not their size or their equipment but the fact that they are moving, that they embody a connection between unseen places – Marianne Wiggins

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