diamond geezer

 Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's a surprisingly hard task, this Visiting All The Highest Points In Each London Borough stuff. There are 33 locations to trek round, scattered fairly haphazardly across the capital, and it's taking up a lot of time. I do try to optimise my route by linking together peaks in a fairly efficient order, and some are even conveniently clustered together which helps. But, good though London's transport network is, it isn't really set up for making random point-to-point journeys across town. That's particularly true in the suburbs, which is where most of these summits are, often in relatively inaccessible places of low population density. In particular railways in London tend to be radial rather than orbital, so they're not usually much help in getting from Stanmore to Barnet, or Hounslow to Richmond, or wherever. Railways also tend to stick to lowlands rather than high ground, for engineering reasons, so few are heading where I really need to go. And so I've been spending a lot of my time on buses, often two of them in succession, to try to make each journey from one highest point to the next. London's bus network is brilliant at covering every corner of the capital, but linking together two buses can be very slow, especially when you just miss a connecting service and have to wait up to 30 minutes for the next. On average it's taking me an hour to tick off each London Borough Top, which makes for long days of travelling, and the whole safari's going to take me at least four full days in the field. And then there's writing the whole lot up, which is a separate challenge in itself, especially when a summit isn't intrinsically interesting or when there's lots to research. Still, that's all of North London's highest points now visited and chronicled, leaving only the delights of South London's hilltops to go. Bet you can't wait...

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