A round baker's dozen at Bermondsey Square, with our fame having spread as far as Guildford.
A brief introduction to clacking mills and the quality of north London gardens as compared to the plains of Asia.
We made our way in light drizzle to four acre field, where we exchanged maps, and moved onwards through Kentish town and its rail disaster, through Dartmouth Hill, then a diversion away from the course as plod was present deterring cyclists, we slid away across the fledgling river and into Kenwood, its sham bridge and source, or two!
Noon brought heavier rain as we crossed the heights to Hampstead, with a slight delay for mechanical repairs, some paused while others swooped the hills of Hampstead for the delights of Chalybeate springs; Bond movies kindly corrected by The National Trust, Parish Lockups and blue plaques to Marie Stopes.
Through Hatchet’s Bottom, Lawrence of Arabia, London County Council borders marks and tittlebats while the rain poured, the Plod appeared in their dry van, you can’t cycle here they said as they kindly offered a fold out paper map into the deluge. A polite decline as we walked the last 10 foot to the cycle path!
South along Fleet road, and through Lismore circus, to spot a sign that the Fleet was in a pipe, and back to four acre field.
Wet and cold we strove forward through a workhouse or two, the Hardy Tree and the bend in the fleet that dictates the shape of the new Kings Cross we dived for warmth and a coffee or soup in St Pancras, never has a Pret been so welcoming said one!
Pancras, Bagnigge, St Olave and The Black Widow guided us path Coldbath as we heard the fleet swelled by the storm rush under our feet.
Through Smithfield, where Cows once crossed the fleet and remembered now in a street, a brief history of St Bart, the Wren vision and the modern reality, Blackfriars, Whitefriars, Knights and Bridewell brought us to a riverboat pier, and there on the ebbing tide, the mouth of the fleet.
The wettest and coldest ride so far, one to be repeated in warmer conditions as we missed so much.
Thanks to all who stayed the course, and for your feedback.
Lost Rivers returns on April 1st where we present a dubious river before noon, a real one after, the challenge to decide what is true and what is not!