Cycling The River Pinn and Celandine Route

It was January 3rd and it was penis vanishingly cold. It was also my last day of Christmas holiday before returning to work. Time for a cold, wet, muddy adventure to kick off 2017.

I chose the River Pinn and the Celandine Route that follows much of it. The source of the Pinn is Harrow Weald just south of the Harrow View Point, a good look-out point.

I'd chosen to do a 30-mile circular cycle ride that included the Pinn on the return half. My base was the car park at Denham Country Park. from there I hopped on the Grand Union heading North. A meandering north-easterly route through Harefield, Northwood and Oxhey. I probably could have found the actual source if I'd parked the bike and walked around the footpaths at Harrow View Point. Desperately cold and needing a wee, I decided to push on. 

It's a few miles before the first sighting of the Pinn at the end of Pinner High Street. The town takes its name from the river and is the start of the Celestine Route. This is a well sign-posted route through parks and bridleways that follow the river to its end.

Within 10 minutes I had already missed a sign and added an extra mile in a loop that took me right back to the start at Pinner. Making better use of my map app on the second attempt, I was back on track. The majority of the route is off road and lots of it on grass. Following a couple of days of heavy rain, the mud was quickly turning my mountain bike brown.

As with the River Chess walk of 2 weeks before, I found the Pinn to be a pleasant find in an area that I thought I knew well. The route alternated between green riverside paths and bland suburbs.  Two weeks ago I'd not heard of the Pinn and I would be surprised if many locals had either.

Towards the end, the Celandine Route diverts from the river as it crosses the A40 then into Hillingdon and Brunel University. It then joins back up at Yiewsley before abruptly stopping at the A408 in front of a Tesco Superstore. The Pinn joins the Grand Union canal just to the North of Tesco, although it was probably hidden as I couldn't find the junction. The river actually crosses the canal and joins the Fray’s river which meets the Colne about a mile south in West Drayton

My final 4 miles were a continuation of the Grand Union past Crowley and Uxbridge back to the start at Denham. The Pinn is certainly not pretty and there are more interesting routes, but for a cold, muddy New Year adventure it did the trick for me.

Red = River Pinn, Blue = Circular cycle route


Below: source of the Pin near Harrow Viewpoint north of Pinner

Richard gowerComment