Stepping into September, the temperature had slightly dropped to around 15 or 16 ℃. A little bit cool but not that cold. Just as my son had back to school, my wife and I went our for cycling in nearby areas. Some exercise for both of us as well as to search for new cycling routes.
Last week, I rode with my son along Barge Walk. This time, my wife and I would go cycling in the Hampton Court Park.
The Hampton Court Park (or the Home Park) was built in the era around 1530 and was formally opened to public by 1894. The overall size of the park is around 750 acres, roughly 16 times of the Victoria Park in the Hong Kong Island. It is located adjacent to the Hampton Court Place and to the south of the Bushy Park. Different from the Hampton Court Palace, visiting the Home Park is free of charge.
If you are interested, feel free to visit this link for additional information.
上次去了 Barge Walk，今次嘗試往漢普敦公園（Hampton Court Park）走走。
漢普敦公園大約建於 1530 年，在 1894 年正式開放給公眾，面積約 750 acres，大概是香港維多利亞公園的 16 倍。公園位於漢普敦宮旁及 Bushy Park 的南面，與漢普敦宮不同，公園是免費供市民參觀。
Same as before, the route starts from town centre to the Kingston Bridge. Turned left at the end of the bridge to Barge Walk. Slightly into the gravel road of the walk, the entrance to Hampton Court Park would appear on the right.
Passing through the gate, there is a shaded trail that led to another small gate that only allows one person or one bicycle to passthrough at the same time.
路線同樣是先走過 Kingston Bridge，再左轉進入 Barge Walk，進入碎石路後不久，便會見到右邊往漢普敦公園的入口。
Beyond the gate is a short gravel road. At the end, turned left to a paved road. From there, you could reach most of the points of interest within the park.
The first Point of Interest (POI) was the Hampton Court Palace Golf Club. Other than the 18-holes standard golf course, there are venues supporting various events as well as restaurant serving foods and drinks. As we already had our breakfast, we just took a brief look and rode back to the paved road.
At the entrance, we came across a fleet of supercars, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche in front of us. Together with two of the vintage cars we met in the golf club carparks, I just wondered if they were coming out for a breath of fresh air?
第一個景點是漢普敦宮高爾夫球會 （Hampton Court Palace Golf Club），除了一個 18 洞標準高爾夫球場外，亦有餐廳提供飲食及可預訂各式活動安排。由於剛吃過早餐不久，稍作停留便離開。
The next POI was the Long Water. A 3800 feet long canal built in 1660 as the wedding gift from King Charles II to his wife, Queen Catherine of Braganza. Along two sides of the canal are double rows of lime trees, a stunning view to enjoy.
下一個景點是中央的 Long Water。這是一條 3800 呎長的人工運河，建於 1660 年， 是英皇 Charles II 送給皇后 Catherine of Braganza 的新婚禮物。運河兩旁種植了雙行的椴樹，景𡟹非常之優美。
Walking with the bike along the 3800 feet long canal seemed a little bit tired and we decided to ride our bike along the grass footpath between the rows of lime trees. That was supposed to be a very romantic scene but somehow it turned out to be one of the hardest tasks that I had never dreamt of. Moving across the soft grass with my thin bicycle tyres were terribly difficult.
Half way through the trees, we rode back to the paved road. All of a sudden, we saw another fleet of vintage cars in front of us. Quickly we took out our mobile phones to capture that wonderful scene.
拖著單車通過這條 3800 呎長的運河有點累，於是便騎著單車在椴樹下的行人草地向前走。本以為是很浪漫優雅的事，但怎料到窄小的單車輪走在軟軟的草地原來是極其困難，過了一半後，決定要回到車路上。就在這刻，竟又遇上一大批經典名車在面前經過。我們當然不會放過這機會，立即捕捉這難得一見的場面。
Later that day, I found out there is an event called “The 2021 Concours of Elegance” held at Hampton Court Palace from 3 to 5 September. A selection of 60 of the rarest cars from around the world would be shown and many of which would never have been seen before in the UK.
This is a prestige event with admission tickets ranging from GBP 30 to 90. To further enjoy the wonderful experience of the show, there are also Hospitality packages from GBP 288 to 384 per head.
Haha, just like our Hongkong style Internet slang – “Having watched is same as participating“, we saved a lot of money!
返家後上網找找，發覺原來這幾天（9月3號至5號）在漢普敦宮有個 “The 2021 Concours of Elegance” 的活動，會場有多達 60 多輛稀有經典名車，其中有很多是從沒有在英國展出過。
這個活動是高尚玩兒，入埸費由 30 英鎊至 90 英鎊，至於 Hospitality package 則由 288 英鎊至 384 英鎊。
Another POI is the deer within the park.
According to formal records, there are about 300 Fallow Deer residing in the park for centuries. As these deer are wild animals, it is reminded not to feed them, maintain suitable distance from them and don’t allow dogs to go near them.
根據記錄，漢普頓公園現今約有 300 隻黇鹿。由於它們是野生於此數個世紀，遊人緊記切勿餵飼，保持適當距離及不要讓狗隻接近它們。
After some more rides in the park, we went home together.
The total mileage of around 12 Kilometers seemed to be a little bit short and my wife suggested me to go on additional ride by myself as it was still too early for lunch.
Having been to the south and the west before, I think I should head to the north this time.
約 12 公里的行程看來有點不夠，而吃午飯又有點早，太太便建議我自己再多走一會。
For the second half of the ride, I had chosen the London to Reading Section of the National Cycle Network Route 4, along part of Ham and the Richmond Park riverside.
The ride started from Canbury Garden along the River Thames to the north. Through Lower Ham Road to Richmond Road. At Ham Common, turned left into Ham Street.
下半場就選擇 National Cycle Network 四號路線，London 至 Reading 段 的 Ham，Richmond Park riverside。
先從 Canbury Garden 開始，沿泰晤士河北上，經 Lower Ham Road 往 Richmond Road，到達 Ham Common 前左轉入 Ham Street。
At the end of Ham Street, merged into the Thames Path National Trail through the Ham Street carpark.
Thames Path is a walking trail along the River Thames where lots of families, travellers would visit and enjoy the iconic view of the River Thames. Riders should stay alert, don’t pedal too fast and not to disturb visitors along the path. Moreover, some sections of the Thames Path have a Public Footpath status. Permission from the footpath owner should be obtained before cycling within these areas.
走到 Ham Street 盡頭，在停車場進入 Thames Path National Trail。要留意 Thames Path 是沿著 River Thames 的一條步行道，日常會有很多遊人漫步欣賞景色，而騎乘單車，速度就不要太快或影響到其他使用者的安全。另外有部分路徑是 Public Footpath（公共步行道），要取得步行道擁有者的批準才可騎乘單車。
Shortly along the Thames Path, I arrived at the Petersham Meadows where you could find herd of cattle gathered to eat grass.
沿 Thames Path 向北走，轉眼便到達 Petersham Meadows，這裏可看到牛羣悠閒地吃著草。
Further to the north came the Richmond Bridge. Here you could hire rowing boats and bicycles. There are also cafes where you could enjoy a happy gathering.
再往前走便到達 Richmond Bridge，這裏有船及單車可提供租借，亦有各式 cafes，是家人、朋友共聚的好地方。
Time flies and I arrived at Twickenham Bridge by nearly one o’clock in the afternoon. Needed to go back for lunch.
快樂不知時日過，差不多下午一時了，就在 Twickenham Bridge 回程。
For the return trip, I stayed on the Thames Path and rode along the riverside.
Quickly I reached the Teddington Lock. Built in 1810, the lock still served as the control point for Narrowboats to travel across different water levels along the River Thames.
Next was the milestone separating Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames.
回程不再走 Richmond Road，直接沿 The Thames Path 返回 Kingston 市中心，順便拜訪擁有超過 210 年歷史的 Teddington Lock，看看 Narrowboats 在此進入不同水位的河道。又會經過 Richmond upon Thames 及 Kingston upon Thames 的邊界線石碑。
I finally arrived at the Kingston Historic Market within half an hour. Took a short break and enjoyed my lunch with my wife.
還好可在半小時內終趕回市中心，與太太匯合在 Kingston Historic Market 吃午飯。
As a short morning ride, today’s mileage of 27 Kilometers looked great to me. And for the Thames Path, this is a well maintained riverside path and should have plenty room for my future exploration.
今天 27 多公里的行程整體上不錯，而 Thames Path 這條路上線尚有很多探索空間，日後可再來延續。
If you are interested in my rides in UK, click here for more details.
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