View From Today’s Office: The Old Orchard, Harefield

View from Today’s Office is a blog series detailing all of the fun and interesting places where I am able to work. As full-time remote worker AND a full-time live aboard on the canals of London, I am always cruising to new areas and finding cool places to spend a few hours on my computer. Follow along for all the fun!

Today’s office is the lovely Old Orchard Freehouse (pub) located in Harefield, England. The Old Orchard is a wonderful place to work when the weather is nice, as it offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

View From Today's Office: The Old Orchard
View From Today’s Office: The Old Orchard

Aside from the odd house and the motorway in the distance, the view from the Old Orchard is dominated by the Colne Valley Regional Park, which includes the River Colne, the Grand Union Canal, and a couple of the park’s over 60 lakes. The landscape between these features alternates between woods and farmland, all situation on lovely rolling hills. You can understand why, when we first visited the Old Orchard a few months ago, my wife and I labelled it “English Italy.”

View From Today's Office: The Old Orchard
View From Today’s Office: The Old Orchard

The pub itself has a pretty short and unremarkable history, compared to many other pubs in the UK. According to the history page on its website, the Old Orchard is “relatively sprightly” at around 80 years old. According to local historians, the property was a private residence until the 1960s, when the owners decided to convert it into a bed and breakfast. Over the subsequent decades, the Old Orchard transformed into the pub and kitchen of today. I have to say, despite its diminutive history, this Yank from the US still looks at this pre-WWII property and sees plenty of character.

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The Old Orchard occupies a special place in my heart, and the reason requires a bit of a backstory. In the late spring of 2018, with my wife’s school schedule beginning to lighten, we decided to occupy much of the subsequent months by cruising our narrowboat out of the city and explore some of the countryside outside of London. Having resided in the city nearly continuously for one year, my wife and I were both anxious to see how far we’d have to go to feel like we were “out of the city.” Looking at the attached pictures, it should be pretty easy to understand why we consider the Old Orchard to be that point; it was the first time we looked out and said “we’re not in London anymore.” As such, it will always serve a beacon of beauty and relaxation for us.

Where are your favorite places to work outside of the office? Any tips, tricks, or suggestions for staying productive while enjoying your workday? Leave a comment below or reach out via the Contact section on The Telework Guru. Thanks!

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