The shortest route back starts and finishes with a few minutes walking along suburban streets, but the middle part consists of cutting through three pieces of open land. The first one is essentially a municipal park -- trees around the edge, a few odd trees in the middle, mostly grass probably mown earlier in the week. Before 10am on a weekday -- even a weekday which is in the kids' school holidays -- it's all but empty; a couple of dogs (and, I'd guess, their associated humans) were running around on the other side of the park, but there weren't any children visible, and it was quiet except for birdsong and the cars on the road outside.
The middle piece of land is a larger, older park which had more people walking dogs, a few cyclists on the wider paths, and one or two people who seemed to be just out for a walk with no ulterior motive. Odd how it was significantly busier than the first one; I suppose because it has some parking available for people who want to bring their dogs there, and it's generally larger.
Between this park and the third piece of land is a strip of woodland, a few tens of yards wide. I stood under the trees for a minute or two, watching birds and squirrels going on about their business.
The third open space belongs to the Woodland Trust; oddly it is probably the least densely wooded of the three. It's less odd when you consider that until sometime in the last twenty years or so -- I forget the exact date -- it was a playing field. It was sold for housing, but the local council refused to let the developers entirely cover it with buildings (yay!) so they built a hundred or so at one end and gave the remainder of the land to a charity. The Trust are gradually planting trees and managing the land; right now it's mostly grassland with a fair sprinkling of wild flowers, which is especially nice since it's a five-minute walk from my house.
By the time I got back I'd made the acquaintance of several new dogs ("Oooh! People! My favourite!") and stretched my legs for the day. And it doesn't look like anything work-related had been beating down my door in the meantime, either... result ;)