Strolling the Capital Ring, London

Whereas the London Loop is the M25 of London strolling, the Capital Ring is extra just like the North and South Circulars, passing by way of the internal boroughs, utilising their inexperienced areas. It’s simple to entry by public transport and you are able to do it in sections, catching a bus or a tube in the event you really feel drained. There’s a shocking quantity countryside together with parks, commons and towpaths, and street strolling is saved to a minimal.

I’ve executed numerous elements through the years however on a sunny autumn day determined to sort out two sections from Crystal Palace to Wimbledon Park.

The route crosses three commons: Streatham, Tooting Bec and Wandsworth with residential elements of South London in between.

Part four Crystal Palace to Streatham Frequent, four miles

I take the practice to Crystal Palace and begin by climbing to the lofty heights of Norwood. It will get its title from the Nice North Wooden which as soon as coated the excessive floor south of the Thames.

It’s complicated however there was additionally a Nice South Wooden, south of right here, overlaying the Weald of Kent and Surrey.

I go away the streets, lined with massive Victorian villas and enter Westow Park, my first little bit of inexperienced. It hyperlinks to Higher Norwood Recreation Floor and, after some street strolling up Beulah Hill, as soon as a preferred spa, I enter Biggin Wooden.

Norwood Grove

Norwood Grove – a good-looking white 19th-century mansion constructed by the founding father of the P&O transport line.

This is likely one of the few remaining remnants of the Nice North Wooden. Simply across the nook in Norwood Grove, is a good-looking white mansion, constructed within the 19th century by the founding father of the P&O transport line.

I climb by way of the home’s intensive gardens and get panoramic views throughout Croydon and the North Downs from the highest of the hill. The path leads into Streatham Frequent, one of many largest open areas in Lambeth, stuffed with canine walkers and joggers.

There’s even a small brewery right here and a preferred park café, however there’s no time to linger as I head downhill into Streatham. The busy A23 to Brighton interrupts the peace and quiet I’m quickly into quiet residential streets.

Part 5 Streatham Frequent to Wimbledon Park. 5.5 miles

After leaving Streatham Frequent station I parallel the railway line and attain what appears to be like like a Victorian mosque with stained glass home windows and a collection of domes.

Streatham Common Pumping Station

Streatham Frequent Pumping Station

It’s really Streatham Frequent Pumping Station. It was in-built 1888, and nonetheless in use at present. After some quiet street strolling, I arrive on the entrance to Tooting Bec Lido, one of many oldest swimming swimming pools within the UK, the Bec getting its title due to a medieval hyperlink to the abbey of Le Bec-Hallouin in France.

I’m now on Tooting Frequent and cross the lake, as soon as a gravel pit, now house to unique water birds, and observe a path lined with horse chestnut bushes.

It results in the residential streets of Balham, immortalised by Peter Sellers because the “gateway to the south” after which enters Wandsworth Frequent. I cease for beer and fish and chips on the imposing Hope Pub.

Wandsworth common lake

The lake at Wandsworth Frequent

There are a pair extra lakes on the widespread earlier than the forbidding partitions of Wandsworth Jail, as soon as the key place for executions for London and the south.

On the opposite sides is Wandsworth Cemetery, stuffed with WW1 graves of troopers who died on the navy hospital within the close by Royal Victoria Patriotic Constructing. I’m now in Earlsfield and cross the River Wandle, one of many Thames’ main London tributaries to succeed in Wimbledon Mosque, relationship from 1977. It’s only a quick stroll from right here to Wimbledon Park Station, my remaining vacation spot.

After I began this stroll, South London was like one other nation to me and I’ve been pleasantly stunned. The interconnected inexperienced commons minimise the quantity of street strolling and there’s an important sense of area.

Even the residential streets appear wider than these within the North, in all probability as a result of they had been developed later and had to create space for motor automobiles. Mountain climbing from Crystal Palace to Wimbledon is certainly really useful and might simply be executed in a day.

Though the path is fairly nicely signed it’s finest to obtain the maps from the TFL Information to the Capital Ring Stroll

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