Capital Ring 5: Streatham Common to Wimbledon Park
6 April 2008
If the London Loop is the M25 for
walkers, then the Capital Ring is the North and South Circular Roads for
walkers, linking together green spaces to be found around London, to create a
120-kilometre inner circular walk to complement the 240-kilometre walk that is
the London Loop.
Today's walk picked up where I left off in December at Streatham Common, and
from there continued generally west to reach Wimbledon Park. It included a
fraction of the official stage 4 that was accidentally omitted in the last walk,
and then all of stage 5.
As we walk from Streatham station to Streatham Common, Henry looks smart in his
waterproof coat. Snow can be seen being blown fairly briskly across the picture.
As the weather has been warm recently, with temperatures reaching 18°C on
Friday, snow is rather an odd event, particularly in April. It snowed for the
first two-thirds of the walk, but there was no real accumulation on the
pavements so the going was fairly easy. This is Streatham Common where we
rejoined the Capital Ring proper.
Thames Water's Streatham Pumping Station, built in 1888. This old building is no
longer used as a pumping station, but does house treatment and monitoring
equipment linked to the new pumping station next door, which pumps up
groundwater and has a link to the London Ring Main.
Snow-laden trees next to the pumping station
As I'd forgotten to bring maps or directions for this walk, the familiar Capital
Ring signs were a great help in finding my way, coupled with the trusty GPS.
Henry runs off to find a friend on Tooting Bec Common
Another friend. There were a lot of dogs out this morning having a walk in the
Henry in the snow
A snowman on Tooting Bec Common
Snow-covered trees always look so beautiful
A snowy Henry, stradling the line between the lanes for two-legged people and
Balham's parish church of SS Mary and John the Divine, built in 1808.
Wandsworth Common. Henry found quite a few doggy friends here too, but kept
losing track of where I was and haring off in the wrong direction. Here he is
relaxing, chewing some snow-covered grass, while behind him snowmen cover the
A Southern train approaches Wandsworth Common station
Across the road, we continue through Wandsworth Common, the signs on the left
showing us the right way among the many choices
Henry inspects one of the ponds on Wandsworth Common
The boardwalks allow closer inspection of the ponds
A family of snowpeople as we leave Wandsworth Common
Following Magdalen Road alongside the cemetery. The thaw was now advancing
rapidly, and all the trees were busy dumping clumps of snow onto innocent
Crossing the River Wandle on its way from Waddon and Carshalton to the Thames.
After this we crossed the Durnsford Road Recreation Ground and a walk along
Arthur Road, at the top of which was Wimbledon Park station and the start of our
On the walk to Streatham Common in December, I commented that today's walk looked "unbalanced between road and green
walking", and in pure mileage terms it was, but the road walking was quiet and
easy, and the snow made the road walking different from normal. In any case, the
"green" sections had more impact in practice than the map suggested
and this was an enjoyable walk. But stage 6 with Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park looks a gem.
Zoom in for more detail, or see map in larger window: Ordnance Survey |
Open Street Map |
Total distance: 10.4 km [including diversions and station links - 9.5 km on the
Capital Ring] with 56 metres of ascent in
2 hours 8 minutes.