Walking the Capital Ring - Section 2 and 3

Another weekend, another walk. As we did not have anything else to do, and the weather forecast looked promising, we decided to do two sections. A whopping 20km. We got up early, so that we could start the walk early as well. At least, that was the plan. However, there were no trains to Falconwood and the start of the section due to weekend engineering work. Two tubes, and Overground, and a 45 minute bus ride later we found ourselves on the route—but a mile too far down. As we wanted to walk the whole Ring, we started of towards the start of the section, even though we had to double back on ourselves to redo that extra mile.

Section 2

We started at the pleasant Eltham Park, with lots of dogs. Not surprising as it was a gorgeous Sunday morning. After coming down the hill, we passed through the Southern part of Eltham itself, avoiding the High Street nicely. A loop around a roundabout brought us to North Park, with plenty of 1 million+ houses (we checked on Zoopla). We then crossed into Tilt Yard Approach, named after a Tiltyard, a traditional place for jousting. The name signalled that we were close to a palace. And we were: Eltham Palace.

After we quick peek through the fence, and making a note that they had a café, we continued through the former estate along King John's Walk. Its surroundings mostly involved horses. Big and small.

We passed by Eltham College's playing fields to come to the end of Section 2 at Grove Park. This was one of the shorter sections, at only 6km.

Route (with GPX)

Waymarked Trails

Time

1h 17m 16s

Distance

6.36 km

Average Heart Rate

107 bpm

Calories Burned

643 cal

Section 3

Continuing with section 3, the first thing we did was crossing the railways near the station. And a massive cemetery. Through the green and leafy residential streets, and through the Downham Woodland Walk we made our way further along to the large Beckenham Place Park. Instead of taken the quickest route to the associated golf club's clubhouse, we wandered around it a little bit, by going over another railway, up the hill, down the hill, and up a hill again to finally make it to the club house.

We were definitely ready for a break. Keeping the walks booze free, we opted for tea, with sweet potato fries. After this break enjoying the tea, sun, and view over the golf course, we continued our walk. The first thing we hit was the sprawling grounds of the Kent County Cricket Club in Beckenham.

With the Crystal Palace transmitting station to lead us, we spend several twists going through parks. First Cator Park and then the Alexandra Park. After crossing over the railway at Penge East, and passing the closed down Hollywood East pub, we saw the antenna getting closer and closer. After a little stretch along the busy Penge High Street we finally made it to Crystal Palace, were we had to make a choice: either following the route through the Dinosaur Park, or the longer route along the outside of Crystal Palace Park. We opted to go for the walk through the Dinosaur Park, as signage indicated that that was the official route, and the other one the alternative one in case the Dinosaur Park was closed.

The Dinosaur Park is a Victorian oddity, with statues of how they thought that several types of dinosaurs would look like. But they did mix some species up, and one only shows it's bottom as they hadn't found the skulls yet. It's worth a visit if you're in the neighbourhood. As we gad previously visited it, we did not spend a lot of time there, but instead headed to the end of section 3 at Crystal Palace station.

From there we went home, stopping at several pubs (The Rake and the new Waterloo Tap) before collapsing at home from the slightly over 20km that we walked that day.

Route (with GPX)

Waymarked Trails

Time

2h 20m 38s

Distance

11.66 km

Average Heart Rate

114 bpm

Calories Burned

1515 cal

For the full photo series, see my Flickr set.

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