Crystal Palace to Streatham Common on the Capital Ring

I often overlook the Capital Ring. Partly because I’m always encountering those little waymarkers on my walks. I collected a full set of free fold-out maps from Thornhill Square Library about 20 years ago, detailing the 72-mile route broken down into 15 sections. However, I’ve only intentionally set out to walk the Capital Ring on one occasion, in March 2020 when I walked from Richmond to Horsenden Hill.

Capital Ring Walk 4
Capital Ring Walk 4
Capital Ring Walk 4 - Upper Norwood Recreation Ground
Upper Norwood Recreation Ground

So last week, with a false Spring breaking over London, I set off from Crystal Palace Station to walk Section 4 to Streatham Common, and wow what a glorious walk it was. There were spectacular views throughout – looking south towards to the North Downs, and across the Thames Basin to the north with the shimmering towers of the City below. From Biggin Wood we looked across the high-rises of Croydon to distant hills. And at the end of the walk we gazed west over the Wandle Valley. Between we strolled across beautiful open spaces at Westow Park, Upper Norwood Recreation Ground, Norwood Grove and finally Streatham Common. We passed beneath the boughs of one of the remnants of the Great North Wood in Biggin Wood and explored the secret garden at The Rookery on the site of Streatham Wells.

Capital Ring Walk 4
view from Biggin Hill
The Rookery - Streatham
The Rookery

I now can’t wait to get back and continue the Capital Ring to Wimbledon and Richmond.