Saturday, November 25, 2023

Capital Ring Walk 1: Woolwich to Falconwood


A few years ago Gill and I went on a series of linear walks around our city called the London Loop. This was in 24 sections and just under 150 miles. It was really great fun and we went to beautiful and historic parts of London that we had never been to before. It took us a couple of years to complete but was well worth it.

Today we began the Capital Ring. This is "only" 78 miles around London and there are 15 linear sections. 

We started off outside the Woolwich foot tunnel and walked along the Thames past the ferry. The weather was cold but there was blue skies and sunshine. This riverwalk is so impressive.

Then we left the river and walked through a series of parks, woods and common land. It is amazing how many green "lungs" London has and that they were so quiet, peaceful and surprisingly hilly. 

We stopped off for brunch in the Old cottage coffee house outside the historic Charlton House (I have been to UNISON away days here) . I had the best sausage and bacon baguette in my living memory. Recommended. 

We walked up along Woolwich Common which our guidebook said was used by British Army units to gather and camp before they would march down to Woolwich Arsenal to collect their weapons then go to the Thames to embark on their ships for overseas service. By coincidence as we walked across the common we could hear a (we assume) military band practicing playing music from the modern day Woolwich barracks. 

When we came across "Severndroog Castle" at the highest point of the walk, I was absolutely astonished that I have lived in London for 35 years and had never heard of or visited this place. I will definitely come back on a Sunday and go up to the top to view the 7 English Counties you can see from its viewing platform.  

We dropped down through more parks and woods walking along a bed of autumn leaves. One path was blocked by a massive tree blown down (snapped near its base) and we had to work our way through brambles. Thankfully, we were not wearing shorts. 

We finished off in Falconwood and took the train back home. 

I will post further pictures on Facebook.

I cannot wait until the next Capital Ring walk. 

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