Saturday, December 02, 2023

Capital Ring Walk 2: Falconwood to Grove Park

Today, Gill and I completed the 2nd "Capital Ring" walk around London. Officially only 3.5 miles but our Zepp Life walking app claimed 6 miles. This included walks from local railway stations to start and finish but also getting a little lost and exploring the gardens in Eltham Palace. 

It was more built up than last week (no sunshine and much colder) but still very pleasant, mostly walking through parks, green lanes and footpaths. 

The highlight was stopping off at Eltham Palace, childhood home of King Henry V111 and the country home of the English monarchy for over 250 years, run now by English Heritage. We did not have time to tour the inside of the Palace, and had a disappointing experience with a grumpy and rude cafe manager but the other staff and volunteers were most welcoming. Will return in summer to explore further. 

The Courtaulds family bought and restored the site in the 1930s, using I assume their wealth obtained from their textile mills. I was brought up in North Wales and the mills in Flint and Holywell were major employers but when they closed,  it contributed to massive unemployment at the time. There are also serious concerns about the safety of these mills and the impact on its workers. 

We passed the home of famous cricketer WG Grace and the theatre named after another famous local boy, the comedian Bob Hope, who emigrated to America aged 4.  British comedian, Frankie Howard was also brought up near here. We then walked past the home of "Farmer Brown" who at the turn of the 20th century, dressed in smock and tall hat, who lived to the age of 102 "on a diet of whiskey, ale, steak and cigars". 

It took about an hour to get there and back via train from Forest Gate. You can get a route for free form google maps but we used Ordnance Survey app (subscription) and the guide book "The Capital Ring" by Colin Saunders. 

Check out further pictures on my facebook page

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