Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Big Walk Wednesday – East Finchley to North Woolwich

DC Editor Adam writes…


As regular Daily Constitutional readers will know, on my days off I like to stride out and walk London

I'm a big fan of the Capital Ring orbital walking route and I love to walk the Thames. Many of the pictures and ideas that end up on this blog and in my tours are born out of my rambles.

Here's a post from the archive, a big hike from East Finchley to North Woolwich with a few snaps, random observations and the odd bit of trivia picked up along the way…




Route: From East Finchley to North Woolwich on the Capital Ring.

Date: Monday 23rd January 2017

Weather: Freezing fog to start, mist & later sunny spells. High Temp 1 degree C

Distance: 21 miles


I've been walking the Capital Ring for more than10 years now. Every time I walk it, there's something different to see depending on the season.

It's a 78-mile orbital walking route around London broken up into 15 easy chunks…




The Capital Ring website is here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/capital-ring.


Last week I set out to walk Section 12 to Section 15 - from my front door in East Finchley to North Woolwich by the Thames in the bleak midwinter.

The Capital Ring over these four sections encompasses several different walking routes: The Capital Ring, The Parkland Walk (South), the New River path, the Lea Valley Walk, the Jubilee Greenway and the Thames Path. Here are the signs you'll know them by…



Not that signs were easy to see early on the 23rd of January. Freezing fog…




… as I headed for Highgate Wood, where I found a dramatic obelisk…



It's actually the old drinking fountain (but everything looks more dramatic in the fog, as you'll see later). Over to Samuel Taylor Coleridge…





Highgate Wood and then Queen's Wood…






Highgate Wood, owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, and Queen's Wood, said to have once been a plague pit renamed in honour of Queen Victoria in 1898, were once part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex mentioned in the Domesday Book.

A spot of advice at Highgate…



Fair enough. 



Then it's on to hook up with the Parkland Walk (South) toward Finsbury Park…



The Parkland Walk follows the line of the old Edgware, Highgate & London Railway





… seen marked here on the A-Z from 1938 (pages from my souvenir edition - thanks to my pals Wiebke & Joe for the Christmas pressie!)…





(Shop for your own copy (hours of browsing fun!) at the A-Z website www.az.co.uk)



And here's the obligatory Smug Tweet: 10,000 steps before 9 o'clock…




… to which some kind soul at Fitbit offered this nugget of encouragement…


Ta!

Some more advice…



Chill? This chill enough for ya…? 



… along the New River toward Stoke Newington where I met Hannah and her owner (on right of pic below)… 



Hannah was particularly barky as I approached. Her owner offered that Hannah was so agitated because, in the fog, my hat made me look like an enormous dog walking on its hind legs. A fair point when you see the hat…





The writing's on the wall. She sounds like a helluva gal…




And here's that most stylish of nincompoops, Mister Toad…


The New River was frozen over. I was tickled by my footage of a duck making a skiddy landing on the ice…




The ducks, on the other hand, looked a bit grumpy with each other…



The Castle Climbing Centre… 





… housed in a former pumping station built by the New River Company following the Metropolis Water Act of 1852 banning the drinking of Thames below Teddington in the west. It looks rather well in the mist, I think.

On to Clissold Park and a damned fine cup o' coffee in the former home of Jonathan Hoare, an 18th century merchant and anti-slavery campaigner…








Painted clues of a Stoke Newington past… 



Abney Park Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries of London. The central chapel is currently under restoration (NB this was first posted Feb 2017)… 



William and Catherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army are buried in Abney Park Cemetery, as is Joanna Vassa (1795 to 1857) a former slave who became an anti slavery campaigner and Betsi Cadwaladr, 1789 - 1860, a working class Welsh nurse who worked alongside, and regularly clashed with the upper class Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.  

More on London Cemeteries in the London Walks Halloween Podcast 2016…





Cedra Court… 



… where East End gangster Ronnie Kray kept a flat and arranged, er, "parties" for guests such as Lord Boothby. Brother Reggie Kray also had a flat here with his wife Frances


On to the Lea Valley, by Walthamstow Marshes and another Wind in the Willows reference (see Toad, above)… 





And a sudden splash of colour…






Smoke on the water way out east…
 





Fierce beasts, too…



More frozen water…



And the new home of West Ham… 





My first time round on the Capital Ring it looked like this…



…then this…




And there's more London on the way…




The sundial on the Greenway…
 



… a walking & cycling route that follows the embankment of the old Northern Outfall Sewer built by Bazalgette. Here it is mapped on a 1960s edition of the A-Z…





The page above is from my nerdy collection of old A-Z's…



But more of that another day in another post. Betcha CAN'T WAIT!


The Abbey Mills Pumping Station…



… a sewage pumping station also designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. I blogged about this in a previous post because Pink Floyd once played here (I left it late to get my obligatory music reference in this post!). Catch up with that post HERE.

It also provides a handy visiting spot if you are a music fan unfamiliar with London and have ended up at the WRONG Abbey Road via the DLR station nearby – also the subject of an earlier post as well as a London Walks Podcast…






The dead centre of West Ham…



The Romans. What did they ever do for us…?
 




The green road sign reads "Beckton Alps"… 




… nicknamed for the huge spoil heaps from the old Beckton Product Works and the production of gas, sulphur, coal tar and ammonia by-products. In its heyday, Beckton was home to the largest such works in the world. It closed in 1970.


And on that note, a spot of lunch… 




… by a frozen lake in Beckton District Park with not a whiff of sulphur to be had. My own, homemade spicy tomato and lentil soup. Recipe to follow another day!

I love this pic… 



A modern development with a post box from the reign of George V. The post box has clearly seen some changes. Back to the 60s A-Z and we've got a lot of white space on the pages…

 


Where we would now find, among other things, City Airport…







… and rather a lot of dull, Minecraft-inspired architecture…




And down to the water's edge for the obligatory shopping trolley…




… as the sun finally burns through… 



The rules are different in East London… 




Is this the most modest church in all of the capital…?
 






Suddenly it's spring (ish)… 





A relic from the industrial past…




… a steam hammer made in Glasgow in 1888.


And one of my very favourite London things… 



… the mighty Woolwich Free Ferry. Go on, take a trip. Make it your late new year resolution. Here's how to find it…



And it really is FREE - the crew don't hassle you for cash tips all through the journey! Free means free!



And on to the foot tunnel… 






… where I'll pick up the Capital Ring again on another day.


A final view from the DLR window - hard-working old London with 21st century London looming as the sun gives up to the mist again… 




One last check of the stats… 





… and home.

Here's the map…







My Public Scheduled Tours for January 2020


30th January 2020  – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

30th January 2020 – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

SOLD OUT 31st January 2020 – Beatlemania! The Beatles In London 1961-65 – 10am Embankment tube SOLD OUT

31st January 2020 – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)



My Public Scheduled Tours for 
February 2020


1st February 2020 – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

2nd February 2020 – Beatlemania! The Beatles In London 1961-65 – 10am Embankment tube

13th February 2020 – Inside Covent Garden – 10am Covent Garden Tube

13th February 2020  – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

13th February 2020 – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

14th February 2020 – Beatlemania! The Beatles In London 1961-65 – 10am Embankment tube

14th February 2020 – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

SOLD OUT 15th February 2020 – Beatlemania! The Beatles In London 1961-65 – 10am Embankment tube SOLD OUT

15th February 2020  – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

27th February 2020 – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

27th February 2020  – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

27th February 2020 – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

28th February 2020 – Beatlemania! The Beatles In London 1961-65 – 10am Embankment tube

28th February 2020 – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

29th February 2020 – The Beatles + The Rolling Stones in 1960s London – 10.30am Leicester Sq Tube (exit 1)

29th February 2020 – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube







Keep In Touch…

   


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