Capital Ring Section 3

Once again we went adventuring this time from Grove Park to Crystal Palace.

This section of the Capital Ring is one of the longest at 7.8miles (11km) and one that proved a challenge to the dog, but she still pulled all the way and then passed out on the train home! But other than that what did we find?

Well we started off on a detour, or alternative route (if you prefer to call it that). Instead of walking all the way back to the signpost at the end of Section 2, we walked down Reigate Road the step free start to the route.

Section 2 started ‘officially’ at Railway Children’s Walk, a small unremarkable bit of railway cutting named after E Nesbitt the writer of the book that was made into a film in the 1970’s (we didn’t miss anything going the other way).

‘Oh my it is so awfully dull on this section of the route’ to keep with the mood of the film/book! But it truly was, mostly walking along roads of an 1950’s council built housing development, until we got to the Downham Woodland Walk about a 1mile in.

This little bit of nature between rows of run down houses runs for about half a mile until it reaches and crosses Bromley Road and heads toward Beckenham Place Park, a large urban park that gets better the further you get away from the start.

One point to note, when you get to the lake in the middle of the park, turn right, don’t go left and follow the guide, it’s confusing and pointless! Right leads you directly to the house, left just loops around the lake and then to the house anyway.

Near the house that gives the park its name is a formal garden and a café which we reviewed in the recent coffee post and one part of the park worth visiting.

We took our coffees and headed west and again diverted from the guide, because it once again sends you back on yourself to get out of the park. We however headed south to the park’s exit and a nice residential road and then doubled back on ourselves along the Southend Road and into Brackley Road instead of going all the way up to Stumps Hill Lane and back again.

At the end of this long and uneventful road you head towards and then under New Beckenham Station, before looping down to get to the southern most point of the entire Capital Ring, in Cator Park. We stopped here for a sandwich and an allergic reaction! Before heading on towards Kent House Road.

Once again we detoured, by not detouring, instead of walking up to get the northern edge of the Rec Grounds we simply carried on along Lennard Road and met the route at the southern corner of the park. It’s a pointless additional few hundred metres and the playground was packed with screaming kids so we did the right thing, we feel.

After this it is a short walk to Penge East station and over, then weave towards Crystal Palace Park, where you can choose to go north around the park, or south to see the dinosaur statues.

We choose south and may have made the wrong choice!

1870’s palaeontologists clearly didn’t know what dinosaur’s looked like or how big they were, because the statues are all wrong and a Gorilla and an Elk are not Dinosaurs. Some are mearly a fraction of the size they should be, others are not extinct and more are just wrong.

We finished the section at Crystal Palace Station and hopped on a waiting train for home and a much needed seat!


We will continue the Capital Ring Walk in a couple of weeks when we return to Crystal Palace, so come back then and see what we find on section 4.


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