We did it again, yes we went back for more!
This time Crystal Palace to Streatham and here is what we discovered…
In all my life living in London, I (Ash) have never been to Crystal Palace, I’ve heard of it, been around it, but never through it and certainly never walked it. So this walk has opened my eyes to new places. I’m a North Londoner through and through and never got my shots to travel Souf’ of the river at least not to S.E. London. But that’s all changed now…
This section of the walk is mostly along roads and paths, even when there are routes through parks, it does tell you to avoid the greenery in favour of the black stuff and usually Ash will always prefer the black stuff over the green, but for once we decided where possible to take to the green routes and leave the roads.
We also quickly discovered that there is a reason why there is a TV Mast in Crystal Palace, it is rather hilly and steep too, although ‘Extremely Steep’ may be an over exaggeration in the guide, a section of path about 50m long up a hill isn’t extreme, we fear the think what they would make of Greek Hills!
After a few minutes (about 15) we took our first diversion of the day to seek out the local coffee shop and you can see that results in our latest coffee post.
We were soon back traipsing along the tarmac and concrete, heading through Westow park and on to join Upper Norwood Rec Ground. Again the route is described as following the path along the side of the park traversing it at its centre and joining the road on the opposite side, thus avoiding the grass at all costs, but we were brave and dared to take our chances and walked diagonally across the park.
Apart from some pretty, dark pink Cherry Blossom this was fairly unremarkable and we continued onto Beulah Hill, a busy main road and another walk along an ordinary road. Turning into Biggin Hill after a few hundred metres.
Biggin Hill is more famous among cyclists for its steepness and a challenge in getting up it, but the walk takes you down it (thankfully) and past a huge elopement field before turning into Biggin Woods and the most rural section of the walk.
Ten minutes of woodland is all you get and then you are back on roads once again, a brief view of Croydon in the distance and more residential roads before finally heading into Norwood Grove.
Here the dog found mud and we stopped for a brief lunch break, to take a few photos of the parrots and got rained on in a brief shower. This park is steep and has sections that are clearly marked as Dog Free zones. But soon we were heading off again towards the Streatham Common Nature Reserve.
The Nature Reserve is the nicest part of the walk, a couple of hundred metres of straight, gravel path through woodlands, a haven for Dog Walkers, before you get to Streatham Common, where the guide tells you once again to stick to the road and avoid the common ground – which of course we ignored and walked across the grass.
This is a vast open patch of land surrounded by busy roads and the end of this section of the Ring. We followed the guide down Lewin Road to its end and then turned for the station. The next section starts here, but we will be back for that soon enough.
Join us again for Section 5 and come back next week for something else.