Crystal Palace to Grove Park #capitalring #walking

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It’s over six months since my last stretch of the Capital Ring, here. That took Dog and me to Greenford in North West London so, to be different we headed east, away from our start point of Crystal Palace, through some of the dullest parts of the walk around Penge and ending up in the beauty of Beckenham and Grove Park’s nature reserve, linked by a neat piece of woodland around Downton, a rather grimy part of south-east London.

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The sports centre at Crystal Palace: part of the 1951 Empire Games as they were known and now listed. Ugly and functional I don’t mind its listing. Not much anyway.

Anyhoo, back to the start. Dog and I chose a perfect day,

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not that there was much choice as 28 Dulwich Quilters were lunching chez nous for the 30th Anniversary of their formation. Four of the first five original members are still alive and were there. There were speeches and delicious food and rather a lot of pretty decent red wine apparently and I’m really glad I missed it.

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The stroll up the Crystal Palace Park is steep and breathy but is less than a mile so we commenced quickly and in good spirits. It may be the school holidays but the Park was oddly empty for the most part except when I left it surrounded by a mob of I guess seven year olds. Poor Dog didn’t know where to look.

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The walk, after the Park is pretty dull for a mile or so as you skirt Penge East Station and a small park called Cator Park. That apart, this is the dullest piece of the walk.

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Eventually we skirted the super posh sports grounds new New Beckenham station, the HSBC one being extraordinary – I played rugby once and it was like playing on a well sprung billiard table. There’s a sports club that’s part of Kent County Cricket Club and training facilities for Crystal Palace football club.

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One church stands out amongst some rather uniform housing and culverted rivers,

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Chaffinch Brook sounds twee but feels more likely to support shopping trolleys than wildlife.

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Beyond you enter Beckenham Place Park and the countryside deepens and the rural nature grows.

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The houses are more stock broker now and there’s a golf course too.

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It’s a bit of an illusion because soon enough Downton with its acres of council housing hoves into view.

Oddly this stretch was one of the best bits.

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The strip of woodland, a mere 100 yards wide hid most of the dull brown screeded homes from view and all along there were wooden sculptures to distract as well. I missed one post – maybe it’s been removed – but the others aere still there as neat little markers.

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Once out of the wood though, it was back to Grove Park station and home. And quite a lot of left over cake. Thankfully.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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19 Responses to Crystal Palace to Grove Park #capitalring #walking

  1. bikerchick57 says:

    I really like the slanted photo of the church and its red door. Very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    It’s nice you can find beauty in unlikely places. The leftover cake is an added benefit!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a lovely rural sprawl in the city, Geoff… if it wasn’t for the stockbrokers, it looks idyllic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erika Kind says:

    That is a very lovely area, Geoffle! Thanks for showing us around šŸ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jan says:

    Ah, the places you walk and the stories you tell! Your doggie is so adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Norah says:

    A lovely walk and a nice escape. I was rather intrigued by the sign “Railway Children Walk”. I wasn’t sure if it was the quilters or the red wine you were escaping. It obviously wasn’t the cake!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah. I don’t often wish I could still do it, but this one made me do so. Good one

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This looks like it was a great walk – you discovered a lot of good stuff along the way. I really like the carvings on the posts, and the large white stone sculpture – which looked like a squirrel?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo says:

    Thanks a lot, Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Saying goodbye | restlessjo

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