My Neighbourhood, Part Two #dulwich

I left us near Camberwell Old Cemetery failing to enjoy a spectacular view over London’s centre due to the fog.

I went back. It got a heap better..

Since then I’ve visited the British Museum, had a day’s facilitated strategy and staff discussion at a children’s charity where I’m a trustee and got bloody cold as the Textiliste has turned off all heating in the light of the hike in fuel prices. If I so much as rub my arms I’m advised to ‘hug the dog’.

Getting back outside, in spite of sub zero temperatures for a bracing walk isn’t such a bad notion. Thus we find ourselves back at the Cemetery gates…

From here the walk is a little dull as we skirt the cemetery, before we enter Brenchly gardens.

This is another section of the trackbed of the old high level railway that serviced Crystal palace. Some bits were incorporated into housing but a lot have become rather splendid linear nature reserves and walks.

We didn’t stay long in this park as we were headed up another hill, this one with the seemingly bizarre name of One Tree Hill.

As the keen eyed amongst you will notice there are a fair few trees. However back at the end of the 19th century the hill was cleared of all the tress save one. The Oak of Honor (I know, I know, it’s the American spelling. All that shows is it’s probably us not them that changed it to confuse school children in the early rounds of spelling bees). Apparently Liz 1 rested under it in 1602 or some such. Why she was on the top of the hill remains a mystery. Anyway, at the top is an oak with a fence round it so we must assume this is she.

A little way beyond there’s a raised platform on which aWW1 gun emplacement stood, taking pot shots at zeppelins. There’s something delightfully Pythonesque about the local Dad’s army loosing off their blunderbusses to try and bring down a balloon or two. There was an equally splendid view, as well as a scurrying Textiliste trying not to be snapped…

From here it was downhill which as the years pass seems to engender more discomfort that up as the knees protest vigorously.

Across a few roads, up another hill – if you’re ever in south London and want the steepest hill, try Canonbie Road. It’s not long or high but steep…? Yep, it ticks that box. The views into the centre are so uninterrupted that the police block it on New Years eve so the cars can park up to watch the multitude of firework displays. Not great if you want to leave but a rather nice idea, methinks.

From here we entered Horniman Park. At the far end is the Horniman museum, a splendid eclectic place that mum and dad took the Archaeologist and I to when we were small. It had a cabinet of evert sort of wonder from stuffed lemurs, to Egyptian mummies to fearsome Aztec masks. This too is worth a visit.

Every Sunday there’s a neat little outdoor market, along side the gardens and the museum itself.

From here we climbed back through a small housing estate to enter Sydenham Hill woods and Dulwich woods.

If time had allowed we’d have done the rest but Dog and I added the final loop on. Outside of the woods, there’s this steep hill up to the Woodhouse pub. We puffed our way to the top and paused. The last time I was here was a glorious day last August when my lad got married and the male contingent met in the pub for a pre wedding bite and chat. Delightful..

We passed up the option of a swift drink for the glories of Sydenham Wells Park, just over the brow of the hill.

Leaving the park and crossing Sydenham Hill, it’s a few hundred yards before we entered Crystal Palace Park. I’ve written about this splendid setting before with its remnants of the Crystal Palace, the first Great Exhibition of 1851 that burnt down in 1936. There are still terraces and some statues and sphinxes plus the life sized Victorian version of dinosaurs.

This time pour path skirted the edge past the cherry gate and out onto Sydenham Hill.

And that led us back past the Church, venue of the wedding… cue another cute pic…

And home.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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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14 Responses to My Neighbourhood, Part Two #dulwich

  1. joylennick says:

    Such a pleasing collection of photographs, Geoff. Thank you. Living in the suburbs – a posher Dagenham believe it or not…I was sometimes taken to London by my Dad or a Grandma, which I found very exciting. But WW11 put paid to too many visits…which I made up for after the war and worked in the City and West End. So many fascinating places to poke around, parks included. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bevveaseywalshe says:

    Loved reading this! First because your writing is so immediate. Second because my son lives in Sydenham and is hoping to buy in the area (crossed fingers) and these walks give me a sense of knowing the area. My patch was Notrh West London when I lived there. I want to follow your footsteps and do the walks myself- I found a picture of the route but can’t get in focus enough to see.the detail.
    What’s next?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I aim to walk the Wandle trail that follows the Wandle river from Croydon to Where it meets the Thames at Wandswort. Watch this space. Sydenham has a lot going for it


  3. noelleg44 says:

    What a great walk! I loved the tree and especially the dinosaurs! Dog must have loved all the different smells – it for a cuppa and something to eat now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely photos, lovely walk! The textualist should be a couple they’d be quids in saving money while you and I freeze!!!+

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Once the dog is also cold what does she suggest? Maybe sweaters for the both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great walk, Geoff. Dog seems to have enjoyed it. Lovely pics, too. Thank you for sharing this walk. It’s great for people to know that London has such spaces.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A fabulous post, Geoff. I do enjoy your wanderings. We are going to be in the UK for Christmas this year because we don’t like summer and want to have two winters this year. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

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