Sudbury – Walthamstow Marshes – Via Capital Ring

Bright early morning start for me as I was attempting quite a stretch of the Capital Ring. I was armed and dangerous with a map, after previous walks I was determined to get around this one without getting too lost. I navigated my way from Sudbury Town station to join the ring just below Horsenden Hill Golf Club. The path wound itself through some beautiful woodland, which soon gave way to a open stretch of pathway overlooking a lovely view across grassy fields. Horsenden wood used to stand at a much larger size, ~ 24ha (54 acre), but the landscape soon dramatically changed when it was substantially cut down in size to make way for fields for crops, fields had replacing this once major wood… The path emerged onto the roadside and onto a long gentle slope, and for the most of this part it was pavement walking, It was not really unexpected as I was tackling the capital ring, which I suspected to be an urban walk! It took me past a small open space known as “Ridding Open Space”, which was obviously created by the local residents πŸ™‚ and onto a winding narrow lane.

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

The ring took me out into roads once more, taking me by the “Rising Sun” pub (way too early to find out if it was any good LOL) and on the other side a college in a tiny old building. I am not quite sure how an entire can college fit inside such a small building but I am sure that the students appreciate it nonetheless. I found my way back on to the Capital ring via the South Vale, which was to take me uphill and through a dark and wooded pathway, surfacing at Sudbury Hill. I continued on the route which was to take me into the small village of Harrow-on-the-Hill. I had walked this small area on a previous occasion, but I had not ventured this far. I was a little bemused as to the large scaffold that stood in the green, was this was a hanging scaffold from dark ages past? Thank goodness its history is much more pleasant πŸ™‚ , it was purely a gantry sign for the Coach and Horses hotel which had been here for 230 years! It is only 1 of 10 that stand in the whole of the UK. Walking onwards I walked past the Vaughan Library, which had been designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who was known for his great Gothic architectural designs, such as the St Pancras Station / Hotel.

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

The Hill commands amazing views, I really wished I could stay up here and ponder the hours away, but it was early yet and many more places I had to see! The ring took me down hill and through parkland, and took me out on the to the road. Unfortunately I could no longer locate any more Capital Ring signs, but I was not worried, as I had walked the area before I knew that I could pick the ring up once more in the park behind Northwick Park Hospital. Walking through familiar territory was quite pleasant and I was able to pick up the pace quite considerably. I eventually found the ring once again and rejoined it to walk across the train line at Kenton, on the other side of the line I found yet another pub. The “Windermere” has Heritage Pub Status, but it was still too early to sample a brew and check out the historical interior LOL! I continued to follow the ring which took me on through Preston Park, and on to Preston Road. Past Preston Road Station the ring eventually joined a woodland path, which was took me onto the open space of Fryent Country Park. The grassy path took me uphill and entered a dark and foreboding wood, which soon emerged at the site of a pleasant looking pond, adorned with some great wildlife. Once I walked around it I was treated to a view over the Wembley Stadium and although it was quite close it was it was lovely and quiet.

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

I rejoined the path to take me down hill once again through the woods the path was to take me out onto the other side of the country park. The park had been split in two, as I had to follow the ring across the road, and the park was more open fields. Fryent Country park has retained the look of farmland as it has the remains of “Barn Hill Farm” within it. The farm was originally part of the Wembley park estate during the C18th, and had been largely landscaped, I am not sure if that would have been a working farm then! The whole area was doomed for development but the area was purchased in the early C20th and became public open space. Eventually the path took me to the top of the hill, which as entirely covered in grass, when I reached there I heard this strange cry “E O!”. It was a teletubby cry that I had heard, this was because the hill has been nicknamed by local children as “Teletubby Hill”. This is because, it covered in entirely in grass and there is not a tree is sight! The path went back downhill and which was take me out onto the road once again, but it soon joined up with open space when it came out next to the Welsh Harp reservoir . The ring runs parallel to the reservoir and is very pleasant to walk along, I really did wish I had time just sit and watch the boats bobbing along the lake πŸ™‚

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

The ring took me out onto some major roads, but I shouldn’t have worried about walking on a pavement for too long. The ring joins a small parkland, and following the road, the path itself runs alongside the “Mutton Brook” The ring continued onwards taking me in and out of green public gardens on the roadside, eventually reaching East Finchley station. The ring circumnavigates the station and took me opposite the station to “Cherry Tree Wood”. This wood, was not named because it is full of Cherry Trees (shame as I wouldn’t mind have finding a few cherries LOL), it was named after Cherry Tree Hill that is nearby. I suppose it is better than its original name “Dirthouse Wood”! The wood lead me out into “Highgate Woods”, via the Bridge Gate, where I came across the start of the Capital ring! Or rather it was here the ring had been unveiled in 2005 by its creator Jenny Jones. I did note that the Capital ring was extremely well signposted here, perhaps someone should take note that makes sure that the rest of the ring (and the London Loop LOL) should be the same! I came out of the dingy Highgate woods where the ring joined the Parkland Local Nature reserve.

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

It was very straight and easy to follow and well maintained, on pondering why the nature reserve was so straight, that was easy to discover. In fact this was originally a rail line, all became abundantly clear, when I found myself walking between two abandoned platforms. I found that particularly eerie, as they seemed in reasonable condition after some of the ones I have come across, I could even have walked on them, if I had I would have waited for a ghostly ticketmaster to collect my ticket! My walk I had stumbled across another part of an ambition plan to extend the Northern Line that was never completed!. These ghostly platforms would have been Crouch End Station and it was never in fact served by any underground train only perhaps a humble steam train. Once I had brought left the parkland walk, I was to come out into Finsbury Park, where plenty of people were eating ice cream! The ring was to join the “New River Path”, which in places looked more like a canal as the banks had been reinforced quite substantially! It was a little tricky to walk as it was very muddy and slippery, but enjoyable all the same. It took me past two reservoirs, both of which been redeveloped along with the path, which made it really nice to walk.

From 2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

I followed the route which was to take me onto “Stoke Newington”. The name derives from its Anglo Saxon origins which in turn is “New Town in the Wood”. The whole area was recorded in the domesday book, with the population of 4 farmers, 37 labourers and their families such a different landscape from today. The route took me past Old St Marys Church, I could imagine a wooden chapel could have stood here sitting amongst the woods and fields in the C11th! By C16th however, a stone Church had been built and landed Gentry were regular attenders! Perhaps Queen Elizabeth 1st herself attended when she stayed in the local manor house. A newer version of the church had been built in C19th opposite, but that is a story for another time πŸ™‚

Due to a bad knee I had developed during the walk I was unable to continue using the Capital Ring Route. I was disappointed not to be able to walk through Abney house as there are numerous steep steps, so I am unable to comment on this 😦 . Following the ring around Stoke Newington it took me into yet more parkland which was to join up with Walthamstow Marshes. It was here I ended my lovely walk for the day πŸ™‚

To view all the pictures for this walk please feel free to click on the photo below –

2014 – 14.06.2014 – Sudbury – walthamstow

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2 responses to “Sudbury – Walthamstow Marshes – Via Capital Ring

  1. Pingback: Baker Street – Islington Walk – Via Grand Union Canal « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Edgware – East Finchley Walk | Karen's Sponsored Walks

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