Capital Ring Walk – Day 5
Date: 20 December 2017
Walked From: Finsbury Park
Walked To: Woolwich Foot Tunnel
Distance: 16.5 miles
As today was the last chance I had to complete the Capital Ring before Christmas, I braved the dank, gloomy day to walk from Finsbury Park back around to the south side of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel (where the walk officially starts and ends) – a Thames crossing which has been used by London’s pedestrians for 105 years to pass between the north and south banks of our river, in an area where bridges are somewhat conspicuous in their absence.
I got muddy feet by the New River in Finsbury Park, admired the new urban space that’s been created next to the reservoirs in Hackney and enjoyed Stoke Newington’s super-posh benches in Clissold Park, as well as its atmospheric Abney Park Cemetery (where the founders of the Salvation Army, among many others, are buried).
I strolled through Stamford Hill, an area know for its large population of Orthodox Jews – past young boys wearing plastic bags over their heads to protect the black hats they were all wearing – and really enjoyed the long section of the walk along the River Lee Navigation, past Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes and the Olympic Park.
East London’s ‘Greenway’ – a walking and cycle route build on top of a massive above ground sewage pipe – took me another few miles and then it was a final waterside trot through the area near City Airport, with its weird mixture of smart looking high rise flats and neglected old jetties that look back to the area’s dockside past.
I’m now safely back on the ‘right’ (AKA ‘south’) side of the river and am heading home for a nice hot bath and a hot chocolate: the joys of winter walking! Happy Christmas x