Walking the ring into south east London

One more section of the Capital Ring walk since I last blogged about it: this is section 1 in the guidebook even though it’s the fifth section that we’ve done.  And it took us through parts of south east London that I don’t know at all well, starting just south of the river in Woolwich but striking across to high ground further south.  This is a ‘green’ section rather than a ‘blue’ one.  The sections that we’d walked so far are dominated by water, whether it’s the reservoirs in Stoke Newington, the River Lee, or the docks.  This section is mostly across parkland and woodland.

In fact it has some of the greatest contrasts within one section.  It starts in a highly industrialised area, with the Tate and Lyle works, that’s also visible from London City Airport, overlooking the river – we idly wondered what somebody who works in a sugar factory would do all day.  It includes one short stretch that follows the busy, noisy, Woolwich Road – most of the portions of the walk that follow roads meander through residential areas, as does the bit where the Capital Ring and the Thames Path leave the river to take the route designated as the ‘interim Thames Path’, a temporary measure pending redevelopment of the former Siemens cable factory on the south side of the river.  But it also covers a considerable amount of open ground and woodland, notably Oxleas Wood towards the end of the section, which has a very rural feel to it.

More suprises: the attractive green area overlooked by Charlton House, and the former military academy, complete with battlements, recently redeveloped as flats, although it appears not to have been used as an academy for many years.  And after a lot of walking essentially at sea level (another side of the ‘blue’  aspect of the previous sections) it’s nice to gain some height and to get some fine views across London.
Former military academy
And it’s spring!  In the wooded areas in particular the flowers are really starting to appear, making the walk much more colourful.


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