Starting the Capital Ring (stage 7)

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Heading towards the starting point (Richmond)

I haven’t done that much walking recently, my last proper walk was before Christmas, with my knackering, just under 6km walk to Kew and I’ve been using the bus far more than I should (instead of walking). Part of the problem has been, is that the weather has been miserable and there’s just no incentive to go and walk in one of the places I normally walk in because it’s all boring (so says the February weather). Walking a route I don’t know though, that’s different.

Living near the river in south west London, I’m familiar with the Capital Ring signs. The Capital Ring is a walking path that circles the green bits of outer London, to be honest, I’ve never been that interested in it, maybe a vague thought when staring vaguely at one of the signs that I should maybe do the ring one day but never anything definite or even that keen. But as I seem to have hit a rut with my walking and I do know that I always get a kick out of walking in new places, suddenly the Capital Ring seemed a much more interesting idea.

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More heading towards the starting point (Richmond)

The problem is, though, although I live relatively close to section 6 and the starting point of section 7, as I work my way around the circle, getting to and from the starting and finishing points will take more and more time. All the starting and finishing points are nearish public transport (the Capital Ring information is hosted by TfL for a start) but getting from one suburban part of London to another part of suburban London, right across the other side of the city, always takes ages, so that is going to make it difficult to find time to do this. But I’m going to give it a go, it will take me ages (probably way over a year), due to the time issue plus I have (hopefully) two more surgeries this year, so I won’t be able to walk anywhere for a while.

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The start of section 7

So, to the start; section 7 starts off in Richmond, by the river, it’s actually part of the same route I walked to Kew before Christmas, past Old Deer Park, which is currently a bit flooded.

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Old Deer Park

But the route crosses over the river at Richmond Lock.

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Crossing the river*, I won’t be crossing back again on the Capital Ring for quite some time.

Then it was along the river to Isleworth (looks like a nice pub, there on the left).

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Isleworth

Then leaving the river to head into Syon Park.

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Syon Park – not the most photogenic place in February

Once out of Syon Park there’s a bit of walking the streets of Brentford before reaching the Grand Union Canal.

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The Grand Union Canal

The remainder of section 7 followed the canal, past modern housing developments and onto a more secluded, rougher looking stretch, which is probably a bit nicer when it’s not February. I did like this old warehouse, though.

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Presumably, cargo was loaded on and off boats here

 

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Just before the end of section 7 (which was the other side of the bridge) – not somewhere I’d walk in the dark

The entire section was 8km, I had been a bit worried about tackling that distance, as that just under 6km walk to Kew before Christmas finished me off and I’m still building up my strength from last year’s surgeries but actually the 8km was fine. I think that walk to Kew had been so bad because most of the route is really monotonous, so it was more mental exhaustion in a way with that, whereas doing the Capital Ring was more varied and had the added challenge of making sure I didn’t get lost (which wasn’t too hard, as it was fairly well signposted). Of course, as well as the 8km, you also have the walking to and from the start and finish but it was okay. Although apparently section 7 is one of the easiest sections, I’ve noticed that the other sections are slightly longer.

 

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Obviously not to scale or even that accurate

 

I will be continuing but almost certainly not until next month, at the earliest, as it will be difficult to find time for the rest of this month. Continuing along the Grand Union canal in March is probably nicer anyway.

*I’m a Londoner, when I refer to the river, it is, of course, the river, the Thames.

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