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CAPITAL RING STAGE 2
Falconwood to Grove Park

I walked this, the second and shortest stage of the Capital Ring on the 12th February 2006. I had been intending to go to the Hertfordshire Chain Walk but I got up late and for the first time in ages it was pouring with rain so I decided an urban walk would be a better option. Although not far from home it took ages to reach Falconwood by public transport and it was almost midday when I started walking.

Fingerpost,  Eltham Park North
Capital Ring Waymarker - Eltham Park North
Eltham Park North
(1) Fingerpost, Eltham Park North
(2) Capital Ring Waymarker - Eltham Park North
(3) Eltham Park North

Last time I had been at Falconwood I had taken a shortcut to the station so this stage started with a short walk through Eltham Park North to rejoin the route of the Capital Ring, photo 1. Since I had last been in the area the route of the Capital ring, which shares its route with the Green Chain walk, had been extensively waymarked, photo 2, which made navigation along the woodland paths of Eltham Park North, photo 3, very straight forward.
It was quite pleasant walking in the woodland but for much of the time the route was accompanied by the noise of traffic on the A2. A break in the trees by Long Pond would have given views across towards Crystal Palace and my final destination of the day although these were completly hidden by the rain and low cloud.

Fingerpost, Eltham Park South
Eltham Park South
North Park
(4) Fingerpost, Eltham Park South
(5) Eltham Park South
(6) North Park

At the bridge crossing over the A2 I reached the start of the second stage of the Capital Ring. The path enters Eltham Park South where once again there was another detailed fingerpost, photo 4, giving details of the distances ahead.The path goes along a tree lined tarmac track, photo 5, beside the playing fields with views back towards Shooters Hill on the right hand side.
As I was passing along Butterfly Lane, (nowhere near as attractive as it sounds), I passed a Camellia which was in full bloom, a sure sign that Spring is not too far away. I also spotted a number of crocuses out in peoples gardens as I went past.
The path passes along a number of roads including North Park, photo 6 and down Tilt Yard Approach besides an old moss covered brick wall towards Eltham Palace. The Capital Ring passes the front of Eltham Palace which was surrounded by a moat but unfortunately due to a combination of trees, hedge and railings it was impossible to get a decent photo. It looked like there might be a chance to get a photo further on but that was not the case and I did not feel like going back in the wet weather.

Middle Park, Eltham
Middle Park, Eltham
Middle Park, Eltham
(7) Middle Park, Eltham
(8) Middle Park, Eltham
(9) Middle Park, Eltham

From Eltham Palace the path goes along King John's Walk besides some open ground which gives the illusion of being very rural, photo 7. From the path there are good views across to Docklands and Central London, photo 8, although once again these were quite obscured by the poor weather. The path then drops down from the hill, photo 9, and crosses the A20 from where it heads into Mottingham Lane. From Mottingham Lane an enclosed path with metal fences on either side leads to Marvels Lane. Photo 10 was taken looking back at the side of the path which had been very muddy and slippery in the wet weather. Marvels Lane marks the end of the second stage of the Capital Ring and a link path to Grove Park station was signposted.

Path besides Mottingham Playing Fields
(10) Path besides Mottingham Playing Fields

The GPS made the length of this stage 3.35 miles long which allowing for the detour I had made in Eltham Common North is considerably less than the sign posts seemd to indicate. Throughout the stage the route of the Capital Ring had been very well way marked and could have been followed without either a map or guidebook. Despite the soggy weather I did not take the link path to Grove Park station but continued down Marvels Lane and onto Stage 3 of the Capital Ring.

 Back to:Capital Ring Stage 1  On to:Capital Ring Stage 3 

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