Writing Portfolio


The Capital Ring: Balham to Wimbledon

A short one, this, completing Section 5 of the Capital Ring prior to the long stage across Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park which will follow in due course. After getting the Northern Line straight down to Balham, I took a side-street past the Art Deco block of flats that is Du Cane Court to Wandsworth Common, passing through the ticket office of said station before crossing the common itself. This has some boardwalks by the ponds where I lingered to look for birds; alongside the usual Mallards, Coots and Moorhens I spotted a Grey Heron fishing and, in the trees overheard, a male Blackcap.

After Wandsworth Common, I passed along a side-street called Alma Terrace (a fairly common street-name, this, referring to the battle in the Crimean War; what, I wonder, is the battle with the most streets in London named after it? Something Victorian would be my guess) before turning along a road that ran next to the bleak-looking Wandsworth Prison. There followed a very straight road which ran for three-quarters of a mile alongside Wandsworth Cemetery to get me to Earlsfield.

There, I crossed over the River Wandle, one of the fastest-flowing of London’s rivers; this has its own accompanying footpath, the Wandle Trail, which briefly meets with the Capital Ring at Earlsfield station on its way from Croydon to (almost) the point where the Wandle flows into the Thames at Wandsworth (which gets its name from the river); a future walk, perhaps. Continuing along the Captial Ring, I passed through several back-streets and a small park before crossing the main road by Wimbledon Mosque and then turning up Arthur Road to get to Wimbledon Park station on the District Line.

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