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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

Capital Ring: Day 5: Streatham to Wimbledon Park

Streatham Pumping Station, built in 1888
Streatham Pumping Station, built in 1888

I'm gutted that this leg turns out to be one of the least interesting day walks on the whole Capital Ring, as I used to live in Balham and spent many a day wondering just where those green Capital Ring signs were pointing (assuming, of course, that they were actually pointing along the proper route, rather than the skewed version that introduces the Ring). The fact that today's walk is nothing but a relatively bland wander through everyday suburbia comes as something of a disappointment.

A Tale of Two Commons

Ponds in Wandsworth Common
The ponds in Wandsworth Common are home to a very pleasant boardwalk

From Streatham, the Ring quickly passes what is probably the most notable building of the day – Streatham Pumping Station, which looks for all the world like an Islamic temple tucked away by the railway lines of Streatham Junction – and heads north to Tooting Bec Common, the first of two green spaces on the itinerary. Unfortunately Tooting Bec Common is a relatively average park, and although the Ring tries to take in its major feature – a large pond in the middle of the common – you can't actually see anything from the path, and before you know it you're back into the suburbs of Balham.

Wandsworth Prison
Wandsworth Prison
Wandsworth Cemetery
Wandsworth Cemetery