Here is Hannah posing up a storm at the start of the walk. Hannah is one of my best friends from Uni and was one of my best London friends until she selfishly abandoned me to be a speach therapist in a hospital in Margate. Rude I say. Once we got to Streatham we essentially had to double back on ourselves and head to Tooting Common. On the way we passed this beautiful building.
Which is, in fact, a pumping station. You crazy victorians, you.
Tooting Bec Common is one of my favourite places in London. When I first moved down I lived about 30 seconds from it and now I'm about a minute away. It's beautiful, open, filled with such a mix of people and it makes living in London a lot more pleasant. I felt a bit strange walking through it as part of this walk, as it's just where I live.
I tried to remember to take photos as I would if it wasn't somewhere I saw everyday. This is the castle. I can actually see this from the other side from my kitchen window. According to my letting agent it's the gatehouse from when the common was a hunting ground. I don't know if that has any truth in it but I like the story. As you can see my phone camera is all a bit smudged with suncream at this point. Sorry about that!
From the common we took a ludicrously round about route to get to Balham. I guess the capital ring does that in a lot pf places but I only noticed here because I know all the roads. Still I insisted we follow it exactly- got to do these things properly! And very shortly we arrived at Wandsworth Common (a route I didn't know and will be using in the future)
Here we stopped for out first snack- apples (in their crocheted apple jackets!)
Hannah took some much better photos than me of the lake in the common
What neither of us have a picture of is Wandsworth Prison which you walk past after leaving Wandsworth Common. Three fun facts about Wandsworth Prison:
- Oscar Wilde was held there
- Patrick Gayle's dad was prison warder there (Who's Partick Gayle? Read this now)
- I have had the most frustrating time for the past 9 months trying and failing to volunteer there
There was little of interest on the streets of Earlfield to be honest. This is the best I found. A mosque built in 1977:
We made it to the end of the official 5th walk
And were joined by Emerson and his bike
We were all pretty hot and flustered by this point from the walking and the cycling so we sat down in Wimbledon Park and ate luch. Home-made Spanish tortilla by me
And home-made lemon drizzle by Hannah
Suitably rejuvinated we carried on past the signs to the All England Tennis Club, past some pretty incongrous luxury homes and onto Wimbledon Common. I only ever seem to come to Wimbledon Common during freak weather. Last time I had only been in London a few months and decided to come exploring on a stupidly hot March day. I had plans of sitting on the grass reading my book but ended up wandering for hours, lost, in the baking heat with no leaves on any of the trees. It was pretty freaky. Thankfully this time I had a map, company and also it was the Big Draw!
Me and Hannah got stuck in with the drawing while Emerson wussed out/showed his artistic side another way by taking some very pretty pictures. Here are our efforts:
And our inspiration:
The windmill was also open to the public for free that day so we climbed up inside to see all the workings
Sadly we didn't learn how girls can help to build the Empire because the book was in a glass case.
As you can see I can't work out how to rotate photos, but if you tilt your head you can see the Common. And if you look very closely you might be able to see Wombles.
After Wimbledon common we crossed at a Peagusus crossing and into Richmond Park.
And then this happened:
And my poor little iPhone was broken beyond repair...
Although silver lining- it was still functioning enough for me to rescue the photos off it and to sync everything else!
And I'm due for an upgrade anyway. Crisis averted!
And as an extra bonus- all of the photos from this point onwards are off a much better quality camera!
Plus we had ice cream to cheer ourselves up! Or rather Emerson and I had ice cream, Hannah had a Solero *shudder*
Richmond Park was like a beautiful country meadow. Although I said that and then it was pointed out to me that was the name of the ice cream we had just eaten. It turns out I am outrageously susceptable to advertising.
We got a bit off track but it did mean we got an amazing veiw across London
And saw even more deer.
You can see St Pauls Cathedral through the gap in the trees. Protected veiw dontcha know?
Can anyone tell me how to rotate these photos?
Out of Richmond Park and back to the Thames. It was getting late, we were tired and the tide was high.
We made it to the end
With the flash you can see the exhaustion on their faces! This is the longest leg of my walks and I reckon we walked at least an extra mile to the start point. Emerson joined half way through but had already cycled 16 miles and then pushed his bike for the rest of the route.
We rewarded ourselves with chips
It was amazing.
Come with me next time?