Putney Circular and Parks

Thu 22nd Aug 2019

Walk Details:

Event Type
Group Walk
Southern England
Local Group
Start Time
Start/Finish Putney Rail station (train from Waterloo)

Chance to step out and visit Putney Heath, Richmond Park, and Wimbledon Common all in one evening!

Start and Finish

Entry Details:


Walk Report

Putney Circular and Parks, Thursday 22nd August 2019
19 walkers reducing to 17 after 20 minutes, 8 miles – leaders Gail & John Elrick
The walk was designed to show how the three green spaces in this area (Putney Heath, Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park) can be visited in a relatively short circuit with little in the way of road walking if you took the famous Green Man PH as the real start and finish of the walk. The undisciplined straggle up Putney Hill from Putney Station (impossible to do anything else among the throng of local folks desperately trying to get home) is therefore to be forgotten on reaching the Green Man where we all gathered for the start. This is the edge of Putney Heath and suddenly it all starts to look green and leafy. Putney Heath was a favourite haunt of highwaymen including one named Tibbet who used to drink in the Green Man and gave his name to Tibbett's Corner.
Leaving the Green Man we plunged up the interestingly named Wildcroft Road and to a tunnel under the main road and some surprisingly dense woodland to soon reach King's Mere, a tranquil lake (actually a gravel pit created when the main road was dug) but its humble origin is now forgotten. Leaving the lake the route took us through more woods with the early evening sunlight attractively pushing through. A jumble of paths took us to the side of Putney Vale Cemetery (at some point passing into Wimbledon Common) and thence to the attractively located war memorial. Here we took a group photograph which was easier to discipline than normal as folks were happy to sit for a short rest whilst the photograph was taken. Crossing over the playing fields we reached the Robin Hood roundabout. Leaving the Common always seems a shock here, there is always so much traffic, but fortunately a bridge goes over all but one of the roads and we soon scampered into Richmond Park. For me Richmond Park is generally far too busy during the day to be truly pleasant but on a warm summer's evening it was delightful with few other visitors. We ambled along Beverley Brook and then climbed (yes, this is an LDWA walk after all) to view White Lodge, now home of the Royal Ballet School, and the panorama below us. The descent towards the Roehampton Gate, meeting a few inquisitive deer, was delightful.
Leaving the Park we walked towards the Roehampton Estate which almost counts for me as a fourth park given the efforts that were made when it was constructed in the 1950's to create an open and green environment. Past Roehampton Village we were soon back on Putney Heath. We could not take the short cut across the cricket pitch as some keen and ghostly players were still playing and so we returned via the road to the Green Man where some joined us for some ale and to rub shoulders with the ghosts of Tibbett and his ilk.
Photograph of group at war memorial (including three VCs) by John Elrick; more by Ian Fairweather on the group Facebook site



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