London contains many designated walking routes. Whereas the Jubilee Walkway is best-suited for those who like short walks and the London LOOP is for the more intrepid explorer, the Capital Ring walk sits somewhere in-between. The 78 mile circular route is divided into 15 short sections, all easily reached with public transport.
The Capital Ring passes through many residential areas: Woolwich, Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Highgate, Stoke Newington and Hackney, to name only a few. While parts of the route follow the streets of suburbia, you'll be impressed at just how many parks and green spaces you encounter.
Any one of the 15 sections offers a pleasant walk. A particular favourite, by way of example, is the stretch between Highgate and Stoke Newington (5.5 miles).
After leaving Highgate station (Northern line), you soon pick up the Parkland Walk. This linear stretch of green leads all the way to Finsbury Park. You'll soon notice that you're walking along a former railway line. As well as its give-away straightness, the Parkland Walk also contains the remains of several crumbling platforms and overhead road bridges. Look out for the clever sign post at the start of the path, which depicts the walk as though it were a tube line (see pic below).
You next pass through Finsbury Park itself, an expansive open space particularly popular with families. Having walked along a disused railway, you now find yourself following an old waterway, as the route picks up the New River. This double misnomer is neither new, nor a river, having been built some 400 years ago as a water conduit for the city.
This part of the route finishes in Stoke Newington, passing the lakes of Clissold Park and the faded glory of Abney Park cemetery. The area has a particularly good selection of pubs, should you wish to relax after your trek. Try the Jolly Butchers on the High Street for good food and real ale, or the Auld Shillelagh on Church Street for one of the best pints of Guinness in London.
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This article was originally published in partnership with Walk London.