This 78 mile circular walk takes you on a tour through London passing many of its most famous landmarks and through some of its most attractive parks and green areas.
The route officially starts at Woolwich foot tunnel by the Thames Barrier and first heads south passing through Eltham, Beckenham Place Park and Tooting Bec Common before reaching Wimbledon with its famous common and windmill. You continue through Richmond Park to Richmond where a pleasant stretch along the Thames takes you past the popular gardens at Kew. Soon after you join the Grand Union Canal for more pleasant waterside walking, passing Brentford and Hanwell on your way to Harrow.
The route then turns east passing Brent Reservoir, Wembley Stadium, Hampstead Heath and Finsbury Park. The final section takes you through the delightful Lee Valley Park, past Stratford and the Olympic Park before returning to the Woolwich foot tunnel.
Capital Ring Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Capital Ring Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Capital Ring OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Capital Ring Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's an abundance of fine cafes and pubs around Hampstead Heath. One noteworthy place worth consideration is The Spaniards Inn. The pub dates from 1585 and has some interesting literary connections. John Keats apparently penned Ode to a Nightingale in the garden and the pub is also mentioned in Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers. There's an attractive interior with oak-panelled walls, chandeliers, beams and log fires. Outside there's a nice garden with a BBQ on warmer days. You can find the inn on Spaniards Road at the north western end of the heath. Postcode for your sat nav is NW3 7JJ.
In Eltham there's some interesting pubs to investigate. One place of note in this area is the 16th century Tudor Barn which is slightly off the route. The unique venue is notable as the only existing Tudor Barn in London. There's a wonderful, large outdoor area here where you can enjoy a meal with views over the surrounding gardens. It's a special place and ideal location to rest your legs on summer days. Indoors there's an attractive, modern interior with real fires in a cosy atmosphere. After your meal you can enjoy a stroll around the 13 acres of gardens where there's a medieval moat. You can find the barn at Well Hall Pleasaunce, Well Hall Rd with a postcode of SE9 6SZ.
You could also head to the Park Tavern where there's a nice rear garden which is a nice place to relax outside on warmer days. There's also a good menu and a terrace at the front. You can find the pub just off the route at 45 Passey Place with a postcode of SE9 5DA for your sat navs.
In this are we'd also recommend a visit to Eltham Palace, one of the highlights on the route. A medieval palace and then a Tudor royal residence, the palace was transformed into a striking Art Deco mansion by millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. The site also includes 19 acres of lovely gardens with a pretty moat crossed by a 15th-century bridge.
At Wimbledon Common the Windmill Tearooms are a fine place to stop. There's lots of outdoor seating where you can enjoy a meal with a view of the old mill and the common. There's also a small museum to visit where you can learn about milling history in the area.