Thursday, November 03, 2016

The Beverley Brook Walk

London is absolutely full of walks - such as the London Loop, Capital Ring, Green Chain, Lee Valley Thames Path, Jubilee Walkways and if you're not sure which is which there's a great Londonist video describing them and tube map style graphic.

But even these resources don't show all of them - such as the less well known Beverly Brook Walk. This follows the river - or rather the brook - of that name from New Malden (*) to the Thames by Putney.

While on the map the brook pops out of the ground around Worcester Park this initial part is not included in the walk. And to be honest the route is a bit DIY in that it appears more of an idea to connect together various other walks rather than an integrated and signed path.

There was a noticeable absence of signs apart from when the walk crossed main roads, and even then the signs pointed directly across busy roads not where there was a pedestrian crossing, as if their numbers had been limited by budget.

So I'd suggest that if you walk you take a few key points and then make your own way alongside the river as you're as likely as not do ok. I wasn't entirely sure if this was right route though it matches this GPS track:
The bit through Wimbledon Common was pretty nice, through the woods with the river on one side:
Sometimes the path would join other of London's walks, such as the Capital Ring:
The rural feel vanished on the crossing of the A3 to get to Richmond Park:
In Richmond Park there's work to improve the river's quality which is apparently not all it should be but apparently Sir David Attenborough no less is one of the patrons of the Beverley Brook Restoration Project.

Then there's the distinctly unglamorous South Circular to cross (and walk along for a bit), a confusion of commons (Barnes, Putney etc.) before the path sort of comes back together for the final push to the Thames and where I found that gun a few years ago.

In terms of wildlife, it is said that there are Kingfishers somewhere but I just saw the usual, such as geese and dogs being taken for walks:

Actually in both cases I heard them first.

So a nice walk though more a collection of existing tracks than (say) the clearly defined and connected Thames Path.

(*) I actually started from Raynes Park as the walk was slightly closer and there was only a tiny look at Beverley Brook before the Coombe Lane Flyover


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

First girl I ever had a crush on was called Beverly Brooks... :o))

JP said...

You should read the book "Rivers of London" by Ben Aaronovitch as one of the characters in it is called Beverly Brooks and she's a goddess of that river. Well worth a read!