Self guided local walk: Wandsworth Riverside 3 miles

An interesting and varied riverside walk including a circular of Wandsworth Park

The walk starts at Wandsworth Town Station. From the station turn left into Old York Road under the railway bridge. After the bridge turn right into the gardens to admire the Bramford Community Garden along the bottom of the railway embankment. Exit the park into Swandon Way, going to the pedestrian light to cross over into Smugglers Way to the left of McDonalds. After the shop called Roche Bobois, as the road goes left, go straight ahead on the pedestrian route between the blocks of flats until you reach the river where you turn left into Nickols Walk.

At the end of the flats the path goes ahead but ends abruptly so, before you get to the end, turn left into Waterside Path. When you emerge back into Smugglers Way turn right along the front of the Waste Transfer Station. Keep going to reach a footbridge over the Wandle. Normally it is pleasant to walk on the Spit but this is currently closed off (March 2020).

At the end of the footbridge turn right on to the newly opened path around the Riverside Quarter development, keeping going past the Thames Clipper pier and the houseboats, into Wandsworth Park. Walk on the path right around the perimeter until you are by the playground, back in the direction you came from.

Skirt around to the right of the tennis court and Putt in the Park until you reach a low exit gate on to Northfields; cross this road to the street named Point Pleasant and follow this round the corner until just before the Cat’s Back pub where you turn left into Eastfields. Just past the entrance to an underground garage, turn right between the blocks to Osiers Road where you turn left.  After a short while turn left into Enterprise Way (by a Sainsbury’s Local) and walk to the end where you are in sight of the footbridge over the Wandle that you crossed earlier. Cross the bridge and before you proceed look for the Society’s plaque on the wall. Now turn right immediately before the second bridge into The Causeway which runs eventually along Bell Creek (note the bell on the left half-way along and massive workings of the Thames Tideway on the right).

At the end of The Causeway by the Crane pub you meet the A3/South Circular on the Wandsworth One Way system. Cross this road at the pedestrian lights (to your right) and walk along Wandsworth Plain, past a row of Georgian houses. At the end turn left for 100 yards along Wandsworth High Street before turning left to enter the Ram Quarter. Meander through area this to reach the far exit into Ram Street. Turn left and follow the pavement round to the right to cross Fairfield Street into Old York Road – and back to your starting point.

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Self guided local walk: King George’s Park Circular 2.5 miles

This walk will allow you to see every corner of the park starting from a point close to Garratt Lane Sainsbury’s.

Start at the corner of Mapleton Road and Garratt Lane.You are standing in a pocket park alongside the River Wandle. Facing the river look to the left and take passage-way and walk along beside the river. After you cross the sports centre (formerly a lido, closed in 1993) will be on your right.

At the end turn left along the edge of the playing field and then up the steps or ramp to the upper playing field. Keep to the left and take the path along the left-hand side of the field. At Kimber Road cross at the pedestrian lights and follow the path along beside the river, crossing the track which runs to the south of Nuffield Fitness. Continue on the path where it begins to meander until you reach a major crossing of paths. At this point the path is known as Foster’s Way named after Corporal Edward Foster who was awarded the VC in 1917 and was subsequently employed as a dustman by Wandsworth Council.

Turn left on to the link with the Henry Prince Estate but turn right before you reach the footbridge over the Wandle and walk along the path beside the river. Keep on when it becomes Riverdale Drive and at the end turn right with the road and then right into Knaresborough Drive. When the fence on the left ends leave the road and turn in to the park, turn sharp left to walk around the edge of the field. Keep walking to reach the gate to the park – and you are back on Foster’s Way.

Turn right and follow the tarmac path until you reach a low gate to your left into a wooded area.  Walk through the enclosure and emerge back into the open park and follow the path past the allotments and sports pitches of Southfields Academy. This merges with a path; after a short way leave this and turn right to walk across the grass to a low gate. Cross the tarmac track and go through the next low gate into the Nuffield Fitness car park. Exit on the other side and walk across to another low gate on to Burr Road. Walk along Burr Road to the T junction with Kimber Road where you turn right. Cross Kimber Road and enter the park again (under the arch) along the west side. Follow along the side of the park ignoring a path to the right, until you get to a T junction. Turn right on the shared cycle-pedestrian path for a short distance until you reach the entrance to the formal gardens behind Southside.

Take the path around the gardens and small lake and return to this point. As you exit the formal area turn left, past the playground and into Mapleton Road. Walk past the Wandle Recreation Centre back to your starting point.

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Self guided local walk: Thames Circular 3.5 miles

This pleasant riverside walk to Chelsea Bridge is currently obstructed in places by construction works but will one day offer aThames path amble all the way.

Start at the Trinity Road roundabout at the southern end of Wandsworth Bridge. Look for the Tesco Express, go between that and the flats into the communal gardens; turn left through the gardens of Battersea Reach to get to the terrace of the Waterfront pub.

Walk along parallel to the river and drop down on to the Thames Path. Follow this eastwards towards the Heliport then follow the Thames Path signage all the way to Battersea Bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left along the Chelsea Embankment past the houseboats.

Where the Embankment bends to the right go straight on along Lots Road on the right-hand pavement (Cremorne Gardens is a pleasant spot if you need a rest). Where Lots Road turns right, you turn left across Chelsea Creek into Chelsea Harbour. Bear left. following the Thames Path signs around the development. The path takes you under a railway bridge on to the riverside path on the other side.  

Walk along the river, possibly diverting into Imperial Park on your right or seeing a helicopter land or take off  over the Thames to the left. The path comes to an abrupt temporary end; turn right along the path running at right angles to the river, turn left at the end and past a bus stop on to Townmead Road (past Fulham Wharf Sainsbury’s). Walk along Townmead Road to the end, turn left on to Wandsworth Bridge and you are back at the start point.

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Coronavirus hits Wandsworth’s parks

Firstly, after thousands flocked to our parks over the Mother’s Day weekend, the takeaway refreshment services in the park cafes closed on Monday 23rd March. And then came the PM on the same evening, perhaps influenced the pictures of crowds on the commons and parks of South West London, restricting walking in groups and outdoor meetings. The latest position in Wandsworth is that although parks are still open playgrounds, outdoor gyms, toilets and other facilities are shut.

Although a day later there are lots of genuine exercisers including walkers, runners, cyclists, roller skaters, family ball game players and tai chi practitioners others read the single daily outing for “exercise” to mean sitting on a park bench enjoying the sunshine. But there is also some very foolish behaviour on display, like pairs of joggers coming from behind and squeezing between two walkers who have left a gap 3 metres apart and vigorous football played by a group of lads who are unlikely to all come from the same household.

It will be interesting to see whether we are to be asked to increase our vigilance over the coming weeks.