Dave Sergeant

This is the second half of the walk from Inner London Ramblers which I started last week. It continues from Dulwich Village through Sydenham and down to Crystal Palace. Some of this I have done before but much of it was new.

Starting from North Dulwich station I walked down past the Crown and Greyhound to the Old Grammar School near the original buildings of Dulwich College. Dr Webster's Fountain celebrates the village doctor George Webster. There was an information board here which gave detailed information about the college, referred to as The College of God's Gift. A short distance from here I entered Dulwich Park, opened in 1890, through the large gates.

Dulwich Park, originally grazing land known as Five Fields, is a very pleasant area and some of the oak trees are very old. The large lake is particularly attractive.

More woodland then the American Garden filled with American trees and plants.

A wooden shelter and then a view of the lodge at Roseberry Gate through the trees along with the Crystal Palace mast in the distance.

Out of the park then along the South Circular to reach Cox's walk, last walked as part of the Green London Way. The church of St Peter is at the start. Cox's Walk is part of Sydenham Hill Wood and an 18th century oak-lined avenue.

Half way along is a bridge over the disused Nunhead to Crystal Palace (high level) railway which closed in 1954. This bridge has been closed for repairs for some years with issues about oak trees which would need to be felled. It seems an agreed way to proceed without felling the trees has now been sorted and workmen were already there in preparation.

Shortly after the bridge the path and Green Chain walk drops down via steps to the bed of the railway, of which no sign remains. Then the northern portal of Crescent Wood tunnel where some work seems to be going on. By here is Sydenham Hill Wood Nature Reserve.

A lengthy stretch of unmarked paths through the woods follows. When I walked this on the Green London Way I got rather confused and lost, but the guidance from Inner London Ramblers was excellent and I emerged into Low Cross Wood Lane with no problems. Not sure why it is called Low, it was a very steep rise to climb to the top.

The house, 3 Crescent Wood Road, where John Logie Baird lived while he was working at Crystal Palace. Opposite Six Pillars House, a very strange modernist house which looks totally out of place among its much older cousins. I then took a break and had a very nice lunch in The Wood House nearby.

After lunch I carried on down Wells Park Road and reached the former Station House of Upper Sydenham station, now a house. Down a steep path to see the southern portal of Crescent Wood tunnel where the station used to be.

Through Sydenham Wells Park, an attractive park and a remnant of Sydenham Common with palm trees and a lake.

Then into Crystal Palace Park with the large transmitter mast dominating.

The large lake and the Irish Elks.

Past the dinosaurs to reach the farm behind Capel Manor College. It was closed due to a health and safety issue and they were seen hosing down the courtyard with disinfectant so was unable to visit. The walk I was following took another loop round the park but since I had seen most of that before I decided to call it a day there so caught the Overground train back to Canada Water then Waterloo and home.

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