I met Robert and Helen at Wimbledon Park station, on a lovely day for doing the next 7 miles. We-like started along streets with houses, then across a park with a Capability Brown vista. The main part of the walk was across Richmond Park, with a huge sense of space and openness, the city of 7 million people does not feel close.
We saw deer, 15 antlered males sitting underneath a tree and later on a female herd of 25 and the juvenile males had tiny first year antlers. We saw a kestrel and woodpecker. The trees were magnificent huge oaks, beeches and weeping birches. At Richmond there was a huge plane tree the largest in London.
We ended our park crossing at Pembroke lodge, a fine 18 century house with nice gardens, sadly only open that day for wedding guests. We walked down into Petersfield, pausing at the 13 c church with ancient gravestones, including one for captain Vancouver who died aged 40. Since Robert is from Vancouver this was a nice link to his origins. We walked past fields with black and white cows and ended the walk with views of the elegant grey stone bridge at Richmond. An abnormally high tide at Richmond had just washed away the Sunday riverside drinkers. We drank in a riverside pub and walked through Richmond to the station passing a lovely square with old houses around it. There is a fine 19 c theatre and the modern Orange Tree theatre. Richmond station has lovely wrought iron features. We took the modern north London line Overground to Highbury and Islington. I walked home feeling tired and virtuous.
Aug 21 2016