• Lambeth Small Spaces
  • Thames-side Loop

Lambeth Small Spaces

Simon led a group on one of my routes from 2022 (see https://southwarkcyclists.org.uk/healthy-rides/healthy-ride-reports-2022/ride-reports-april-9th-2022/). Below is his account of the ride.

Eight of us set off from Waterloo Millennium Green on the hottest day of the year. Not a cloud in sight, and barely a breath of wind. We enjoyed a leisurely pootle through some of Lambeth’s loveliest green spaces, finding some hidden gems and points of interest.

First up was Leake Street graffiti tunnel (https://www.leakestreetarches.london/) – an assault on the eyes and nose, to be sure! Then Archbishop’s Park and the hidden-away Old Paradise Gardens (https://www.lambethvillage.co.uk/old_paradise_garden/), and on to Pedlar’s Park and Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, next to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a gay pub before they were fashionable (https://www.vauxhalltavern.com/). A quick tour of Vauxhall Park – still looking rather formal, with its lavender planting in Fawcett Garden. A detour to Larkhall Park and a photo op at Stockwell Bus Garage, with its famed roof structure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockwell_Garage). Through Slade Gardens and over the Brixton Road to the three bits of Max Roach Park.

Then we ‘discovered’ the inspiring Ebony Horse Club (https://www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk/) in Wyck Gardens by Loughborough Junction Station. We stopped in the lovely Myatts Fields Park for much-needed refreshments. We next paused to look at the Tangerine Tree artwork / totem pole in Eythorne Park (https://www.drostle.com/myatts-field-artwork/). The real tangerine tree is in the center of the Park [but Simon missed this!]. We then went past the tiny Dan Leno Gardens on the way to Kennington Park. Here we paused to look at a memorial to 50 lives lost in the bombing of an air raid shelter in 1940. It bore an inscription of a poem by Maya Angelou: “History despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived but if faced with courage need not be lived again.” (See https://www.londonremembers.com/memorials/kennington-park-air-raid). We also looked at the little Prince Consort Lodge, an “ideal home” for 4 families in the 1850s (https://vauxhallhistory.org/prince-consort-lodge-kennington/).

We took a diversion to enjoy Cleaver Square and the Beefeater Gin Distillery (not forgetting the ventilation shaft built for the Northern Line extension). A visit to Lambeth Walk gave us the opportunity to hum the tune and compare Doorstep Green (a typical park) with the back of Roots and Shoots, a riot of wildlife thriving next door. We hunted down the hard-to-find Cinema Museum (new to most of us, http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/) and the nearby Water Tower House, made famous on Grand Designs some time ago (https://www.granddesignsmagazine.com/grand-designs-houses/grand-designs-water-tower/). We weren’t able to access West Square Gardens (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Square) to see the ancient Mulberry Trees. So we hastened to the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park by the Imperial War Museum and took a look at the Agave plant in the World Garden – still in flower (but only just). Jane had showed us this a couple of weeks ago: they only flower once in their lives, and then they die (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave).

We were back at our start location bang on 12.30. A most enjoyable – and surprising – ride, with about 20 parks and lots of points of interest. About 11 miles, pancake flat, and never further that a couple of miles from the Oval Cricket ground at its centre. 

Route from 2022 showing most of the the parks at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1R6fTBvDP_CWqVtzEhbo-kHtOydWA1ne2&usp=sharing (note this map also includes a longer version going to Battersea Park; we used the short here)

Thames-side Loop

Tower Bridge and group fromHermitage Riverside Memorial Garden

Repeated this always intersting local ride with Simon K. leading. Start at Canada Water and join point at Greenwich Station. Here are some notes from Simon.

Six of us left Canada Water on one of the hottest days of the year, took advantage of the route to post a LCC magazine through our daughter’s letterbox. Just past the Dog & Bell pub in Deptford we took a slightly different approach, not so scenic, route to Greenwich in order to avoid some boring cobbles. Made good time to Greenwich where another three cyclists were waiting. Backmarker David decided to take an early (cold?) bath having decided, not unreasonably, that the heat was too much. Some of us took the Little Red Train to Mudchute, whilst some chose the Greenwich foot tunnel. We all met up on the north side of the river. Eva, on her smart Brompton, volunteered to be the back marker, for which many thanks.

The tedious diversion round Canary Wharf is still in place. Without notes, (I’d forgotten my specs), I gave a potted history of the development. Another rider decided enough was enough. The rest of the group made for The Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden where a vote was taken in favour of London Bridge over Tower Bridge.. I offered a coffee stop at Dockhead, but by this time riders just wanted to get out of the heat. I took two riders the scenic route back to CW, the remainder took the quicker route towards Blackheath.

Map of past routes here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1YputxtQpk_g_BVhieMCuf9HAtWs&usp=sharing

Back to Ride Report 2023 Index

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