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8 October 2020: Round London walkA castellated gatehouse

Today my friend and fellow Club member John spoke to our Rotary Club about a walk he and some frends are doing around London.

He started his talk by asking how many of us walk regularly. He didn’t say how many he could see with their hands up in answer to that question! (We were on Zoom, so not all of could see everyone.)

He extolled the benefits of walking. Among other things it improves the joints, the muscles, the heart and blood pressure. It also helps to keep us slim; an extra 30 minutes’ walking each day would use an additional 150 calories. Quite apart from which, walking is an enjoyable activity in its own right, particularly if done with friends.

John spoke enthusiastically about the Capital Ring, a 78-mile walk he is undertaking with friends which circles London about two-thirds of the way between the centre and the boundary of Greater London. The London Loop is a 150-mile walk following the boundary itself.

The Capital Ring walk was originally planned in the 1990s by Walk London and is described in the book Capital Ring by Colin Saunders. It is divided into 15 segments, each one starting and ending near a station. The route is generally flat and very easy walking. No special clothing is needed, There are plenty of pubs and cafés en route but John did recommend taking water.

The book describes each segment, and the interesting places along it, in some detail. John said one advantage of the Capital Ring is that it takes you to many places you might not otherwise have seen from the ground, including some of London’s many green spaces. There are some parts offering magnificent views.

John started walking the Capital Ring with some friends following the death of a mutual friend Ken. They have generally done one or two segments a year and now have just four left, one of which they intend to walk next week.

John’s account of the walk enthused us all, even those of us whose best walking days are behind us.