Streatham Common, London, SW16

 

Tree, Streatham Common

Streatham Common is an attractive green space in South London. The grass on the Northern and Western section is maintained and dotted with trees. It looks very pretty sloping upwards towards the rookery from the A23. On summer weekends it is quite busy with people, flying kites, having picnics or just chilling out. This area of the park often has events running when the weather is warm. An interesting one booked for September is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed by the world first cycling theatre company!

Path, Streatham Common

 

The eastern side is left in a more natural state. It has been designated a local nature reserve and it has many oak trees and some beautiful old cedars. Where the western part meets the east there is beautiful formal garden called The Rookery. A mineral spring was discovered here in the 1650s and was visited by royalty to take the waters. Streatham was a very fashionable out of town location in the 19th century and the Rookery Gardens are kept as they would have been in those days. There is a rockery with a pond, lovely herbaceous borders, and it has an ornamental stream running through it.

Camellia, Streatham Common

The Rookery Café is outside the wall of The Rookery just on the border between the maintained and more natural parts of the common. It is a well run café, serving hot and cold food. There are seats outside with big views to the west and south.

Trough, Streatham Common

 

The Common is surprisingly large – over two kilometres along the perimeter from its northwestern corner to the northeastern one. As you head farther east, the park becomes part of the borough of Croydon and is known as Norwood Grove, although historically, it has always been part of the Great Streatham Common. There is a nice 19th century house here, inside the park, Norwood Grove House, although it is known locally as the White House. This also has nicely laid out gardens and pretty, if urban, views out over Croydon.

Dog Walker on Streatham Common

Streatham Common is a well used park, surrounded on all sides by houses. There are joggers, dog walkers, parents with buggies, yet it is big enough to avoid feeling crowded.   It is on the Capital Ring, which is a 120 kilometre walk around London, broken up into 15 smaller sections. This is a surprisingly green and traffic light walk for such a large metropolis. The park itself is a varied and interesting area with lots of different types of scenery, I would say that it is certainly worth a visit if you are in South London on a sunny day.

Streatham Common

 

Advertisements

The Rookery Café, Streatham Common, London.

Magnolia 2

The Rookery is an ornamental garden on Streatham Common. It is on the site of an old guest house, now gone,  where Queen Victoria used to visit, to take the water, from the three springs, on Streatham Spa. It is still a very pretty, well maintained garden with long views over South London and the South Downs.

The Rookery Café is a nice, old style, park café, with indoor and outdoor seating. There are  pleasant views from the outdoor tables. It is child and dog friendly. It has bowls for water and dog treats in a jar on the counter.

DSC_1914

It has a good selection of hot and cold food. It has vegan, vegetarian and gluten free choices. It has a well maintained community noticeboard offering everything from local plays to invitations to join a brass band.

rookery cafe notice board

It is on the Capital Ring, near the end of Section 5, a very pleasant place to stop for refreshment, if you are doing that walk.

The Hive, Kew Gardens, London, 2016

IMG_0909.JPG the hive

The Hive is a work of art that has come to Kew Gardens for a visit form Milan. It is an interactive piece and it is unique in that it allows the visitor to interact with bees. These bees are in a hive somewhere else in the gardens and their activity alters the look and sound of the installation.

It is an impressive structure from the distance. As you approach, it looks a little like a huge rectangular swarm of bees hovering over the park. When you get closer, you can see and hear its vibrancy and as you walk inside, it hums, throbs and gently changes colour with 1000 LED lights flickering. The work also contains an area where you can put a lollipop like stick into your mouth in order to mimic the method of communication of bees.

The Hive is both informative and interesting. It is also strangely relaxing in the way it filters the light as you sit inside sheltering form the sun on a warm London day. I would recommend not to rush through the artwork, it repays time spent there. The summer wildflower meadow on the walk up is beautiful too.

Regent’s Park, London

https://www.endomondo.com/routes/731348501

Regent’s park is one of my favourite places to walk in London. This 7 kilometre walk is a lovely route around the park if you have a couple of hours to spare. It starts at Chalk Farm tube and heads up primrose hill, where there are stunning views of London’s skyline. It then heads down round the edges of London zoo and over the Regent’s canal. It gives a pretty view of the London Central Mosque before turning down the side of the boating lake. Near the foot of the lake it crosses the bridge, passing the open air theatre and going into to rose garden. The ornamental bridge has a beautiful wisteria in flower in May. It then heads to eastern edge of the park to walk along Chester Terrace a designed by Nash in the early 19th century. Finally along the southern part of the park to Park Street where you can catch buses to north London or turn left for Baker Street tube and connections to the city centre.

The photos are: (top) Skyline from Primrose Hill, Egyptian Goose by the boating lake, Regent’s Canal from the Broad Walk, (bottom) Wisteria in Queen Mary’s rose garden, Deckchairs and Daisies, The City from the Hill.

This link at the top is a downloadable route, you can download it on to your phone or tablet and follow it in real time as you walk. I am hopeful that you can expand the areas nearby on the map too, so if you decide to stop early, it is possible to see transport options nearby. If anyone spots a difficulty in using it, I would be grateful for feedback as, if it works well, I plan on publishing a list of my favourite walks from around the world.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

This is a big varied garden just across the road from the river. It has grassy knolls overlooking lotus filled lakes, tree filled areas and nice views over the city.
It is beautifully maintained and it is possible to take a gondola ride around the lake. (They don’t sing opera, though!)

  
  
  
Make sure you walk up the hill to Guilfoyle’s Volcano, which has a fantastic collection of succulents and cacti around it. A nice day out from city sight-seeing.

Chinese garden of friendship, Sydney. 

These gardens are right between Chinatown and Darling Harbour. There is a small entry fee but with this you are allowed to enter as many times as you like during the day. It is a lovely, calm garden with, carp, birds, waterfalls and statues. Right in the midst of the the hectic city of Sydney. As such, it add a nice new dimension to this vibrant city. Take a step away and enjoy some moments of calm in the Chinese garden of friendship while visiting Sydney.


  
  

The Rose Garden, Queens Park, Invercargill

We visited the rose garden on 24th January.


The end of January must surely be the best time of year to visit here.


It was full of colour and perfume, from stunning arches of cascading blooms,


To individual beautiful roses…..


Old Port,



City of Invercargill,


Raspberry Ice,


Summer Dream,


Lemon Honey,


Minehaha,


Pink Sun Rose


Paola,


Eldorado.



  I honestly think that this is the most beautiful Rose garden that I have ever visited.