This is the third section of the 78 miles (125 km) long Capital Ring. Most of the walks of The Capital Ring are through London’s green spaces. If you plan to walk all sections, I recommend this guidebook by Colin Saunders. This third walk of 8 miles (13 km) is not the most interesting section of The Capital Ring, but it does take you to Beckenham Place Park, one of my favourite green spaces in South London. The route starts at Grove Park Station and finishes at Crystal Palace Station. The entire route is well waymarked.
The route starts at Grove Park Station from where you mostly follow roads to the Downham Woodland Walk, from which moment onwards the route is much more pleasant. You follow the footpath until reaching the busy Bromley Road, which you cross and then turn into Old Bromley Road.
Enter Beckenham Place Park and at the signpost take a left to go over a railway line. Keep following the signposts until the mension of Beckenham Place comes into view. Just before the manion you will find the Homestead Café, which is an absolute gem and vegan-friendly. You can have your drink or snack at the café or take it into the hilly grounds of the park where many benches and wooden picknick tables are placed with lovely views over the park.
Leave Beckenham Place Park and follow Southend Road to turn right into Stumps Hill Lane, follow the pavement alongside the grounds of Kent County Cricket Club. Follow the Capital Ring signs into Cator Park, passing Alexandra Recreation Ground, and into Crystal Palace Park. At the beginning of the park you find the beautiful vegan-friendly Brown & Green Life Café. Within the park there are two routes you can take, one along the Dinosaur sculptures on the south-side and one along the northern-side passing the site of the original Crystal Palace.