Monday 22 April 2024

20/04/24 - London Spiral - Stage 14 - Kew Gardens to Wimbledon

 Why 'Spoons is the best for the Lonely Football Fan

The London Spiral doing a fine job of making you think you are not in London. The 8 miles of this stretch are mainly traffic free, sharing wild paths with horse riders and dog walkers.

From Kew Gardens tube, through North and East Sheen to pick up Richmond Park at East Sheen Gate.

Richmond Park
Richmond Park, through East Sheen Gate

Richmond Park is 2500 acres of emptiness. Created by Charles I as a deer park, its history includes duels between sitting Prime Ministers and their political counterparts. That would make PMQs more interesting. No sign of deer today, or indeed dogs called Fenton on the rampage.

The route skirts the Eastern side of the park, following Beverley Brook upstream and into our second park, Wimbledon Common.

Beverley Brook
Following Beverley Brook

Adventure Lab Caches following a theme of the Wombles are in abundance, so my route contained just the one diversion to increase caching numbers. I didn't get close to the Windmill. I also didn't need to make decisions on whether to revisit some of the Wimbledon 8 Pubs. The Fox and Grapes too gastro, but the twins of Hand in Hand and Crooked Billet are always worth a visit when the sun is shining.

Instead, its into "The Village" for the only (new to me) Good Beer Guide Tick available.

And it's a 'Spoons.

Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon
Wibbas Down Inn - #1 Entrance
Let me count the ways why its perfect for my needs;
  • Power:  With rail E-Tickets, I need to replenish the juice consumed by my geocaching app to get home. I time it lucky, to get the final booth. Complete with double power socket.
  • Free Wifi: Baggies are live on Sky Sports, for a crunch game at the business end of the season. The free wifi is strong enough to get a non lagging signal, although the Sky App is slightly behind the live action.  At least my son's messages prepare me for the disappointment.
  • The App: Having settled in, I now need to protect my space. The app allows me to order lunch and drinks without moving an inch. However, this rather shows my hand to the disapproving Mrs M. She, who has set up banking app alerts from our joint account. And still hasn't forgiven Timbo for the dog ban.
  • The Prices: London Pride at £2.74 a pint is a steal. For comparison, I attempted to use a pub near Marylebone on my return. A similar ABV Cask retailing for £6.90. It was the plastic glass that encouraged me to take an earlier train home. 
In the interests of fairness, I should document any faults. Kids playing games on too loud iPads were annoying, although I did have earphones. Dingle Don Goodman's commentary arguably worse. A walloper dragging a huge suitcase through the pub, knocking over furniture, bumping into people and shouting obscenities increased tension. On my exit, I found him throwing karate shapes against the bemused external gaspers.

All part of life's rich tapestry.

Wibbas Down Inn, Wimbledon
Wibbas Down Inn - #2 Entrance

Walk Information

Distance - 8 Miles

Start - Kew Gardens Station

Finish - Wimbledon

Areas Walked - Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common

Geocaches - 3 and two Adventure Lab Caches

Pubs - 1

Previous Walks - Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8Stage 9Stage 10Stage 11Stage 12, Stage 13

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