Dulwich Wood, Sydenham Hill Wood, Horniman Gardens, Dulwich Park and village, Belair Park
|Start||Sydenham Hill station|
|Finish||West Dulwich station|
6.6 km (up to).
|Time||1 hour 30 mins|
|Travel||Trains go from London Victoria to Sydenham Hill and West Dulwich stations. Both are in Travelcard Zone 3.|
This walk takes you through Dulwich Wood, Sydenham Hill Wood, Horniman Gardens and Dulwich Park, finishing in Dulwich Village for refreshments. If you get disorientated in Dulwich Wood or Sydenham Hill Wood, don’t worry too much as wandering around, you will in time come across the car wide metal bridge, from which you may resume the directions.
There are one pub as well as various bars and restaurants to choose from in Dulwich Village, and Belair House Bar & Restaurant on the way to the station.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone. OpenStreetMap (not OS) mapping is used in the PDF for licence reasons.
- From Sydenham Hill southbound platform, turn left to take the long walkway and steps to reach the College Road exit. Cross over College Road via the zebra crossing and go through the gate opposite, to go up the car wide tarmac track, (Low Cross Wood Lane - access to pedestrians only), east.
- In 140 metres up this tarmac track, just before it bends right, turn left through a gate in the metal fencing to enter Dulwich Wood. Go gently uphill in a north easterly direction and in 280 metres, where it levels out at a five-way path junction, bear right along the second right minor path (95º initially). Follow this meandering path - ignoring all ways off - for 400 metres (now in Sydenham Hill Wood, to walk up some steps and reach the disused railway track which once carried the Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway.
- Turn left along this track (but worth a detour: the nicely graffitied boarded up entrance to the tunnel 100 metres along on the right), to follow the route of the old railway, 20º. After 270 metres - where a wooden fence blocks progress - turn left to go up some steps and turn right with the fence on your right. In 90 metres walk through a metal kissing gate and turn right over a car wide metal footbridge over the sunken railway track (Cox's Walk Footbridge). Once over the footbridge, veer left up some steps and, where the steps turn right by a bench in front of you, turn left through a metal barrier along a path between fences for 100 metres to come out into the grounds of a block of flats. (This was the site of Lordship Lane station.) Turn left to follow the tarmac path past the flats, following Green Chain Walk signs and crossing a few tarmac driveways along the way, to come out to the A205 South Circular Road in 200 metres. Turn right to cross Sydenham Hill (road) and then turn left to cross the A205 via the lights at the road junction, to enter Horniman Gardens through its south west entrance.
- Having explored Horniman Gardens and its various delights (Museum and Cafe, Conservatory, Display Garden, Sunken Garden, Medicinal Garden, Sound Garden, Sundial Trail, Succulent Beds, Bandstand, Meadows, Views), exit back through the south west entrance, cross the South Circular Road and turn right to go down it. [The first 350m of roadside walking can be avoided by retracing your route into Sydenham Hill Wood to Cox's Walk Footbridge, crossing the bridge and turning right on the other side to go down the broad venue of Cox's Walk to exit onto Dulwich Common (road). This adds 600m.] In 350 metres, at the road junction with Dulwich Common (road), and with The Grove Pub and Grill on the opposite side (currently boarded up), turn left along Dulwich Common but cross over to the other side at the lights first (where the Green Chain Walk (Cox's Walk) joins on the left through a metal gate), to go along the north side of Dulwich Common (road). After 350 metres, turn right to go through the Rosebery Gate (south eastern) entrance to Dulwich Park.
- For a recommended route through the park, consult the route map or gpx file, but generally: go in a westerly direction across the park, to emerge at the Old College (western) gate of Dulwich Park, (opposite Dulwich Picture Gallery) onto College Road, and turn right. In 100 metres you pass by a mini roundabout on your left. In the next 200 metres you find a Cafe Rouge and a Pizza Express on the left and a Gail's, Rocca (Italian restaurant) and the Crown and Greyhound pub (currently shut for a lengthy refurbishment) on your right.
- Route back to West Dulwich station: Retrace your steps to the mini roundabout and fork right along Gallery Road (passing by Dulwich Picture Gallery on your left hand side). 400 metres from the roundabout you reach a low wooden gate (the entrance to Belair Park) on your right.
- An amble through Belair Park is recommended (for a suggested route see the route map or gpx file). But the south westerly exit gate close to West Dulwich station shuts at dusk, so you may have to return to this point.
- Otherwise continue along the road, past the recommended tea stop Belair House for a further 250 metres to reach a T-junction with the South Circular Road. Turn right for 180 metres to reach West Dulwich station on your left-hand side. London bound trains depart from the far platform.