Sunlight on Coulsdon Common

11-Dec-04 • Peter Conway on Flickr

swcwalks book2 walk15

Book 2, Walk 15b, Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

The Route. Opposite where the recently demolished Rose & Crown stood. D.Allen Vivitar 5199mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

south coulsdon book2 walk15 riddlesdown swcwalks walk15b


14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy


14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy


14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy


14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy


14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South walk

Happy Valley and Farthing Down, close to London (Zone 6)


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sat, 02-Jun-18 4

Riddlesdown to Kingswood

CW2 15c - Riddlesdown to Kingswood*
Length: 15km (9.3 miles)
Toughness 4/10.
Catch the 10:21 train from London Victoria, arrives Riddlesdown 10:48

*Requires download 15c Alternative walk directions for a Riddlesdown to Kingswood walk. Travel: All within Zone 6. T=2.15
4 walkers, although we did see another couple with the SWC directions so we are not sure if they did the same walk. The weather was warm and sunny all day. Summer is a good time of year to do this walk with it's mix of shady woodland and open fields and valleys. There were masses of buttercups and other wild flowers in the meadows and crops in the fields. We saw wild orchids, water lillies in full bloom and butterflies. The Fox on Coulsdon Common was not busy and easily accommodated us. In the afternoon, we rested briefly on a sunny hillside overlooking a sweeping valley by Noke Farm, surrounded by sheep and lambs. Later, strolling through the golf course we made way for a Bride and Groom riding across the golf course in a golf buggy, presumably to their reception in the club house and we congratulated them as they went by. The Kingswood Arms at the end of the walk usually makes a nice tea stop, but today it was heaving with people (we think from the Derby races) and had a sign outside saying they were serving "regular customers only". As we didn't think we could get away with looking like we were dressed for the races we headed straight to the station. We had at least passed a small shop selling drinks and ice creams earlier in the afternoon, where those who needed to, had refuelled. A nice walk, despite having to cross the M23.
Just to add, this area was all dry underfoot yesterday.
Just to add, this area was all dry underfoot yesterday.
Certainly was.

I made it a morning walk, (caught an earlier train finishing at Kingswood at about 10:30).

Mon, 01-Jan-18

New Year's Day Walk, South: Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

A late(ish) start, and a very short journey from Central London, for your opening walk of 2018.
For a walk close to London and a pub open and serving lunch on NYD, the minor inconvenience of a 10 minute bus ride at the start of your journey home is hopefully acceptable to our New Year's Day Walkers, South. However, for those averse to replacement buses, you have the option of walking the short distance at walk-end to Coulsdon Town railway station for a twice an hour train service back to London (see below).

Book 2, Walk 15 - Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South (with afternoon short cut)

Length: 12.5 km (7.8 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

London Victoria: 10-23 hrs (East Grinstead service) Clapham Junction: 10-29; East Croydon: 10-40 hrs
Arrive Riddlesdown: 10-47 hrs

Return: Coulsdon South: a 10 minute bus ride to Purley for a fast train service back to Victoria, via East Croydon and Clapham Junction, with buses leaving Coulsdon South every half hour at xx-28 and xx-58.

Alternatively, a short walk up Coulsdon High Street would bring you to Coulsdon Town station, with direct services to London Bridge via East Croydon at xx-03 and xx-33. Change at East Croydon for Victoria.

Rail ticket: all these stations are within TfL Zone 6.

For a walk on the outskirts of the London Borough Croydon, today's outing is surprisingly pleasant and almost rural as it passes through unspoilt countryside and ancient grazing lands and commons, with some lovely views both in the morning and in the afternoon.

Being New Year's Day I suggest you toast in the New Year with bubbly from one of the morning viewing points. I leave it to you to bring along the medicine and nibbles.

Your pub lunch stop is The Fox, Coulsdon Common, Caterham. Now please read the next bit very carefully as I will write zis only 'vonce. I have reserved a table for 10 for 1 pm (which should leave you plenty of time to enjoy your mid-morning bubbly and get to the pub in time). Please 'phone ahead to confirm your actual numbers - the pub is aware the number booked may vary, and although they anticipate being very busy they will do their best to accommodate more of you, should that be the case. I will not be with you, as I am on the NYD Walk West, so I am relying on one of you NYD South walkers to contact the pub: tel: 01883-340737. If for some reason travel disruption prevents the walk taking place, would one of you please 'phone the pub to cancel the booking.

After lunch I suggest you take the short cut to Chaldon, stopping at Chaldon Church to look at its historic murals. Then you head for Farthing Down for a lovely, long descent to Coulsdon South. Facilities are a bit sparse here, but please read the Directions for suggested refreshment places. The short bus journey at the start of your journey home should not be too big a hassle.

For those wanting a longer walk, you have the option of doing the full Walk 15 of 16.8 km (10.4 miles).
Walk Directions are here: L=2.15
If want to get to Coulsdon Town Station for a real train: From the end of the Downs continue on Marlpit Lane, ignore Reddown Rd on your left (that leads to Coulsdon South Stn) and continue under the rail and road bridges to the big roundabout where you turn right on to the Brighton Rd for the center of Coulsdon. Take the right fork at the next lights then stay on the Main Road passing The Art Cafe on your right and Cafe Nero on the left. Then just by Pizza Express turn up Leaden Hill To Coulsdon Town. You will need to go over the foot bridge for trains to London
Mon, 11-Dec-17 2

Evening walk - Riddlesdown to Coulsdon

CW2 15* - Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Length: 9.9km (6.2 miles)

Catch the 18:23 train from London Victoria, arrives Riddlesdown 18:51.

Will stop for a drink / meal at the Fox PH, Coulsdon, to then walk onto Coulsdon South station (taking the reverse 3.7km route for the Coulsdon South start). Alternatively you can catch the 466 bus to East Croydon station.

* Standard Riddlesdown to Fox route, followed by the reverse of the Coulsdon South to Fox PH morning route

Intend going.
silly question about the timings won't it be pitch black at that time?
won't it be pitch black at that time?

Not really. It is advisable to bring a torch for when walking through wooded areas; but by and large even with heavy cloud cover on the ground visibilty is not too bad.

Want to make the most of these dark evenings while they last...
Just 2 set off from a cold and frosty platform under a starry evening for an atmospheric journey through a pleasant greenbelt just south of London dabbled with a thin layer of crunchy snow. Route finding went smoothly with good ambient light and we encountered only three slightly treacherous icy patches one being the pub car park! At the pub, our numbers suddenly doubled (during the duration of the pub visit) as the SWC pub patrol was out in full force...
Sun, 19-Nov-17

Sunday Walk Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South Book 2, walk 15
16.8 km. 10.4 miles or, with shortcut, 7.8 miles 12.5km.
Difficulty 4/10
This walk, all within travelcard zone 6, goes through some of the finest preserved commons in the green belt, including Happy Valley and Farthing Down. You also get to marvel at one of England's oldest - and possibly biggest - wall paintings in Chaldon Church. Find out what happens if you're not good.
Now the sun sets earlier you may prefer to take the shortcut (option a), soon after the pub.
09:52 East Grinstead train from London Bridge (E Croydon 10:10) arriving Riddlesdown 10:17
Trains back: xx:21 & xx:46 from Coulsdon South to London Bridge
Get a Tfl Zones 1-6 travelcard.
Lunch The Fox, Coulsdon Common 01883 330 401- Busy, efficient and "oozing rustic charm and rural character" says their website. There's a possible earlier stop at Wattenden - the Wattenden Arms, open from 12.
Tea: There is a Caffe Nero, 5 mins north of the station at 132 Brighton Road, open until 5pm on Sundays. Additionally, the walk notes give directions to a pub. There's also a drinks machine in the station's cab office.
Walk Directions: here.
A reminder to any old timers still using early editions of Book 2 that the Riddlesdown start is given as option b of what was then the Coulsdon South Circular. Get with it, Daddio!
Sat, 25-Feb-17

Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South


Length: 16km (10m)
Toughness: 4/10
Transport: Take the 9:53 from London Victoria, arriving in Riddlesdown at 10:18. There are many trains back to London from Coulsdon South

From the description:

Considering that it starts in the suburbs of London (and within the boundaries of London Transport Travelcard zone six), this walk passes through some remarkably unspoilt countryside. Farthing Down, Kenley Common, Riddlesdown and Coulsdon Commons are all ancient grazing lands, lovingly preserved as part of the London Greenbelt, and offering a delightful series of woods and open spaces.

On page 3 paragraph 2 'In 250m at a T junction with a road turn right' on Hayes Lane again (although not stated). This has always been a nasty section of the LOOP with 100m on a busy road with no pavement but can easily be avoided.
At the T junction there is a red postbox opposite and to its immediate right a path. Take this path into woodland, 7m later turn left and in another 20m turn right. Ignore a path on the right in another 10m and continue on a very twisty woodland path for 200m. At a path T junction with a garden fence and 3 fingered signpost visible 20m to the left, turn left and then at the fence turn right and in 10m follow the fence round to the left leading to a field in 40m. In the field turn left on a faint grass path which soon forks. Left goes to the Wattenden pub, while the right fork leads to a stile and earthen steps down with the turning to 'The Haven' 5m to the right.
A little shorter and a lot safer

that's all good stuff, but any ideas on walk numbers, weather, incidents, pubs etc.?
Wed, 11-May-16 4

Mid-week Day Walk Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

Riddlesdown to Couldson South

Kenley Common, Happy Valley and Farthing Down

Book 2 Walk 15

Length : 17 km or 10½ miles

Toughness : 4 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 10:23 am train from London Victoria to Riddlesdown
Calling Stations:

  • Clapham Junction: Departs 10:28 am
  • East Croydon: Departs 10:41 am

Meeting point : Riddlesdown Station at 10:48 am

Tickets : If you're fortunate enough to be less that 60 years old and live in London, then a suitable Oyster/Travelcard (covering zone 6 and the zones you will pass through) will do the trick.
I'd suggest that those who will be starting outside the "Great Wen" travel zones should seek advice from their local ticket office for the best tickets to buy.
The rest of you may of course, use your Freedom/Boris passes

Brief Description

With the weather predicted to be warm, but possibly rainy, I've posted this weeks walk fairly near to London with hopefully not too much mud en route.
Lunch is at the Fox where you may drop out and catch a 466 bus to East Croydon.
You can also shorten the afternoon section of the walk by about 4½ km if the rain is heavy.
You may find full details of this walk here and a downloadable PDF here

Art Rebellion may be found by ignoring the signed left turn to Coulsdon South Station and continuing along Marlpit lane on the right-hand pavement to the flyover passing the under the road and railway to reach a roundabout. Here, continue in the same direction and after about 100 metres, bear right into Brighton Road. Art Rebellion may be found on the right in approximately a further 100 metres.
The Poppy Café opening times can be a little unpredictable, but it overlooks the peaceful Coulsdon Memorial Ground and has outdoor seating.

Suggested Lunch stop

The Fox, Coulsdon Common CR3 5QS t: 01883 330401

Suggested Tea stops

Art Rebellion 171 Brighton Road Coulsdon CR5 2NH t: 020 8668 0007
Poppy Café Coulsdon Memorial Ground, Marlpit Lane, Coulsdon, CR5 2HE t: 01737 669496


OS Explorer : 146 and a tiny bit of 161

Return train times

Oodles of Thameslink and Southern trains return from Coulsdon South to London Bridge and St. Pancras.
Victorians will need to change at East Croydon. If you yen for further walking at Victoria Station, you may catch the 18:45 train to Sydenham Hill (platform 3 at the time of writing) there for the midweek evening walk.

On this day in 1997 "The Deep Blue" defeated Garry Kasparov to win a six-game chess match

Four people got off the train and at least two of us finished, and got wet in a post lunch downpour.
4 wet
Sat, 06-Feb-16 12

Saturday First Walk - Downland on London's southern margins

Book 2 walk 15c - Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Length: 15km (9.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.53 train from Victoria (9.59 Clapham Junction, 10.10 East Croydon) to Riddlesdown, arriving 10.18.

Trains back from Kingswood are at 25 and 55 past.

** Both stations are in zone 6: use Oyster

Walk directions: use the book or these online directions as far as lunch, then these directions for the afternoon route to Kingswood

The other walk posters seem to be plotting to send you thither and yon today, so here is a walk close to home for those of you feeling a bit less adventurous. (I realise a variant of this was posted just before Christmas, but it was a wet Sunday and only four turned up.)

To many of you it will need no introduction, but those who don't know it will be delighted to discover such unspoilt and lovely countryside right on London's southern doorsteps - downland for the most part, some woods, and just a couple of tiny bits of suburbia.

Lunch is at the capacious Fox. This pub always seems to be very busy but we generally manage to squeeze in somehow. Ringing at the start of the walk to try and book a table may be an idea, but I would suggest doing this in smaller groups rather than trying to get a table for 15 or whatever, which may spook them. I have timetabled this walk to get you to the pub comfortably at or shortly after midday, hopefully, which should give you a much better chance of getting a table and getting served promptly. An earlier option is the Wattenden Arms just after Kenley Common, but you will get to that too early (it serves food from noon).

Those with busy schedules might like to note that two LT bus routes link the Fox with Coulson South and Croydon stations.

After lunch, the alternative route to Kingswood is highly recommended: make sure you have printed out the special directions for this in addition to the main walk directions. There is a pub at Kingswood for tea.

However, if you want you can just do the main walk 15 afternoon to Coulsdon South - there is a longer version or a short cut option. Trains back from Coulsdon South are at 16, 26 and 56 past. See feedback for this walk for details of a cafe near the station.
Forgot to count. About 12 overcast windy dry Fair bit of mud. Most finished at Kingswood, 1 at Coulsdon South. Fox OK.
Sun, 20-Dec-15 4

Sunday walk 1 - Only just south: London's southern commons

Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Book 2, walk 15
with shortcut, 7.8 miles 12.5km.
Difficulty 4/10
This walk, all within travelcard zone 6, goes through some of the finest preserved commons in the green belt, including Happy Valley and Farthing Down. All being well, you also get to marvel at one of England's oldest - and possibly biggest - wall paintings in Chaldon Church .
The full walk is 10.4 miles but the 7.8 mile version is recommended, given the limited hours of daylight. This involves taking the shortcut (option a) in the afternoon.
09:53 East Grinstead train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 09:59 E Croydon 10:10) arr Riddlesdown 10:17
Trains back: xx:21 & xx:52 from Coulsdon South to Victoria.
A zones 1-6 travelcard is probably your best bet.
"Have some picnic items in reserve" Lunch The Fox, Coulsdon Common 01883 330 401- Busy, efficient and "oozing rustic charm and rural character" according to their website. Phoning advised. There's a possible earlier stop at the Wattenden Arms, though it opens at 12 and you may be too early. With Xmas being so close, pubs could be busy today. You might want to have a few picnic items in reserve. Just saying.
Tea: There is a Caffe Nero, 5 mins north of the station at 132 Brighton Road, open until 5pm on Sundays. Additionally, the walk notes give directions to a pub.
The Poppy Café in the Memorial Gardens (across the road from Reddown Road) is open till 4.
If thats all too much, there's an elf-service drinks machine in the station's cab office (note xmas joke).
Walk Directions: Book 2 or from here.
( n.b. in earlier editions of Book 2, the Riddlesdown start is given as option b of what was then the Coulsdon South Circular.)
According to a Facebook report 4 on this walk which was shortened by the participants because of rain.
Wed, 11-Mar-15 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Sun, 18-Jan-15 4 Coulsdon Circular
Sun, 26-Oct-14 7 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Sun, 17-Aug-14 0 Coulsdon Circular
Sat, 04-Jan-14 7 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Sun, 24-Nov-13 6 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon, with short cut
Sun, 03-Mar-13 13 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Sat, 05-Jan-13 20 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon, with short cut
Wed, 02-Jan-13 Caterham to Kingswood
Sun, 25-Nov-12 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon, with short cut
Sun, 27-May-12 Coulsdon Circular
Sun, 18-Mar-12 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Sun, 23-Oct-11 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Wed, 01-Dec-10 Coulsdon to Kingswood
Sat, 20-Nov-10 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Sun, 10-Oct-10 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon
Sat, 02-Jan-10 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Sat, 07-Nov-09 Coulsdon Circular
Sat, 31-Jan-09 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Wed, 17-Dec-08 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Wed, 16-Jan-08 Riddlesdown to Kingswood
Sat, 15-Dec-07 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Sun, 28-Oct-07 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Wed, 15-Aug-07 Coulsdon Circular
Sat, 14-Apr-07 Coulsdon Circular
Sun, 14-Jan-07 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Wed, 03-Jan-07 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Wed, 15-Nov-06 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South
Sat, 11-Nov-06 Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South