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Wood anemones, Selsdon Wood

04-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Kings Wood

02-May-09 • Sean O'Neill

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St Mary the Virgin Church, Farleigh

23-Mar-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Wood sorrel (violet flowers), Ledgers Wood

21-Apr-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Frith Wood

Just off the walk route on the Whyteleafe to Woldingham walk

04-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Copper beech leaves, Selsdon Wood

05-May-16 • Sean O'Neill

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Riddlesdown goats

Whyteleaf Circular

16-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Whyteleafe to Woldingham walk

Bluebell woods, fields, valleys and nature reserves on the London/Surrey border.

Whyteleafe to Woldingham
Length

Main Walk: 15¾ km (9.7 miles). Three hours 50 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 7 hours.

Long Walk, with Selsdon Wood loop: 19¼ km (11.9 miles). Four hours 45 minutes walking time.

Short Walk, omitting Greatpark loop: 13 km (8.1 miles). Three hours 15 minutes walking time.

OS Maps

Explorer 146 & 161. Whyteleafe, map reference TQ338585, is on the London/Surrey border, 8 km S of Croydon. Woldingham is in Surrey.

Toughness

4 out of 10 (5 for the Long Walk, 3 for the Short Walk).

Features

Although only a few miles from Croydon and well inside the M25, this part of London's border with Surrey feels anything but urban. Away from the main roads you are soon in woods, fields and isolated valleys which escaped the post-war expansion of south London's suburbs. Now part of the Green Belt, the area is protected from large-scale development and remains a rural haven.

The walk starts with a climb to enjoy the view from the top of Riddlesdown and continues through the full length of Kings Wood, which is carpeted with bluebells in spring. After crossing an isolated valley there is an optional excursion through Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve, which has particularly good displays of wood anemones in early spring. The walk then passes an isolated 11thC church and more bluebell woods on its way through the hamlets of Farleigh and Chelsham Common, with a choice of lunch pubs. The relatively short afternoon section ends with a gentle descent down the side of Halliloo valley to Woldingham station.

Walk Options

As noted above, the Long Walk extends the morning section of the walk with an excursion through Selsdon Wood, adding up to 3½ km. Conversely, the Short Walk takes a more direct route in the middle section of the walk, cutting out some of the woodland stretches.

As you might expect for a walk near the London boundary, there are several places where you could cut the walk short by catching a bus (see Transport below).

Additional Notes

Earlier versions of this walk featured a loop out to another nature reserve at Hutchinson's Bank (where access is now more restricted) and a longer afternoon through Woldingham Garden Village, which was not well suited to the rather early closing time of the only tea place near Woldingham station (especially in winter and on Sundays). However, the historically interesting section along Madeira Walk to the Garden Village has been incorporated into the Woldingham Circular via Titsey Place walk (#244).

Transport

The most convenient starting point for this walk is the curiously-named Upper Warlingham station, which is close to Whyteleafe station in the valley below Warlingham. Upper Warlingham has a fast half-hourly service from Victoria, taking 31 minutes; Whyteleafe (on a different line) has more frequent but slower suburban trains from London Bridge.

Whyteleafe's stations are at the outer edge of TfL Zone 6, but Oyster and the London Freedom Pass are not valid at Woldingham. You could use a Travelcard and get a single from Woldingham to Upper Warlingham on the way back, or simply buy a return to Woldingham (which is valid to both Upper Warlingham and Whyteleafe).

If driving, the station car park at Upper Warlingham costs £6.60 Mon–Sat, £2.25 Sun & BH (2019). Whyteleafe is the same except cheaper on Saturdays (£3.70). These two stations are popular with commuters and you might not be able to find a parking space during the week.

There are two useful bus routes in the area. Travelcards and Oyster PAYG can be used on London bus 403, which runs every 12-20 minutes from the Sainsbury's on Limpsfield Road through Warlingham and Hamsey Green to Croydon; but not on Southdown 409, which runs hourly (Mon–Sat) from Selsdon via Old Farleigh Road and Chelsham (near both lunch places) down to the stations in Whyteleafe.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 09:50 from Victoria to Upper Warlingham (or 09:20 for the Long Walk).

Train Times

Timetables

Lunch

There are two possible lunch pubs on the longer walk options. The first is the Harrow Inn (01883-627565) on Great Farleigh Green, after 9 km on the Main Walk and (depending on the route taken in Selsdon Wood) up to 12½ km on the Long Walk. Part of the Vintage Inns chain, this is a large and popular pub with a wide range of food options and plenty of outdoor seating, but is on a fairly busy main road.

The second place (and the only option on the Short Walk) is the Bull Inn (01883-627735) on Chelsham Common, which serves typical pub food and has a beer garden overlooking the common. However, it is less than 4 km from the end of the walk.

Tea

The only available tea place is The Dene (01883-652712), “an eating place for tea lovers” in Knights Garden Centre, ten minutes before Woldingham station. This has a good selection of cakes and desserts but note that it stops serving at around 4.30pm (and at least half an hour earlier on Sundays, and daily throughout January & February).

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Dec-19

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Whyteleafe to Woldingham

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map: Whyteleafe to Woldingham Walk Map

Walk Options

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk (15¾ km)
  1. Long Walk, with Selsdon Wood loop (19¼ km)
  2. Short Walk, omitting Greatpark loop (13 km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

  1. Whyteleafe to Riddlesdown Quarry (1½ km)
  2. From either Upper Warlingham or Whyteleafe station, head for the Recreation Ground in Hillbury Road. Go to its top left-hand corner and take a path going uphill, parallel to the railway. At the top veer right and then left to go along the top of Riddlesdown Quarry.

    The most convenient station for this walk is Upper Warlingham, but Whyteleafe station is only a few minutes away.

    1. Starting from Upper Warlingham Station
    2. Go up the steps in the middle of the platform and turn right on the footbridge to come out onto Westhall Road. Turn left, go down to the bottom of the hill and turn right into Hillbury Road. In 80m turn left into Whyteleafe Recreation Ground.

    3. Starting from Whyteleafe Station
    4. Leave the station by a path at the front of the platform and turn sharp left. Go across the roundabout on the A22 (there is a pedestrian crossing off to the left), up the B270 (Hillbury Road) and under the railway bridge. In 100m turn left into Whyteleafe Recreation Ground.

    Go through the small car park, past some public toilets and keep ahead on the tarmac path. In the centre of the Recreation Ground, fork left onto a path leading up to a bridge under the railway in the far corner (you can also cut across the grass to this point, of course). Just before reaching the bridge, bear right onto a grassy path heading N, parallel to the railway and climbing steadily for 500m.

    The path ends at a T-junction in front of the high metal railings guarding Riddlesdown Quarry. Your onward route is alongside the railings at the top of the quarry, so a simple route is to turn right onto the narrow footpath beside the railings, then turn left at the top onto the open space of Riddlesdown1.

    If you spot a narrow path through the belt of trees on your right just before the T-junction you could walk along a field edge parallel to the footpath for 100m, then go back through a wide gap in the trees to the top corner of the quarry.

  3. Riddlesdown Quarry to Kings Wood (2½ km)
  4. At the end of the quarry continue along the ridge in the same direction. Turn right before reaching a school to go along the edge of a large field, then through some trees. Head north-east near the edge of the common and go round a primary school to reach Limpsfield Road. Cross over and continue along residential roads to a corner of Kings Wood.

    Go all the way alongside the railings at the top of the quarry, heading NW. At the far end bear slightly left and then fork right to continue along a level grassy path in much the same direction. The path goes past a number of wooden benches and eventually reaches a hedge. Go through a gap and keep ahead on the other side. In 75m fork right and go up to the hedge on your right.

    Go through a gap and bear right across a track into a copse with school playing fields on your left. This soon comes out into the corner of a large field and you continue along its left-hand edge. At the end veer right to find a broad path into the trees ahead.

    Go down this path to emerge onto a semi-open area and continue in the same direction, past a group of young trees. Climb up the other side of the dip and keep ahead where a path merges from the woods on the right. Later there is a school playing field behind a fence on the left. At the far end turn left onto a narrow path between the playground and houses, then turn right onto the school's driveway to come out on Limpsfield Road.

    Turn left into Limpsfield Road, crossing over at the pedestrian lights. Just after the lights, turn right into Sanderstead Court Avenue. At the bottom of the slope, turn right into Lime Meadow Avenue and follow this road up and round to the left. Where it ends at the entrance to a sports ground, turn right onto a footpath leading into Kings Wood2.

  5. Kings Wood to Old Farleigh Road (2¾ km)
  6. Kings Wood Take any route through the wood to its south-eastern corner. Turn left briefly onto Kingswood Lane, joining the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP), and follow this through Mossyhill Shaw and past Elm Farm to Old Farleigh Road. Turn left and take a permissive path alongside the road to the entrance to Farleigh Court Golf Club.

    Kings Wood There is a simple grid pattern of straight, wide paths through Kings Wood and there is no need to follow these directions exactly. If you are feeling adventurous, go straight on when you enter the wood and maintain a south-easterly course (straight on at path crossings but forking left where the path splits). When you reach the long broad central path, turn right onto it.

    A straightforward route is to turn left on entering the wood and fork right in 50m. In 100m bear right onto the long broad path running SE through the centre of the wood.

    The best display of bluebells is in a (private) fenced enclosure at the far end, so the suggested approach is to stay on the main path until 125m before the exit which you can see up ahead; at this point turn left to head NE with a flimsy wire fence on your right.

    In 200m, where the path curves left to go back through the main part of the wood, veer right onto a narrow path which leads you out of the wood. Turn left onto a broad track (Kingswood Lane), heading N and joining the London Outer Orbital Path3 (LOOP).

    In 75m turn right at a partly-concealed footpath sign to go over a stile in a small gap in the hedge. Go along the edge of a large field, with a fence and some trees on your right. In the field corner go over another stile and follow a path downhill into Mossyhill Shaw.

    At the bottom of the valley the path curves round to the right, soon with Selsdon Park Hotel4 visible on the hillside away to the left. Follow the path as it winds its way up the other side of the valley, merging with a farm track from the right near the top. Continue on the enclosed path for 250m to reach Old Farleigh Road and cross this busy road carefully to the other side.

    The Harrow Inn is on this road 850m away to the right; if you want to go directly to it there are paths along the grass verge and then across Farleigh Common. If you take this short cut (saving 1½ km on the Main Walk), resume the directions at [•] in §8a.

    Turn left onto the grass verge and continue on a permissive horse ride between fences, shielded from the road by a tall hedge. The path leads to the entrance to Farleigh Court Golf Club, with a signposted footpath off to the right alongside its access road, and a bridleway straight ahead.

    If you are doing the Long Walk, go to §6.

  7. Old Farleigh Road to Farleigh Church (1¼ km)
  8. Turn right onto a footpath, leaving the LOOP and joining the Vanguard Way (VGW). Follow it alongside the golf club's access road, through a wood and round to the right. At the end turn left onto Farleigh Court Road, then in 150m turn right into Church Road.

    Turn right onto the footpath, leaving the LOOP but with a VGW waymarker confirming that you have joined the Vanguard Way5. This narrow path can be muddy and you might find it easier to walk along the adjacent grass verge for 150m. Where the golf club's access road swings left, however, bear right to follow the footpath through a wood, gently downhill across a dip and back up the other side.

    On leaving the wood the path swings round to the right, parallel to another roadway on the left and with distant views back to the London skyline. At the end the path goes through a belt of trees and comes out onto a lane (Farleigh Court Road).

    Turn left onto this quiet lane, then in 150m turn right into Church Road. Follow this cul-de-sac past stables and cottages into a parking area for the attractive small church of St Mary the Virgin6 (which is usually locked).

    If you are doing the Main Walk, go to §8.

  9. Farleigh Church to Chelsham Common direct (1¼ km)
  10. Continue on the VGW, past Farleigh church and alongside Greatpark Wood and the Greatpark estate. Go across Ledgers Wood onto a short cul-de-sac leading to the Bull Inn on Chelsham Common.

    Ignore a wooden kissing gate in the near right-hand corner of the parking area and bear slightly right to the far corner. Continue on a fenced bridleway heading SSW, with a large field on your right. In 100m there is a wooden kissing gate into the field.

    Ignore the kissing gate and stay on the bridleway, going gently downhill alongside Greatpark Wood. At the bottom of the slope the bridleway merges with some woodland paths from the left and comes to a major path junction with a five-way footpath signpost. Turn left past wooden barriers onto an enclosed path heading SE.

    In 150m the path goes under a low brick bridge (the old access road to the Greatpark estate on your left). It bends right and left and eventually comes out past more barriers onto the new access road.

    Turn right and go along the road for 60m. Just before reaching a crossroads, veer left by a bus stop onto a short path cutting off the corner. Go straight across Ledgers Road onto a private road going past some cottages. This short cul-de-sac leads into the car park for the Bull Inn, the suggested lunch stop on the Short Walk.

    Continue the directions at §10.

  11. Old Farleigh Road to Selsdon Wood (exit) (2½ or 1¼ or 1 km)
  12. Selsdon Wood Go past the entrance to the golf club onto a bridleway (Baker Boy Lane), joining the Vanguard Way (VGW). This comes to a fork at the entrance to Puplet Wood. The main route takes a mazy route through the northern part of Selsdon Wood round to its eastern corner, but for variety you could take a shorter route through Puplet Wood or simply stay on Baker Boy Lane.

    For the Long Walk go straight across the golf club's access road onto the signposted public bridleway, joining the Vanguard Way5 (VGW). In 200m this tree-lined path (known as Baker Boy Lane) bends right and starts to go gently downhill. In a further 100m you come to a fork at the entrance to Puplet Wood.

    There is a choice of routes for the rest of this section. The main route through the northern part of Selsdon Wood (ahead on your left) has extensive patches of wood anemones in early spring and there are also good displays of bluebells. The alternative route through Puplet Wood (also good for bluebells) is best done in dry conditions since the bridleway through it can be muddy. The simplest route is to remain on the bridleway running between the two woods.

    1. Main route, via Selsdon Wood (up to 2½ km)
    2. Fork left to stay on the waymarked routes, going gently downhill. In 250m you come to a path crossing with a tall wooden kissing gate across a dip on your left. Turn left and go through this gate into Selsdon Wood7, leaving the VGW and LOOP.

      Selsdon Wood Selsdon Wood is a pleasant place to explore and you could devise your own route from the map. You need to leave the wood at its easternmost corner, just over 500m away at the bottom of the hill; any path going downhill in roughly the right direction leads to this exit. On the mazy route described below you can sometimes confirm your position at junctions by looking for the path names on wooden plaques high up in the trees.

      1. Inside the wood turn left and follow a path near the edge of the wood, ignoring a path on the right (Middle Gorse) after 125m. At the next path junction 25m later, turn right into West Gorse.
      2. In 150m there is a cairn and a small pond behind a fence on your right (Linden Glade). Veer right at the path junction here and then immediately turn left into Smith Grove.
      3. In 125m turn right at a path crossing (into Bluebell Grove) and follow this for 250m, ignoring ways off. At the end turn left onto a broad path (Leafy Grove).
      4. In 100m turn half-right at a major path junction (with an open field visible on your left) into Court Wood Grove.
      5. In 125m you come to a path crossing with Beech Grove. You could turn right here, but the following circuit has the best display of wood anemones: keep ahead on Court Wood Grove, then make three left turns (into Addington Border, Avis Grove and Beech Grove) to return to this junction and go straight across.
      6. From this junction follow Beech Grove for 125m to another path crossing and turn left (into Langford's Way).
      7. Go downhill on Langford's Way for 200m to the exit, merging with other paths along the way.

      Leave the wood through a gate and go straight across Baker Boy Lane onto a signposted public bridleway.

    3. Alternative route, via Puplet Wood (1¼ km)
    4. Fork right, leaving the waymarked routes. Follow the bridleway near the right-hand edge of the wood; as you go further into the wood you may have to skirt around some increasingly muddy stretches. In 750m the path curves sharply round to the left and you briefly head back in the opposite direction before forking right at a path junction. This takes you back down to Baker Boy Lane where you turn right for the final 250m.

      Just before the bridleway leads into a residential street turn right onto a signposted public bridleway, leaving the VGW and LOOP which turn left into Selsdon Wood.

    5. Direct route, on Baker Boy Lane (1 km)
    6. Ignore this gate into Selsdon Wood and carry on downhill for a further 500m.
  13. Selsdon Wood to Farleigh Church (2¼ km)
  14. Take the bridleway heading east from the corner of Selsdon Wood, later going around (or just inside) Frith Wood. Turn right and head south on an enclosed bridleway through the golf course. Go across Farleigh Court Road onto Church Road opposite.

    Head E on the chalky bridleway leading away from Selsdon Wood, with the golf course behind a hedge on your right. You are soon climbing up the side of a valley; as the path curves to the right at the top, ignore a narrow path leading into Frith Wood on your left.

    As in the previous section, the simplest continuation (and the suggested route this time) is to continue along the bridleway just outside the wood, but in a further 200m there are one or two gaps which would let you switch to an alternative path just inside the wood.

    After heading S for 350m the bridleway turns left at the corner of the wood and now continues just inside it, heading E. In a further 350m you come to a T-junction with another bridleway where you turn right; the alternative woodland path mentioned above meets this bridleway just off to the left.

    You now simply follow this enclosed bridleway S for just over 1 km, with the golf course on both sides. At the end go straight across a lane (Farleigh Court Road) to continue on Church Road opposite.

  15. Farleigh Church to Greatpark (1½ or ½ km)
  16. Continue along a bridleway; if you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can go straight down to a major path junction at the corner of the Greatpark estate. For the main route turn right at the corner of Greatpark Wood, cross a field and go through Littlepark Wood to the Harrow Inn. Take a bridleway along the southern edge of the wood to the Greatpark estate.

    If you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can take the short cut in §8b.

    1. Main route (1½ km)
    2. Go through the kissing gate and follow a grassy path towards the midpoint of a wood on the far side of the field, 300m away. Follow the path into Littlepark Wood and keep ahead at a crosspaths. The path bends left and in 125m comes to a five-way path junction.

      Go across a bridleway and take either of the two paths opposite: the left fork with the yellow waymarker is the continuation of the footpath, but the right fork is slightly more direct. Both paths come to a T-junction in front of a high garden fence, where you turn right. Follow this surfaced bridleway out to Old Farleigh Road, with the Harrow Inn directly opposite.

      [•] After visiting the pub return the same way on the bridleway to the left of Harrow Road, alongside the garden fences. Ignore paths on the left into Littlepark Wood to reach a small clearing after 300m. Go straight across this (slightly to the left) to continue on the bridleway, heading E and passing a white-painted Coal Tax Post8 on the left.

      In a further 200m you come to a set of path junctions: the short cut (omitting Greatpark) is along the enclosed path off to the right at a five-way footpath signpost, while the full walk is the waymarked public footpath forking right a few metres further on.

    3. Short cut (½ km)
    4. comes to a set of path junctions: the full walk continues along the second of two paths off to the left (with a yellow footpath waymarker on a wooden barrier) just before reaching a five-way footpath signpost.
  17. Greatpark to Chelsham Common (2½ or ¾ km)
  18. Unless you want to head directly along the VGW to Chelsham Common, take the footpath heading north-east alongside the grounds of the Greatpark estate and then through woodland. At the top of Greatpark Wood turn right onto a footpath going back down the other side of the estate. Halfway along turn left into Ledgers Wood and go through this to Church Lane. Turn right, then right again into Ledgers Road. Veer left onto a path going past a pond onto Chelsham Common.

    You can skip the loop around the Greatpark estate by taking the short cut in §9b.

    1. Main route (2½ km)
    2. For the full walk, take the waymarked public footpath heading E along the edge of Greatpark Wood, with a high fence on the right. The path soon turns half-left to head NE and the large Greatpark estate comes into view on the right. Opposite its prominent clocktower you pass some black metal gates with a plaque9.

      At the end of the grounds continue in the same direction; the woodland behind the wire fence on your right is part of the private estate. Keep right at path junctions to stay close to this boundary fence. As you approach the edge of the wood (with a field off to your left) go past a redundant stile and follow the path out to a T-junction in front of a hedge.

      Turn right at the path junction, still alongside the estate wood. At the end of the triangular field on your left another footpath merges from the left and the path continues along the other side of the Greatpark estate, in the shadow of tall conifers in the private Holt Wood.

      In 200m, after going past a row of metal pipes blocking vehicle access, immediately veer left through an unmarked gap in the tall laurel hedge. Follow a grassy path along the other side of the hedge for 50m, then fork left past a noticeboard into Ledgers Wood10.

      Follow the main path as it bends left and goes around the perimeter of this open-access wood. You will soon see a dilapidated wire fence marking the boundary with Holt Wood on your left; later the path swings round to the right to head SW, with a public footpath and a field behind a fence on the left. The path eventually comes to a T-junction where you turn left onto a path leading out of the wood.

      Go past a block of garages and down a short driveway. At the end turn right onto a minor road (Church Lane), then right again at a crossroads onto Ledgers Road. After passing a few houses on the right veer left onto a path going past a pond in a lightly wooded area. The route continues ahead across Chelsham Common, but the car park for the Bull Inn is at the end of the tall hedge on the right if you want to break for refreshment.

    3. Short cut (¾ km)
    4. Go past wooden barriers onto the enclosed path heading SE from the five-way signpost, following the VGW.

      the alternative lunch stop.

  19. Chelsham Common to Woldingham Dene (3 km)
  20. Go to the south-western corner of the common and continue briefly on Chelsham Road. Turn left onto a bridleway going through a wood, past Chelsham Place Farm and across Limpsfield Road into High Lane. Turn right to go downhill on Plantation Lane, above a golf course in Halliloo valley. Follow the bridleway round to the left past the clubhouse, then turn right onto a horse ride running alongside Haliloo Valley Road. Turn left into Park Ley Road and go down a track to continue on Woldingham Road. For the Dene Coffee Shop, turn left into the driveway to Woldingham Dene.

    From the vicinity of the pub's car park take one of the broad grassy paths heading SW across the triangular common towards a point where two roads meet, 125m away. Continue in the same direction along Chelsham Road, then in 100m turn left onto a bridleway into a wood, signposted as Cycle Route 21. After passing Cherry Tree Cottage fork right to stay on the bridleway, ignoring a footpath off to the left.

    If you detour onto one of the permissive paths through the open-access woodland on your right, keep left at the far end to return to the bridleway.

    After leaving the wood the bridleway goes alongside Greenlawn Memorial Park and later passes Chelsham Place Farm before reaching Limpsfield Road. Cross this main road carefully and continue on High Lane opposite, following it round to the left and gently downhill. 200m from the main road, turn right into Plantation Lane. This bridleway descends gently, with views of the golf course in Halliloo valley through the hedge on your left.

    In 800m the path curves to the left and begins to descend more steeply. Ignore a stile on the left and a couple of footpaths on the right and continue downhill past the clubhouse and out towards Halliloo Valley Road. Just before reaching it, turn right onto a horse ride running parallel to it. In 300m veer left through a gap in the hedge and cross this busy road with great care into Park Ley Road opposite (not the bridleway going uphill to its left).

    In 30m bear right downhill on a track, following the CR 21 sign. This comes out onto Woldingham Road, where you turn left. In 150m the entrance to Woldingham Dene is on your left.

    If you are not visiting the tearoom, continue the directions at [•] in the next section.

    To visit the Dene Coffee Shop, turn left into the driveway and follow it round a curve to the left. The tearoom is in the conservatory of the house at the end of the drive.

  21. Woldingham Dene to Woldingham Station (¾ km)
  22. Return to Woldingham Road and continue along it to the station.

    From the tearoom you can either retrace your steps along the driveway, or follow a sign to the garden centre through a pergola and leave through its main building (an alternative gate letting you exit through its car park is usually locked). Either way, turn left when you reach the road.

    [•] Head S along Woldingham Road. Shortly after the main entrance to Knights Garden Centre you pass Long Hill on the left. In a further 300m, where the road turns sharply left uphill, the entrance to Woldingham station is on the other side of the road. Go through its car park to the station building and cross the footbridge to Platform 1 for trains to London.

Walk Notes
  1. Riddlesdown is one of several open spaces in this area managed by the Corporation of London, which maintains some unusual livestock. Their distinctive goats can sometimes be seen walking precariously along the top of the disused Riddlesdown Quarry.
  2. Kings Wood (sometimes spelt Kings' or King's) is managed by Croydon Council. It is carpeted with bluebells in spring.
  3. The London Outer Orbital Path – the ‘M25 for walkers’ – runs for 240 km around Outer London, from Erith in Kent to Purfleet in Essex.
  4. In the late 1960s the Conservative Party held conferences at the Selsdon Park Hotel to decide its economic policy. The Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, derided Edward Heath as ‘Selsdon Man’ but the Conservative leader had the last laugh, winning the 1970 general election.
  5. The Vanguard Way runs for 105 km “from the suburbs to the sea”, from Croydon in south London to Newhaven in East Sussex.
  6. St Mary the Virgin, Farleigh is a simple little church with an open bell turret. It dates from the late 11thC, with the porch being added in the 16thC.
  7. Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve is managed by Croydon Council on behalf of the National Trust.
  8. A levy on coal was brought in to help pay for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. It was originally collected in the Port of London, but with the growth of road and rail transport, these cast iron Coal Tax Posts were erected in the 1860s to mark the taxation boundary.
  9. The plaque records that the Greatpark estate was built on the site of Warlingham Park Hospital (formerly Croydon Mental Hospital), which closed in 1999. It was a pioneering centre for psychosurgery, the now discredited treatment of mental disorder by the destruction of brain tissue.
  10. Ledgers Wood is managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust. It has a fine display of bluebells and other spring flowers, including some rare wood sorrel with violet flowers.

» Last updated: December 17, 2019

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© Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml