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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

Frith Wood, just off the walk route

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

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: 19 km (11.8 miles). Four hours 40 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours.

Short Walk, omitting Selsdon Wood: 14¼ km (8.9 miles). Three hours 30 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 (3 for the Short Walk).

Features

Although only a few miles from Croydon and well inside the M25, this part of the London and Surrey border feels anything but urban. Away from the main roads you are soon in woods, fields and isolated valleys which were spared 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 the full walk continues with an optional excursion through Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve, another fine location for bluebells, wood anemones and other spring flowers. There are more bluebell woods around the hamlets of Farleigh and Chelsham Common and the walk ends with a gentle descent down the side of Halliloo valley to Woldingham station.

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 and through the Garden Village has been incorporated into Extra Walk 244 (Woldingham Circular, via Titsey Place).

Walk Options

The Short Walk cuts out the loop to Selsdon Wood, which although particularly attractive in spring does make for a relatively long morning. You can also choose to cut out the shorter loop around Greatpark, just before or after the lunch stop.

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

Transport

The most convenient starting point for this walk is Upper Warlingham. This station – which is actually in Whyteleafe – has a fast half-hourly service from Victoria, taking about 30 minutes. Whyteleafe station is on a nearby line with more frequent but slower trains from both Victoria and London Bridge.

All Whyteleafe's stations are in Zone 6 but Oyster cards are not valid at Woldingham, which is outside the TfL area. 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.

If driving, there are car parks at Upper Warlingham and Whyteleafe stations costing £6.10 during the week; Whyteleafe is £3.40 on Saturdays and both are £2 on Sundays and Bank Holidays (2017). 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 cards 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 Metrobus 409, which runs half-hourly (Mon–Sat) from Selsdon via Old Farleigh Road and Chelsham (near both lunch places) to Caterham, passing both Upper Warlingham and Whyteleafe stations.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 09:50 from Victoria to Upper Warlingham (or 10:20 for the Short Walk).

Train Times

Lunch

There are two possible lunch places. The first (requiring a small deviation back to Old Farleigh Road) is the Harrow Inn (01883-627565) on Great Farleigh Green, after around 11-12 km on the Main Walk (depending on the route taken) and 7½ km on the Short 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 alternative (less than 4 km from the end of the walk) is The Bull Colosseum (01883-627735); formerly the Coach House and before that the Bull Inn, this is now more of an Italian restaurant but it does have a large beer garden and is on a quiet spot overlooking Chelsham Common.

Directions are given to both places on all the walk options. If you have no preference, note that the Harrow Inn comes before the loop around Greatpark and the Bull after it. If you are planning to include this loop then stopping at the Harrow makes for a more balanced walk, but if you are going to take the short cut the Bull is not much further on and avoids going back to the main road.

Tea

The only available tea place is the Dene Coffee Shop (01883-652712) at Woldingham Dene, ten minutes before the station, which serves a good selection of cakes and desserts. It is usually open to 4.30pm but closes at 4pm on Sundays and throughout January & February.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: CR3 0AD Directions then return to your car by train:

Finish: CR3 7LT Directions then travel to the start by train:

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Help

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

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

Version

Jun-17

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 ( Main | Short )

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

  1. Main Walk (19 km)
  1. Main Walk, omitting Greatpark loop (16½ km)
  2. Short Walk, omitting Selsdon Wood (14¼ km)
  3. Short Walk, omitting Greatpark loop (12 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 Warlingham1 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 Riddlesdown2.

    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 Wood3.

  5. Kings Wood to Old Farleigh Road (2¼ 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.

    Kings Wood Kings Wood is based on a simple grid pattern of straight, wide paths, and there is no need to follow these directions exactly. If you are feeling adventurous, go straight on when you enter the wood: if you maintain a south-easterly course (straight on at path crossings but forking left where the path splits) you will eventually reach the main central path and can 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. As the best display of bluebells is in a fenced enclosure at the far end, 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, turn 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 Path4 (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 Hotel5 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.

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

  7. Old Farleigh Road to Puplet Wood (¾ km)
  8. Turn left and take a permissive path alongside the road, heading north. Go past the entrance to a golf club and continue on a bridleway (Baker Boy Lane), joining the Vanguard Way (VGW). This comes to a fork at the entrance to Puplet Wood.

    For the Main Walk turn left to head N, initially on the grass verge and soon on a track between fences, parallel to the road. At the end of this permissive path go across the entrance to Farleigh Court Golf Club to continue in the same direction on a signposted public bridleway (Baker Boy Lane), joining the Vanguard Way6 (VGW).

    This tree-lined path runs between the golf course (on your right) and a large field. In 200m the path bends right and starts to go gently downhill. In a further 100m you come to a fork at the entrance to Puplet Wood.

  9. Puplet Wood to Selsdon Wood (exit) (2¼ or 1 or ¾ km)
  10. Selsdon 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.

    There is a choice of routes for this section. The main route through the northern part of Selsdon Wood (ahead on your left) is particularly good for wood anemones in early spring; 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 2¼ km)
    2. Fork left to stay on the waymarked routes, going gently downhill. In 250m you come to a path crossing; across a dip on your left there is a tall wooden kissing gate leading into Selsdon Wood.

      Selsdon Wood Turn left and go through the gate into Selsdon Wood7, leaving the VGW and LOOP.

      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 Steven's Walk.
      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 (1 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.

      At the bottom of the hill, just before the bridleway leads out into a residential street, you come to a path junction with a three-way footpath signpost. The VGW and LOOP continue through Selsdon Wood on the left but you turn right onto a public bridleway.

    5. Direct route, on Baker Boy Lane (¾ km)
    6. Keep ahead at this path crossing and simply stay on the main bridleway for a further 500m.

  11. Selsdon Wood to Farleigh Church (2¼ km)
  12. 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 to Farleigh Court Road. Keep ahead along Church Road to reach Farleigh Church.

    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. This cul-de-sac goes past stables and cottages and leads into the parking area for the attractive small church of St Mary the Virgin8 (which is usually locked).

  13. Farleigh Church to Greatpark (1¼ or ½ km)
  14. Continue along a bridleway; if you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can go straight down to the corner of the Greatpark estate. Alternatively, 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 rejoin the other route.

    In the far corner of the parking area take the fenced bridleway heading SSW. In 100m you reach the edge of a wood, with a wooden kissing gate leading into the large field on your right.

    If you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can take the shorter route in §7b.

    1. Route via the Harrow Inn (1¼ km)
    2. Go through the kissing gate and follow a grassy path towards the midpoint of Littlepark Wood on the far side of the field, 300m away. Follow the path into the trees and keep ahead at a crosspaths just inside the wood, where the Short Walk rejoins from the right.

      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 Post9 on the left. In a further 200m you come to a path junction with a five-way footpath signpost. The short cut (omitting Greatpark) is along the surfaced path on the right here, while the full walk is the rightmost path at another junction a few metres further on.

    3. Direct route (½ km)
    4. Continue on the bridleway for 400m as it goes alongside the wood, gently downhill. At the bottom corner of the wood you come to a set of path junctions: the full walk (around Greatpark) is along the second of two paths off to the left just before you reach a five-way footpath signpost, while the short cut is the surfaced path on the left at this signpost.

    To continue the full walk, go to §10.
    If you are taking the short cut (heading directly to the second lunch pub), go to §11.

  15. Old Farleigh Road to Littlepark Wood (1 km)
  16. Turn right and take a footpath past cottages and across a field to Farleigh Court Road. Turn right and go along this lane to Great Farleigh Green. Continue briefly along the common and then veer left into Littlepark Wood. Go halfway along its bottom edge to a path crossing.

    For the Short Walk turn right onto a track leading past a row of cottages, leaving the LOOP. Go over a stile into a field and continue along its left-hand edge. The exit is near the middle of the far side, so veer right at the end of the field to find it. Go over an old stile and down a bank to a bend on a narrow lane (Farleigh Court Road).

    Turn right onto this quiet lane, taking care as there is no pavement. In 150m, where the lane bends sharply right in front of Great Farleigh Green, take a grassy path to the right of “The Chestnuts”.

    If you are visiting the first lunch pub (and don't mind the road noise) you could simply continue along this narrow common for 500m. If you do this, rejoin the directions at [•] in the next section.

    For the suggested route, follow the path round to the left behind the house and go over a stile into Littlepark Wood. Fork right at a path junction and go down to the bottom of the wood, where you can either continue on the meandering path just inside the wood or walk outside it, along the field edge. In 150m there is another gap in the trees where a footpath comes in from across the field (the route of the Main Walk).

  17. Littlepark Wood to Greatpark (¾ or ¼ km)
  18. If you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can continue along the edge of the wood and veer left near the end to come to the corner of the Greatpark estate. Alternatively, turn right and go through Littlepark Wood to the Harrow Inn. Take a bridleway along the southern edge of the wood to rejoin the other route.

    If you are not visiting the first lunch pub you can take the shorter route in §9b.

    1. Route via the Harrow Inn (¾ km)
    2. If you have been walking along the field edge, go back into the wood and keep ahead at the crosspaths; from the woodland path turn right towards the centre of the wood.

    3. Direct route (¼ km)
    4. Continue in the same direction for a further 150m, either on the woodland path or the field edge. When level with a small copse in the field, however, the right of way turns half-left to cut off the corner of the field, so you need to be outside the wood here. Follow the short grassy path to the far side of the field and go through a belt of trees to come to a path junction with a five-way footpath signpost. The short cut (omitting Greatpark) is along the surfaced path ahead, while the full walk is the rightmost path at another junction just off to the left.

    If you are taking the short cut (heading directly to the second lunch pub), go to §11.

  19. Around Greatpark to Chelsham Common (2½ km)
  20. Take the footpath heading north-east along the edge of the Greatpark estate. Follow the path alongside its grounds 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.

    For the full walk, go past wooden barriers onto the marked 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 the prominent clocktower you pass some black metal gates with a plaque10.

    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. Unless you want to devise a longer route through the open-access wood on your left, keep right at path junctions to stay close to the 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 and now with a triangular field on your left. At the end of the field another footpath merges from the left and the path continues in the shadow of tall conifers in the private Holt Wood, heading SW along the other side of the Greatpark estate. In 200m, immediately after going past a row of metal pipes blocking vehicle access, veer left through a gap in the tall laurel hedge. Follow a narrow path into a small open area behind the hedge and fork left past a noticeboard into Ledgers Wood11.

    The exit from this wood is directly opposite and you could take any route through it, but the simplest route is to follow the main path as it bends left and goes around the perimeter of the 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, now with a public footpath and a field behind the fence on the left. Eventually the main path comes to a T-junction where you turn left onto a path leading out of the wood.

    For a slightly shorter route you could veer right before this notice, where an unofficial path takes you past the backs of some houses and out onto Ledgers Road directly opposite the pond mentioned below.

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

    Continue the directions at §12.

  21. Greatpark to Chelsham Common direct (¾ km)
  22. Take the surfaced path heading south-east along the edge of the Greatpark estate. Go across Ledgers Road onto Chelsham Common.

    To cut out the loop around the Greatpark estate, go past wooden barriers onto the surfaced path heading SE from the five-way signpost. This enclosed path goes under a low bridge (the estate's old access road), bends right and left and comes out past more barriers onto the new access road.

    Turn right onto this road, then left at a crossroads (with a Coal Tax Post on the far corner) into Ledgers Road. Almost immediately, turn right into a private road going past some cottages to reach The Bull Colosseum on Chelsham Common, the later lunch stop.

  23. Chelsham Common to Woldingham Dene (3 km)
  24. 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 club house, then turn right onto a horse ride running alongside Haliloo Valley Road. Turn left into Park Ley Road and go down a track to join Woldingham Road. For the Dene Coffee Shop, turn left into the driveway to Woldingham Dene.

    From the corner of the pub's car park head SW on a broad grassy path across the triangular common to the 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.

    There are permissive paths through the open-access woodland on your right which you could take. If you do this, 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 Halliloo valley and its golf course 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 Cycle Route 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.

  25. Woldingham Dene to Woldingham Station (¾ km)
  26. 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 the far platform for trains to London.

Walk Notes

  1. ‘Upper’ Warlingham is a curious name for Whyteleafe's third station, in a valley well below the town of Warlingham.
  2. 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.
  3. Kings Wood (sometimes spelt Kings' or King's) is managed by Croydon Council. It is carpeted with bluebells in spring.
  4. The London Outer Orbital Path – the ‘M25 for walkers’ – runs for 240 km around Outer London, from Erith in Kent to Purfleet in Essex.
  5. 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.
  6. The Vanguard Way runs for 105 km “from the suburbs to the sea”, from Croydon in south London to Newhaven in East Sussex.
  7. Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve is managed by Croydon Council on behalf of the National Trust.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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: April 19, 2017

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