Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘london loop’

Open marshland and riverside walking in south-east London along the courses of not 1, not 2 but 3 rivers*

*comes with free scrapyards

London Loop Stage 1: Erith to Bexley

Looking eastwards along the Thames at the mouth of the Darent

Looking eastwards along the Thames at the mouth of the Darent; in the distance, the towers of the Dartford Crossing

About 18 months ago, I joined a group of friends on a walk from Bexley to Petts Wood, following the River Cray in the south-east London suburbs; at the time I was vaguely aware that this was part of a route that circumnavigates the capital. In this way, what began as a pleasant Sunday afternoon walk has now evolved, as detailed previously, into an attempt to complete the entire London Loop in a clockwise direction, of which about a third is now complete. But for the challenge to be fully met, I needed to head back to the start of the Loop and fill in some gaps. Thus it was that I took advantage of a sunny yet cold wintery day and headed for the south bank of the Thames in north Kent to walk the very first stage from Erith to Bexley. One adjective to describe this stage: industrial. Much of it concerned with dealing with the crap that people throw away. Even some parts of the route that felt ‘wild’ could not evade the detritus of modern man, ever-present either visibly or lurking beneath the surface. To be fair though, the route also includes attractive stretches following the courses of 3 separate rivers, in wide-open marshland and along backwaters, through parks and woodland. But, as I’ve mentioned before, that’s part of the attraction of the Loop: it’s London in its entirety, warts and all.

Start: Erith Station TQ511781

Finish: Bexley Station TQ493734

Length: 8½ miles/4 hours

How to get there: Both start and finish are in Travelcard Zone 6 and are on routes served by Southeastern, about half an hour from Charing Cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

More from the London Loop, this time following a tributary of the Thames from source to mouth through deceptively rural surroundings to the place of coronation of Saxon Kings

London Loop, Stage 8: Ewell to Kingston-upon-Thames

Following the Hogsmill near Berrylands

Following the Hogsmill near Berrylands

Following hot on the heels of Stages 6 & 7, is Stage 8, completed a few weeks later. Just 3 of us on this walk, many of our usual group having presumably been cured of their OCD (or the opposite in one case, deciding to start the whole thing again next year having a missed a couple of stages. Why, Andy, why?!). This is a greener stage than the previous two, largely following the Hogsmill along its length from Ewell to Kingston, yet still has stretches that involve unavoidable street walking.

Start: Ewell West Station TQ214627

Finish: Kingston Station TQ182695

Length: 7½ miles/3 hours

How to get there: Both stations can be reached quite quickly (30 minutes either way) and frequently from the centre of London by travelling from London Waterloo with Southwest Trains.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

A pleasant stroll through urban green space on the periphery of London, through the boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Reigate & Banstead and Epsom & Ewell

London Loop Stages 6 & 7 – Coulsdon to Ewell

On the Loop near Little Woodcote Village

On the Loop near Little Woodcote Village

Back to the London Loop once again, in the company of the regular completists who have been my Loop companions so far. We decided to combine two stages, Stages 6 & 7, as the combined length of both is only 8½ miles. Both stages pass through green and pleasant land, but, as the London Loop website warns, Stage 7 is one of the least green sections of the Loop including as it does substantial stretches of uninspiring pavement walking through nondescript suburban mock-Tudor housing. Because of this, there was a temptation to skip Stages 6 & 7 altogether, but our profound obsessiveness that requires us to complete the Loop in its entirety and in order prevailed in the end.

Start: Coulsdon South Station TQ298590

Finish: Ewell West Station TQ214627

Length: 8½ miles/4 hours

How to get there: Both stations above are in Travelcard Zone 6, so easy and cheap to reach. Southern services from Victoria and London Bridge go to Coulsdon South, while Ewell West is served by Southwest Trains from Waterloo.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

A World War Two airfield and The City of London in the Green Belt

London Loop, Stage 5 – Hamsey Green to Coulsdon South

On the London Loop near Riddlesdown

On the London Loop near Riddlesdown

As with the Capital Ring, some friends and me are gradually working our way around the London Loop (or London Outer Orbital Path to give it its full title), as previously discussed in this post. I was playing catch-up here, as my fellow walkers did this section back in winter when there was over a foot of snow on the ground. The contrast between the weather then and the beautifully warm, sunny day I chose couldn’t have been greater. This is a very scenic section full of interest, with some steep climbs leading to great views, floriferous meadows, shaded ancient woodlands, and a former Battle of Britain airfield on the route.

Start: Hamsey Green, on the very edge of the Borough of Croydon TQ350595

Finish: Coulsdon South Station TQ298590

Length: 6 miles/3 hours

How to get there: Hamsey Green can be reached by bus 403 from West Croydon to Warlingham. Or, alternatively, do as I did and catch the train: two possibilities here, to Whyteleafe (served by Southern services from London Victoria to Caterham), or to Upper Warlingham (served by Southern services from London Victoria/London Bridge to East Grinstead); both stations are roughly a 30 minute walk through pleasant woodlands to the start of this section of the Loop. Return is from Coulsdon South station, served by Southern services to London Bridge and London Victoria. There’s a ‘bail out’ point half way at The Fox, Coulsdon Common, from where it’s possible to catch a 404 or 466 bus back to Croydon.

(more…)

Read Full Post »