The London Loop Part 11: West Wickham to Coulsdon South
The loop so far has been rather gentle, but this section had some more challenging changes in elevation, Snowdonia it is not but the North Downs which todays walking crossed in a number of places still requires you to stop and catch your breath occasionally!
Starting back in West Wickham the path soon enters Spring Park Woods the another of the many areas of woodlands owned by the City of London Corporation in South London.
The next area of woodland Threehalfpenny Wood marks the boundary of the London Borough of Croydon and the beginning of the climb through Shirley up onto Addington Hill with it’s great view of central Croydon and the City of London and Dockands beyond.
The route now heads south for a considerable distance through Littleheath and Selsdon Woods until finally turning west once again just north of the village of Farleigh.
Walking into Hamsley Green is was lovely to cross paths with a group doing their Duke of Edinburgh Expedition walk, such a brilliant activity !
Beyond Hamsey Green the only Trig Pillar on the loop is found at Dispey Field, the route then drops rapidly into the valley carrying the A22 and East Grinstead Railway line before climbing back up again this time using steps onto Kenley Common.
At this point I’m afraid the Avgeek in me took over as I spend a very happy hour or two wondering around Kenley Aerodrome, one of the best preserved Battle of Britain airfields complete with dispersal pens and the old officers mess – and oh I might have had a pint at the Wattenden Arms to toast “The Few!”
From Kenley the route descends one again into the rather charmingly named “Happy Valley”, before once again climbing through some more woodland up onto the chalk grassland of Farthing Downs.
And from Farthing downs its all downhill into Coulsdon and the end of this section at Cousldon South Station.