►London Loop 5

Another foray into south London. A group of nine met at East Croydon Station and took the bus to Hamsey Green to resume its orbital walk. After a few cooler days in this long hot summer it was perfect weather for tackling this long although quite undemanding section, apart from a fairly steep climb (with steps) up a ridge to pass Riddlesdown Quarry, and later Kenley Common, after which we passed the Norman Fisher Observatory. Those who had been on the Longer Walks Group walk in early July were delighted to re-visit Happy Valley and Farthing Down (the most southerly part of the Loop walk) for a stop for lunch in a welcome shady spot. 

This was in contrast to the next stretch through the outskirts of Coulsdon (little of architectural interest here bar a neo-Georgian post office of 1935). Our journey then took us into the London Borough of Sutton, through the Woodcote Estate and Oaks Park, talking in a lavender farm (don’t pick your own!) and a golf course. Here the London Loop was erratically signposted. As a result we became involved in a brief dialogue with a group of golfers as we crossed one of the fairways,  narrowly avoiding being struck by a wayward ball. Feeling a little unwelcome we eventually discovered an unmarked path through undergrowth which brought us to Banstead Station for a slow journey home after a walk of about 11 miles.

►If you like to join us on our orbital walk round London please register with the Longer Walks Group

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