London Loop Walk 10:
Coulsdon to Banstead Downs
25 June 2006
Today Stephen did the tenth of his London Loop walks. For the first time Lucy came too, with Henry as the canine
We near the top of the long suburban hill out of the Coulsdon valley
We then reached open country, and a very nettle-dominated section of the walk.
From here there were views through the haze of Crystal Palace transmitter masts
and the towers of central London.
Lucy pleased to be free of the nettles passes through the barrier (perhaps an
anti-horse barrier) to cross a grassy area.
Lunch time in the hazy sunshine
We then passed through a field of lavender
After crossing Croydon Lane, we reached The Oaks Park. The sign tells us we have
done just over half our walk, and time for the first ice cream of the LOOP so
far at the cafe. The Oaks house was demolished in the 1960s, but its name, as
well as being taken by this park also lives on in The Oaks race at Epsom. The
estate's owner, Lord Derby, also gave his name to another famous race at Epsom.
Henry finishes off Stephen's cone
Lucy and Henry looking cheerful after the rest and ice-cream in The Oaks'
We then found our way onto a bridleway which we followed for most of the rest of
the walk. Here we look across a field to Highdown prison
Horses on the other side of the bridleway.
About this point Stephen passed 50% of the way around the LOOP from the starting
point at Enfield Lock. A lurker in the bushes might have heard a discrete cheer.
Half way round and half way through the year.
Continuing along the bridleway as its character changes and opens out as we are
now on Banstead Downs
Henry takes a quick rest on this very warm afternoon.
Crossing the railway line from Epsom Downs to Sutton
Banstead Downs golf course - one of the many we've seen on the LOOP so far.
And we emerge from the golf course onto Banstead Road and just round the corner
is the station and the end of our walk.
Perhaps a less inspiring walk than the previous one - as I have read elsewhere,
if you are doing stages 5 and 6 together as the normal day walk (as I had
originally intended to do) then the end is an anticlimax, and this stage 6 lacks
a memorable feature to look back on. And stage 5 really was very good. But this
was a pleasant enough walk, with excellent company. And the north bank of the
Thames is now in sight! Next time the London Loop
Banstead Downs to Kingston
Section 6 Coulsdon to Banstead: 8.3km (plus Link walk), 3 hours 5 minutes
(including 75 minutes stopped), 204 metres of ascent.