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 contingent.

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' gardens

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 from 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.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson