Best Oyster Zone 6 walk

Happy Valley Forever!

Coulsdon South Loop  10 miles
Coulsdon South to Chipstead 8.15 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Farthing Down  l Happy Valley l Chaldon Church  l  Banstead Woods

Please note this walk has nothing to do with the popular TV series of the same name!

Introduction

Even though we’ve walked this one many times, it always remains a source of wonder just how accessible it is from central London. On a circular walk from Coulsdon South, you can experience sweeping panoramic views, hills & valleys, woodland trails, rolling fields and farms, all within 6 miles of Croydon. Pretty Chaldon Church with its medieval ‘doom mural’ is definitely worth a pit stop. (this walk has nothing to do with the TV series of the same name!

Directions overview

Within 5 minutes of leaving Coulsdon South station, you are climbing steeply up the ridge of Farthing Down. Then you’ll make a descent on a woodland path down to the meadows of Happy Valley. From here, walk through fields, woodland and across railway tracks before climbing steeply up into Banstead Woods. The path then descends to suburban Chipstead where you can finish the walk or walk uphill to a golf course  and then down through new housing estates to finish the loop at Coulsdon South.

Route details

Start Coulsdon South Southern Railway
End Chipstead/Coulsdon South
OS Route  WALKING POST Coulsdon South loop
Difficulty Easy
Length 10 miles (16km)
Average time 4-5 hours
Total ascent 1091ft

Signpost at the top of Farthing Down

Chaldon Church

Chaldon Church mural

Our favourite horse!

Devilsden Wood, Happy Valley

Descent towards Banstead Woods

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WHY NOT TRY

By Car
Farthing Downs Car Park, Ditches Ln, Coulsdon CR5 1DA
Popular car park and a good place to start the walk by car or just hang out at Happy Valley. Small charge applies.

Holly Lane Car Park  Banstead SM7 3QG
You could also start the walk from here or just visit the woods. Free car park.

Walk variation to The Fox pub (add 1 mile)
This is slightly off the route but well worth a visit. On the directions – point 5 at the base of Happy Valley turn left when signposted on the London Loop less than half a mile to The Fox. The pub is also marked on the map above.

TRANSPORT

Coulsdon South is very well connected and has frequent train services to East Croydon, London Blackfriars, London Bridge, St Pancras & Victoria. Trains also go direct to Brighton and Gatwick Airport.
Chipstead has trains to East Croydon, London Bridge & Tattenham Corner

TOILET OPPORTUNITIES

Coulsdon South station and Farthing Downs Car Park at the top of Farthing Down both have public toilets. There are toilets in Starbucks on the A23 for customers.

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ALONG THE WAY

 Farthing Downs
This ancient agricultural landscape boasts remains of neolithic burial mounds, Iron Age farms, Saxon field systems and WWII anti-aircraft ditches. Ditches Lane, running up the middle of the downs, is an ancient trackway and predates the Celtic field boundaries created by farmers 2,000 years ago. In WWII, trenches were dug across across this lane to stop it being used as a landing strip if the Axis forces invaded. You can still see these trenches today.

Chaldon Church
The building was begun before 1086 and is Grade I listed. It is notable for its large medieval mural dating from around 1170, depicting images of the Last Judgement and purgatory.
The mural was only discovered during restoration works in 1870-1. There is a full description of the mural in the church and it’s well worth a look.

Banstead Woods
This is ancient woodland, thought to once have been owned by Anne Boleyn. The woods were once a medieval deer park. Nowadays, you’re more likely to stumble across the lion and the wardrobe from Narnia (the witch is sadly missing). 

FOOD AND DRINK

The Fox pub
Coulsdon Common, Fox Ln, Caterham CR3 5QS
Spacious with large outdoor space,  good food, best to book. The pub is marked on the map above.

Starbucks
119 London Rd N, Merstham, Redhill RH1 3AL
Not very local or original but the path goes right past here when crossing the A23.

Coulsdon Town
A variety of places 5 minutes from the station on Brighton Road – Pizza Express, Indian, fish and chips , kebabs.

Chipstead Tandoori
34 Chipstead Station Parade, Chipstead CR5 3TF
Indian takeaway just by station.