Colliers Wood to Carshalton SECTION 5
Distance 6.1 miles / 9.8 km
Deen City Farm I Merton Abbey Mills I Wandle River I NT Morden Hall Park I Watermeads Nature Reserve I Watercress Park I The Grove I Carshalton Park
Carshalton Pond, The Grove
SECTION 1 Introduction
Leave busy Colliers Wood behind as soon as you join the tranquil Wandle Trail, heading south. Winding through semi-industrial areas, you can feel miles away from London as you pass watermills, a wetland boardwalk, nature reserves, Deen City Farm, and the lovely National Trust-run Morden Hall Park. From here, the path is quieter and meanders by the river until you reach The Grove Park in villagey Carshalton. The path then climbs past a medieval “hog pit” and an abandoned 18th century grotto in Carshalton Park.
The route starts in the middle of Colliers Wood, dominated by an imposing tower block. Beyond this, the River Wandle emerges in front of the large Sainsbury’s and continues to Carshalton. Most of the walk is along the Wandle Trail but there is a detour at Morden Hall Park to cross the wetlands boardwalk. There are few large roads to cross and also the London Tram Line just before Morden Hall Park – beware of trams. At The Grove Park, the route leaves the banks of the Wandle and goes uphill through Carshalton Park and on to Carshalton Beeches station.
Directions coming soon
Deen City Farm
Merton Abbey Mills
Snuff Mill, Morden Hall Park
The Grove, Carshalton
The Grotto, Carshalton Park
WHY NOT TRY
Merton Abbey Mills
Watermill Wy, London SW19 2R
Merton Abbey Mills is located right by the River Wandle, near Colliers Wood. It’s home to a craft market, a small theatre, a pub, cafes and restaurants along with a fully functioning waterwheel and pottery.
Deen City Farm
39 Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey, London SW19 2RR
Open Tuesdays to Sundays
One of London’s oldest city farms, Deen City is free to enter, although donations are welcome. There is a riding school here as well as farm animals and a small cafe.
Morden Hall Park
Morden Hall Rd, London, Morden SM4 5JD
The National Trust run park features historic waterwheel and snuff mills , craft units, Stableyard cafe, bookshop, a large garden centre and aquarium. Close by is the Watermeads Nature Reserve, also managed by the National Trust
Beddington Park & beyond
Church Rd, Wallington SM6 7NN
Instead of exiting The Grove towards Carshalton stay on the Wandle Way towards Croydon you soon come to the lovely Beddington Park. Originally a deer park in the 14th century for the noble Carew family, whose manor house still stands in the park today (now Carew Academy). The River Wandle runs through the park culminating in a lake in the Grange Garden. This would also be a great route to link up with the Vanguard Way at East Croydon and continue out of London towards the coast.
ALONG THE WAY
Merton Abbey Mills
Merton Abbey Mills takes part of its name from Merton Priory, one of the biggest most important monasteries of the middle ages, built in the early 12th century. The priory was surrendered to the crown in 1538 during the Dissolution under Henry VIII. Although most of its buildings were demolished, some remain standing today, the oldest being the Colour House Theatre.
William Morris & Liberty
In the 1880s, Morris ran his textile design and printing company at Merton Abbey Mills because the river was a source of power but because its properties as a chalkstream made it perfect for printing his famous textiles and hangings. Liberty purchased the site of Merton Abbey Mills in 1904 when most of the buildings were too dilapidated to repair, so they were gradually replaced. For many years, until 1972, most of their popular ranges of fabrics for dress and furniture were printed there.
“Hog Pit” pond
The origin of this substantial earthwork is unknown but records of a “Hoggpytte” can be found in the 15th century. In the late 18th century, Hog Pit was used as a water reservoir for mill power.
This was built in the 18th century as part of building and landscaping in Carshalton Park which used to be ten times the size. It originally had an ornamental iron gate and a marble pavement and roof covered with shells but has fallen into disrepair.
The River Wandle used to rise in a subterranean chalk chamber beneath the Grotto, and flowed downhill past the mansion house.
FOOD AND DRINK
Colliers Wood has a variety of restaurant chains, independent, cafés , pubs and takeaways. Merton Abbey Mills has a great variety of small independent food retail units, a café and the William Morris pub with seating by the river.
The Stableyard Café at Morden Hall Park has a pretty courtyard seating area and is worth a visit. Carshalton has a range of eateries and pubs although not as varied as Colliers Wood.
Colliers Wood tube is on the Northern Line and has also many London bus routes. Carshalton Beeches on the Southern Rail line has trains running from London Victoria, East Croydon and Sutton, plus some suburban buses.
There are public toilets at Sainsbury’s Colliers Wood, Deen City Farm, Merton Abbey Mills, Morden Hall Park, and The Grove, Carshalton.