THE Vanguard Way

Please note: this route was created by the Vanguard Way Association, we have adapted it into sections linking to transport and accommodation.

Part 1 – East Croydon to Oxted

Day hike 13 miles


Starting out from the urban sprawl of East Croydon, this first section of the Vanguard Way takes you through suburban streets and municipal parks before you suddenly realise you’re out in the countryside! Take in the National Trust Selsdon Woods and then climb up to the North Downs with sweeping views over the surrounding area. You’ll then descend to the M25 and cross via a bridge, leaving any signs of London behind as you make your way to the Surrey town of Oxted.


Outside the station, cross over the tramlines on George Street and turn right down Altyre Road. At the end, cross the A232 and from here, the route is very well marked on pathways and small roads ascending the North Downs. In Selsdon Woods the path joins the London Loop and then Tandridge Border path. At the top of the downs, the path descends very steeply toward the M25 and crossing the North Downs and Greensand Way. Then turn downhill on Water Lane, under the M25 and continue by road to Oxted.

Route details

Start East Croydon Station
End Oxted Station
OS Route   Vanguard way  East Croydon to Oxted
Difficulty Hilly
Length 13 miles (20.9 km)
Average time 5 hours
Total ascent 1520ft