Downlands Circular Walk

Today we went by train to a lovely location with a variety of landscapes – the Farthing Downs, where we started, to Happy Valley and the Chaldon Church. The first part was quite challenging as it was into the sun on a ridge, but the views were lovely, first of the township and chalk cliffs, then of farmland and woodlands. At the end of that stage we sat on a bench to have our lunch.

Farthing Downs - where we had lunch
Farthing Downs – where we had lunch

We then began the next stage of the walk. We knew that we wouldn’t be able to do the whole of the area. We set off too late in the mornings and it is getting quite dark by 4.30 p.m. Our aim was to walk to the Chaldon Church, the take a short cut through to The Fox, a pub on the outskirts. From there, we could catch a bus home.

Downlands Circular Walk
Downlands Circular Walk sign
One of the views across the valley
One of the views across the valley
1000 year old Chaldon Church
1000 year old Chaldon Church
Chaldon Churchyard
Chaldon Churchyard
The end of the walk
The end of the walk
We had a cup of tea at The Fox. There were folk inside tucking into roast meals - at about 4.30 p.m.
We had a cup of tea at The Fox. There were folk inside tucking into roast meals – at about 4.30 p.m.
Stephen coming from the light
Stephen coming from the light
We missed our first bus because I wandered off to get this shot.
We missed our first bus because I wandered off to get this shot.

The next one came about 20 minutes later, fortunately. Taking the bus meant that we were able to travel straight back to the East Croydon Train Station. If we decide to walk further into this area, The Fox would be our starting point, and we would hope to be able to catch our bus at a different location so we don’t have to walk back to The Fox.

The paths we were walking on were often muddy and slippery. I didn’t want to carry my camera around my neck and risk having it end up in the mud if I fell, so most of the day’s photos were taken with my iPhone, which I could easily get out and put away as we were walking. I do have a camera bag that sits on my hip, but had decided to bring the camera in my backpack, not the best decision.

This area has been set aside and is managed by the City of London. Walkways were marked on our map, but it wasn’t really to scale and there were many more paths than were marked, so we were often a bit confused as to where we were. Sometimes Google Maps could help, but it didn’t include much detail beyond actual roads. We often asked other people for directions, but most were visitors like us and didn’t know very much.

We felt very pleasantly tired by the time we got home. Yet we had only walked about 12 kms, with some climbing. I got a bit sunburnt, but Stephen wears his peaked cap, which was just right. It was really bright on the downs and really dark and cool in the woods. We heard lots of birds, but sometimes traffic as well.

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