18th January 2015: Biggin Hill to Hayes

There was a very gloomy start to the day, which is probably why there were just four of us in the train from Victoria to Bromley, where we were joined by Rosie who is interested in joining. We took one bus to Hayes — the end of our walk — but then immediately onto a second bus to just south of Biggin Hill.

Don, Nigel and Rosie by Downe church

Don, Nigel and Rosie by Downe church

The first couple of miles to Downe was fairly muddy but we still got there by twelve and the consensus was that it was too early for a lunch stop, or even coffee and cake. As you can see, by Downe the day had brightened up considerably, and we ended up stopping for lunch by the Wilberforce Oak. The oak has seen better days, but the sign by where we ate explains its significance.

The sign by the Wilberforce Oak

The sign by the Wilberforce Oak

The remainder of the walk roughly followed the London Loop, stating with a descent to Keston Ponds — the previous Sunday our walk along the Thames Path had crossed Deptford Creek just west of Greenwich, where the river Ravensbourne joins the Thames, and now we were at the Ravensbourne’s source.

Keston Ponds

Keston Ponds

The final leg of the walk crossed Hayes Common, and I was pleased that we got to within three hundred yards of Hayes station before emerging from the woods and seeing the suburbia which had more or less been surrounding us for the last couple of miles. Not stopping at Downe meant we finished this short walk by three, and I was home by four.



About Humphrey Southall

Director, Great Britain Historical GIS; Reader in Geography, University of Portsmouth
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