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Walk report 2023 Nov 20

The 99 steps

The first section taken by the ten walkers from the Sir Julian Huxley on November 20 followed an urban setting down Farley Road and Upper Selsdon Road, then turned into Croham Hurst, one of Croydon's Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its rare geology.

Banners shows the way through Croham Hurst

A public footpath led between golf fairways before skirting the base of the Blackheath Pebble outcrop. The walkers’ stamina was tested by the 99 steps leading to the summit where they enjoyed the extensive southward vista.

Walkers embark on 99-step ascent

We next enjoyed a gentle descent on a wooded path until fallen trees required a short detour.  We emerged onto Croham Valley Road next to Croham Hurst Golf Club, the venue for last year's choir dinner and an earlier concert.

Disappointed walkers outside pub with no real ale

We crossed the road and followed a path overlooking Royal Russel School playing fields onto Coombe Road. We turned left for half-time refreshment into Coombe Lodge, only to be disappointed by the absence of real ale. Lyn Mouat, who had a prior engagement, left the group before the return journey up onto Addington Hills, an area of similar geology and classification as Croham Hurst. More steps challenged the walkers until they reached the viewpoint with extensive views over Croydon and northwards - on a clearer day the Wembley Arch would have been visible.

The signposted London Loop helped guide the group past the Royal Garden Chinese restaurant, across the tram track and Coombe Road into Heathfield. Slippery steps led down to a hole in the fence and back onto the London Loop. The final stages of the walk were along Bramley Bank and through Littleheath, both hidden rural oases so close to Croydon. On arrival back at the Sir Julian Huxley shortly before 4pm and sunset, the group tucked into an early supper.


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