FARTHING DOWNS & HAPPY VALLEY WALK with Historic Saxon church

One of my very favourite walks - You'll find a real tribute to the variety and glories of the English countryside on this approx. 6 mile walk through the sweeping NORTH DOWNS of SURREY, a favourite stamping ground of the novelist D.H. LAWRENCE.  Stone Age hunters, Iron Age farmers and Saxon warriors all roamed the FARTHING DOWNS, and we’ll see low banks where fields were ploughed 2,000 years ago and circular mounds of 7th century Saxon graves. Sussex cattle graze with sheep all year round keeping invasive scrub at bay and enabling wildlife to flourish – amongst other creatures, this area is home to half of all English butterflies.

The walk has a wonderful variety of downland, ancient woodland, meadows and is fairly easy except for two slightly steep climbs of short duration when pauses/stops to 'admire the scenery' are not only permitted but encouraged!

We pass THE FOLLY, a circle of seven beech trees marking the highest point on Farthing Downs (600 ft above sea level) before continuing on to visit the incredible SAXON CHURCH of ST PETER & ST. PAUL’S at CHALDON (pre 1069) with it’s stupendous wall painting (the earliest known wall painting in England) dating from about 1170 AD, depicting the ‘Ladder of Salvation of the Human Soul’ with ‘Purgatory and Hell’. Painted by a travelling monk, it’s gory detail was surely guaranteed to put the holy wind up the medieval congregation – there’s nothing else like it in England!


The pulpit here, made from Lizard oak in the Jacobean style, dates from 1657, and is one of the few surviving ones from the time of Cromwell.
As long as I can give fairly accurate numbers, the lovely ladies of the Church usually make us wonderful home made cakes and serve us very welcome tea and coffee. After our refreshments and church visit, we continue into the ancient woodland and grassy downland of HAPPY VALLEY, an area designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and maintained by Croydon Council.

On arrival back to the Coulsdon area, for those who wish, we can continue on a short walk to finish at a large modern pub, The Pembroke, for food/drinks to return to London from Coulsdon Town station, or we can easily return to Coulsdon South if this suits you better.


Trains from London Victoria or London Bridge to Coulsdon South - zone 6 - approx 25 mins. Do check the trainline info on the day :
http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares/London/CDS/210719/1300/arr/210719/1500/dep#outwardJump - but I suggest either the 13.05hrs from Victoria, arrives 13.32hrs or the 13.21 hrs from London Bridge arrives 13.44hrs. I'll meet you at Coulsdon South station between 13.30 and 13.45hrs.    PLEASE DONT LEAVE THE STATION PLATFORM WITHOUT LOCATING MY MEETUP SIGN!  (there are different exits from the station).   Unfortunately I'll be unable to wait after the arrival of the London Bridge train at 13.44hrs. Thanks.

At the end of the walk, if you join us for refreshments, Coulsdon Town station might be better for you, otherwise Coulsdon South. Trains back to London approx. every 30 mins.

PLEASE NOTE; the first refreshment break on this walk is about one and a half hours from the start, (delicious tea/coffee/ homemade cakes in the incredible Saxon church), so suggest either have a bite of lunch beforehand or bring a sandwich and drink... There is also a good pub at the end serving food/real ales etc.

Leader: Jacquelyn mob. 0785 793 1296

Event Date Sun 21-07-2019 1:30 pm
Event End Date Sun 21-07-2019 5:00 pm
Registration Start Date Mon 08-07-2019
Capacity 20
Registered 0
Available places 20
Individual Price £10.00
Hosted By Jacquelyn Ross-Raynor
Meeting Place Location Coulsdon South Station
Categories DAY EVENTS
Please login to register for this event

Location Map

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.