Dave Sergeant

The London Loop is a walking route of 150 miles length around the outer boundaries of London split into 24 sections. See tfl.gov.uk /modes/walking/loop-walk for more details. Inner London Ramblers now produces updated guides to the walk.

Section 2 Bexley to Petts Wood - 20th May 2023

I originally walked this section in March 2019 but not blogged on this website. Today's walk was organised by the RailUK Forums which I am a member of. For various reasons I had little time to take photographs so some from my 2019 walk have been included to give a better account.

After a pleasant journey up from home to Waterloo and then to Bexley I arrived at the meeting point, the Coffee Mill and Kitchen on Bexley High Street, at around 10.45. After a quick cuppa and chat to get to know my companions for the day twelve of us set off around 11.20. Due to engineering work by Network Rail the initial part of this route is currently closed off so we had a small diversion through Bexley to join it by the cricket club.

The first part of the walk is across open country which used to be old gravel workings but has now been reclaimed as open scrubland. This leads down to the River Crane which we follow for the next mile or so.

This area is very popular with the dogs. Then the Five Arch Bridge designed by Capability Brown with the somewhat smaller Pennyfarthing Bridge a little further on.

More views of the Cray.

We eventually leave the Cray at Footscray and there is a short stretch of suburban roads before entering Sidcup Place Park. Sidcup Place, a former manor house, is now a pub, The Star (where I ate in 2019, very nice). After this we have to cross the A20 by a sequence of subways to enter Scadbury Park, a large area of woodland. After a little while we realised we had overshot the Sydney Arms where we had booked for our lunch break so we had to make a significant diversion through the woods to get there and back. Lovely lunch and more time to get to know my new companions.

Scadbury Park Nature Reserve is managed by Bromley Council and is quite pleasant though the paths are a bit confusing - I got somewhat lost in 2019.

Not visited today is the mediaeval Scadbury Moated Manor, now ruins but the moat is still there. Leaving Scadbury more woodland and then into Petts Wood, managed by the National Trust. Just off the loop route is the William Willett sundial who proposed summer time and the sundial is set to show summer time all year.

Another small stream then over a sequence of railway bridges to reach Petts Wood station where our walk ended. From there back on the train to home, in my case via Brixton and Vauxhall to arrive home around 6.30pm after a longish but very enjoyable day.

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