Monday, October 9, 2017

Petts Wood to West Wickham Common

I walked another leg of the London LOOP yesterday -- the nine miles from Petts Wood to West Wickham Common. This led me through a series of forests, parks and farm fields in the far South London borough of Bromley, and past this very peculiar hedge in the village of Farnborough.

It was a very autumnal walk -- lots of pyracanthas with bright orange and red berries, and a pile of discarded windfall apples from someone's orchard. Charles Darwin lived in a town near the walking route, but I didn't visit his house.

This is St. Giles the Abbott church in Farnborough. A group of people were gathered at the entrance to the church as I passed, dressed in their Sunday best. I felt a bit conspicuous in my ratty sweatshirt! The church was rebuilt in flint and brick, in the local style, after a storm damaged it in 1639.

I found some persistent summer poppies growing in this field, surrounded by rolling farmland and horse pastures.

Here's another brick and flint structure, a house not far from Darwin's village of Downe.

Overlooking this part of the countryside from a high knoll is Holwood House. The present structure dates from the 1820s and is still a private home.

I stopped for lunch in the village of Keston -- cottage pie from a local cafe. And finally, near the end of my walk, I had this view of the rooftops of West Wickham, seen from a high point on the common.


  1. It looks like those two bushes are whispering to each other about a man in a ratty sweatshirt who has just walked by, lol

  2. Nine miles, Steve? Really? Good Lord, man!

  3. This sounds like a fascinating walk and project. You take in a lot of history on this walk.

  4. I love when you go for a walk. Such grand sights there. And echoing Ms. Moon, "Nine miles!" That's a lot of miles.

  5. I love this post! It's like watching an episode of Midsomer Murders, country churches, small villages and a few manor houses. That hedge is very strange and I love the brick and flint house. That yellow manor house is very colonial looking. Interesting that it's still private. That last photo is my favorite. What a view and so very English.
    I just saw your question on one of my posts. No, Phoenix doesn't have and open house type of event. I wish they would. I think I will suggest it not that anyone will listen to me.

  6. NINE miles! That's an excellent mosey! Of all your walks on the Loop this one seems the prettiest.

    I liked that trimmed hedge. It looks to me that the guy who brought the trimmer went to work but the guy who was supposed to bring the ladder didn't show up.

    I met a woman at a luncheon yesterday and she introduced herself: Olga. And I thought, "Oh, like the dog." (Unlike too many people I know, I do not feel the need to blurt out whatever crosses my mind so, No, I did not tell her she has a dog's name, but I will never forget that's she's the human Olga.)

  7. Some lovely views on your walk, Steve. Like the others I'm a bit nonplussed by the lengths of some of your walks. Nine miles is a kind of trek, though I have a long-ago friend who has just completed the 500 mile walk from France to Spain in 30 or 31 days. Anyway thanks for the photos, Steve.

  8. Another excellent report. Keep it up, I am hooked.

  9. I love all these pictures - getting to know the area without actually being there. I think the longest distance I've ever walked is 6 miles (charity walk). That sure seems long ago & far away, but maybe I'll be able to do it again sometime!

    LOL at Vivian's comment. I wonder if I would have been able to keep the thought to myself?

  10. I love exploring London with you!

  11. Nine miles is not too shabby for a walk! I enjoyed your photos and now I want cottage pie.

  12. West Wickham looks like a toy village and I've not seen anything like the brick and flint house before.