Previous Next
West Essex - Home Updates Walks Programme Coach Programme Single Day Walks Long Distance Paths Holidays About Us How to Join Social Events External Links Help
Top of Page

Using a screen size of 800x600 is good for the 640x480 images as this maximises the size you see them, however, a higher resolution screen is recommended for the 2560x1920 images as this gives a much better overall colour.

Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins

Petts Wood Station to Hayes Station

The Source of the River Ravensbourne

November 2007

The London Loop Leg 12

Petts Wood Station to Hayes Station

Saturday, 24th November, 2007

The London Loop is a 140 mile walk around London and roughly just inside the M25 (although you do not see it) passing through as many green places as possible such as parks, woods, commons, riverside protected areas and open farmland.

The West Essex Ramblers covered this in about 10 mile stretches over the period 2006 to 2008.

We followed the path using "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, £13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

Click below for largest image as specified

Some commentary on the photos,

which is also a reflection on the walk

[Road information is just to help identify where we were].


25 ONE LLL 12.jpg


We left Petts Wood Station soon reaching Jubilee Country Park (Image 1). Passing some houses, we went into Crofton Wood (Image 2). We reached the A232 where there was a sign to Crofton Village (Image 3), crossed the road, passed more housing, then continued through Darrick Woods (Image 4).


25 TWO LLL 12.jpg


Soon we walked between playing fields (Image 1). The playing field on our right is shown in Image 2. Finally, we reached the top of a hill with a fine view (Image 3) We stopped here for drinks then went down the hill to Farnborough village (Image 4).


25 DSCN9868 En.jpg


We had lunch at the Woodman.


25 FOUR LLL 12.jpg


Just outside of Farnborough was the church of Saint Giles the Abbot (Images 2 & 4). A church has stood on this site for 1,500 years.Due to storm damage, it was rebuilt in 1639. The bronze in Image 1 is a memorial to a former rector's wife and was made by Elsie March, a local artist. The font dates from the 14th century although the stem is Victorian (Image 3) .


25 FIVE LLL 12.jpg


Almost immediately we were in the outer part of the, 400 acre, High Elm Estate (Image 1). Crossing Shire Lane (Image 2), we continued through the countryside (Image 3).


25 DSCN9880 En.jpg


The information board about High Elm Estate contained interesting history, but the map is upside down, i.e. north is at the bottom! Briefly, it was the former home of the Lubboch family, but now Bromley Council own it. More detailed information is on the board.


25 SEVEN LLL 12.jpg


There are some very nice specimen trees on the estate (Image 1). There was also an Eton Fives Court (Image 2) (click link for more details on Eton Fives). A plaque (Image 3) commemorates Sir John Lubboch, First Lord Avebury, who lived here. We walked down to High Elm Road by way of this avenue of bushes (Image 4).


25 DSCN9888 En.jpg


Along the road is Clockhouse Farm (picture 1) where we turned right.


25 NINE LLL 12.jpg


Between High Elm Road and North End Lane  was a golf course (Images 1-2) followed by woodland paths (Images 3-4).


25 DSCN9893 En.jpg


A horse found it was greener on the other side of the fence in North End Lane, opposite Bogey Lane.


25 ELEVEN LLL 12.jpg


Bogey Lane - this could be a very expensive place to park! (Image 1). The track, now on higher ground, looks down over Shire Lane which runs parallel to it ( Image 2 ). Image 3 shows a house in the Lane at the foot of a wood. This tree (Image 4 ) was ... hmm .. somewhere before the next picture!


25 TWELVE LLL 12.jpg


We reached Shire Lane for the second time, turned left, slipped round the back of Holwood then climbed a hill. We looked back from the top (Image 3) then forwards (Image 4). In images 2 & 3 the vale of Keston can be seen. An ancient stump was behind the fence (Image 2), but it is not visible in the picture - see section 13.


25 DSCN9903 En.jpg


On the hilltop, this plaque showed parliamentarians at work in the countryside - this time concerning the abolishment of slavery.


25 DSCN9905 En.jpg


We crossed Westerham Road and were soon at the source of the river Ravensbourne, known as Caesar's well. It has been dressed up in a modern brick lining.


25 DSCN9906 En.jpg


Near the river source is this pond, one of three on Keston Common. All are fed by this "new" river.


25 DSCN9907 En.jpg


The Keston Common information board is only just readable in the photo’, but at least north is at the top.




For a short distance we crossed and followed numerous roads: Westerham Road, Fishponds Road, Lakes Road and West Common Road. After this we walked near Baston Manor Road and Croydon Road, the A232, (Images 1-3) which runs along the southern edge of West Wickham Common.


25 DSCN9913 En.jpg


West Wickham Common information board. The common is long and narrow and is situated immediately below the much larger Hayes Common.


25 DSCN9914 En.jpg


This was taken near the western side of West Wickham common.


25 DSCN9916 En.jpg


We reached Gates Green Road where some pollarded Oaks, possibly 700 years old and sometimes called 'Domesday Oaks', were seen. Compared to the others, this example was merely a large hollow stump.

Here we left the Loop for Hayes Station, a half mile walk away, then went home.