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Free guided walk - Sunday 7th May
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Ian Bull

Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2009

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Post: #1
03-05-2017 04:13 PM

Hullo everyone

Have you ever wondered where the Green Chain Walk goes to as it marches off into the East? All those signposts through Sydenham do point somewhere! At 11.00am on Sunday 7th there's a chance to find out. A free guided walk from from Mottingham station to Severndroog Castle on Shooters Hill, six miles.

I devised this walk for TfL's Walk London project, their description is below and no participant has ever come away disappointed.


South East London enjoys the Capital's finest landscape thanks to local initiative. Beginning in 1870 and through to the early 1970s huge swathes of countryside were saved from suburban house-building. The result is a great 4,500 acre chain of greenery sweeping through the South Eastern quadrant of the city.
This walk showcases some of the most attractive features of that marvellous asset through its footpath network, the Green Chain Walk, and despite being within London almost 80% of our route is off-road. Indeed, for much of this walk you'd not know that you're in a city, let alone the Metropolis.
We begin in suburban Mottingham and then turn towards London, but instead of meeting High Streets we find ourselves in high fields with splendid and little seen views. This sets the tone for the rest of the walk as we climb towards the densely-wooded Shooters Hill. This is equestrian country, we'll meet many horses and we'll also meet two magnificent houses, Eltham Palace, and Avery Hill. The latter boasts London's largest sub-tropical greenhouses outside of Kew Gardens and we shall pay a visit within. Soon we enter the extensive ancient woodland that crowns our ascent to what is, bar six feet, the highest point in London. Climbing more steeply, our two miles in these woods is punctuated by open meadowland with an enormous vista over Kent and Surrey. This dramatic view impresses all, yet better is to come for nestling within further primordial woodland we find the remarkable Severndroog Castle which will be open for us. From here you can see seven Counties, a breathtaking view matched only by the Shard and a spectacular finish to an enlightening walk. It’s now a conveniently short stroll to buses for home and memories of a day you won’t forget. You'll never think of South East London the same way again!

Please note that our route includes some steep sections and may be muddy in places if it's been raining heavily. A packed lunch is essential and Severndroog Castle charges £2.50 admission. Participants are strongly advised to bring some large carrots!


• The walk is free and there's no need to book.

• There won't be any trains to Mottingham on Sunday but a good way to get there is a train to Eltham and then the 161, just four stops.

• I'll be arriving at Eltham by rail at 10.40, spot the chap with the fluorescent yellow Green Chain vest.

The walk starts from Mottingham Station at 11.00.

• The walk doesn't include access to Eltham Palace. (£15.90 and worth it.)

• We'll be finished by 5pm.

• Getting back is easy. Trains into London Bridge / Waterloo or Underground at North Greenwich via a short bus journey.

• We won't be overwhelmed so feel free to bring friends. The walk isn't widely publicised.

• Views are good to spectacular so bring binoculars if you have them.

• A few large carrots will add to the fun!

The walk is part of the Get Greenwich walking programme and enjoys the support of the Royal Borough.

In the past I've posted to about the free guided walks offered by TfL's Walk London project in SE London which I've led for almost 10 years. The popularity of these walks grew to such an extent that I haven't dared mention them here for five years. My thanks to those of you who've made them such a success. Now it's time for a less burgeoning and more sociable walk!

All the best

Ian Bull

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