Walking is one of the best medicines and tonics for all humans. A simple, cheap and effective way to improve your life. It can relax as well as energise the body. It can calm as well as positively stimulate the mind. Many parks have buggy and disabled access and facilities too. There is somewhere in the great outdoors suitable for all. So if in doubt – go for a walk!


Local greenspaces

An aerial view of Selsdon shows how it is comprised of and surrounded by gardens, golf courses, woodland, downland, fields and countryside. It is on the southern border of Croydon beside Kent (known as the Garden of England) and the Surrey Hills AONB (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). In the remains of large ancient woodland and its surburban surrounds you can spot bluebells, badger, foxes, deer and many birds including woodpeckers, skylarks, raptors even parakeets! The south of Croydon holds internationally important habitat of Chalk grassland/downland which is a butterfly spotter’s paradise and a great place to find orchids and rare plants. (Best seen at nearby Hutchinson’s bank). Selsdon and the surrounding hills drain through aquifers to the River Wandle which is a rare chalk stream (one of only 200 in the world) that leads to the Thames. Nearby Croham Hurst and Riddlesdown have also been found to hold Anglo Saxon remains. Walks in Croydon and the surrounding areas are rich in nature and history – if you know where to look.   

There are many free ‘Apps’ to download to your phones to help you identify wildlife and trees as you go. You can even keep the kids entertained by trying ‘geocaching’ as you go. This is a free treasure hunt which you can download in advance!

Please make sure you abide by The CountrySide Code. We respect and protect our greenspaces so we can all enjoy them together. www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code

The closest green Public spaces to Selsdon are: Selsdon Wood, Littleheath Woods, Sanderstead Plantation, Selsdon Recreation Ground, Queenhill Playspace, Edgecoombe, Kingswood, Bramleybank, Heathfield Gardens and Ecology Centre, Hutchinson’s Bank, Shirley Hills, Coombe Gardens, Lloyd Park, Croham Hurst, Sanderstead playspace, Addington Park and Hills, Warlingham, Farleigh Common, Riddlesdown and Happy Valley.

Croydon is blessed with over 127 public green spaces and is far from the concrete jungle suggested by the view from town centre roads. These spaces are free to explore as you please. How many have you tried? Some of these greenspaces have laid paths and gardens, some have cafes and/or playspaces/outdoor gyms/sports and some open grass and woodland. A few even have great views of the London skyline. See their website for more details. www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces

                                                                    Walking routes

Croydon Council also have over 80 guided walks and special events on offer throughout the year (in non-Covid times) to help you discover and enjoy some local green spaces.  www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/walks

If you would like some suggestions for something new here are some free walking routes below for you to try anytime. Some are circular, some are linear, adapt as you please! If you discover another great local walk, which we can easily share, please let us know via mail2.selsdonresidents@gmail.com  

  • Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve, commonly known as the ‘Bird sanctuary’, is 200 acres. Approximately a quarter of the area is open field, criss-crossed by paths and maintained with an annual mowing. The remainder is ancient woodland, dominated by oak with areas of coppiced hazel. It is home to deer, foxes, badgers, butterflies, squirrels and over 100 different species of bird. A wonderful place for a walk whatever time of year.Download a printable leaflet (with map) from here. http://www.friendsofselsdonwood.co.uk/walks.php 
  • Littleheath Woods - The woods cover 61 acres and contain a wide variety of habitats such as woods, meadows and ponds. Whilst bounded by suburban housing it might be called ‘Selsdon’s secret wood’. However, there are thirteen entrances to the woods and it also features two trails –the Vanguard Way and the London Loop. More information including maps can be found at folw.co.uk- http://www.folw.co.uk/nature-trail.php 
  • Wandle Trail – starting from Croydon centre, an easy bus ride from Selsdon. A beautiful walking or cycle trail by the river all the way to the Thames! Spot the fish, herons and kingfishers! Passing attractions such as Morden Hall Park (NT), Merton Abbey Mills, Deen City Farm and Wandsworth Museum. See wandlevalleypark.co.uk/map/ 
  • www.merton.gov.uk/assets/Documents/wandle_trail-4.pdf 
  • Banstead Woods – Spot the three large Narnia Wood Carvings alltrails.com/trail/england/surrey/explore-surrey-banstead-woods-nature-trail www.surreylife.co.uk/out-about/walks/a-ramble-around-banstead-woods-1-5426122 
  • Farthing Downs and Happy Valley – Happy Valley is a place of ‘Special Scientific Interest’ and is part of the London Loop alltrails.com/trail/england/london/farthing-downs-and-happy-valley   www.walkingbritain.co.uk/walk-2683-description 
  • Warlingham - Three nice walks from the Parish Council Walks Leaflets | Warlingham Parish Council (warlingham-pc.gov.uk)
  • Circular walk from All Saints Church (reproduced on the church website from two Church trail leaflets, which can also be obtained from All Saints’ Church or Warlingham library.) http://www.allsaintswarlingham.org.uk/7MileWalkFINAL.pdf
  • Selsdon to Farleigh - Farleigh Church Walk and Sunday Tea - A visit to St Mary’s Church, hidden away off a little country lane on Farleigh Common, is a must do this summer. (open for afternoon teas from June to September.) See website here https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/870/service-and-events/events/502935/

    How to get there is where the OS Explorer map No.146 comes in handy, see this section below. St Mary’s is the little cross by Farleigh Court, at bottom centre, surrounded by footpaths and bridleways in all directions. Ideal for making up your own circular route! The easiest bit starting from Selsdon, is to just follow the Vanguard Way from Selsdon Wood. Then return via the trackway (centre of map section) past the golf course, which leads to Frith Wood and the London Loop Walk back to Selsdon Wood. ​ . But with all those paths to choose from, be adventurous. Get your map, boots on, go out and explore!

  • Woldingham - http://fancyfreewalks.org/Surrey/Woldingham.pdf?version=jul19
  • Botley Hill – a favourite with cyclists - on the many footpaths there are great long, wide views towards London but also across valleys and woodland, with the added benefit, if you are a bird watcher, of the skylarks and birds of prey flying aboveWalks around Botley Hill Farmhouse, Titsey Estate and North Downs Way (botleyhill-farmhouse.co.uk)

  • South Croydon ‘Way marker’ trails – 3 well marked and guided circular trails including parts of Addington Hills, Lloyd Park, Littleheath Wood, Heathfield, Croham Hursthttp://www.stridersofcroydon.org.uk/wayfinder-routes/wayfindermaps

Striders of Croydon’ – a Croydon based running club (http://www.stridersofcroydon.org.uk) have designed 3 circular routes for running or walking. They can be enjoyed individually or as combined routes. With the excellent printable directions and route waymarking you can start wherever you want and go as far as you want: 


Yellow route, approx. 2.5 miles around Lloyd Park.

Green route, approx. 5 miles combining the above route over Lloyd Park with the addition of Addington Hills, or 2.5 miles for the green route only.

Red route, approx. 4 miles when combined with a short section of the Green Route consisting of Addington Hills and then onto Bramley Bank, into Littleheath Woods and onto Croham Hurst and then back to Addington Hills via Conduit Lane and Oaks Road.

Longer walks can be enjoyed by combining elements of each of the three routes. The Vanguard Way and London Loop are also intersected by these routes.

  • 26 Free Walks in Kent are to be found on this link - https://kentwalksnearlondon.com/

                                                      Nearby national attractions with walks

  • Down House (EH – Former home of Charles Darwin) kentwalksnearlondon.com/walk-1-downe-circular/ This walk goes around Biggin Hill 
  • Biggin Hill (museum and annual airshow) (see Downe circular walk) 
  • Mayfield Lavender fields (summer only) (see Banstead walks above)
  • Chiddingstone – (NT historic village and castle) - 16 miles from Selsdon – by bike or car https://www.castleinnchiddingstone.co.uk/historic-church-near-hever-kent/ http://myfavouritepubwalks.co.uk/shopping/products/185-castle-inn-high-street-chiddingstone-kent- tn8-7ah - get there by bike: https://anerleybc.org/an-alternative-sunday-ride-9th-june/

How to get about? - why not use this link to thetrainline.com for your local travel needs