Darent Days 9 – Summary
Saturday 27th August 2016 10.30am EnBro Public Walk
An 8.0 to 8.4 miles linear walk from Orpington Priory following the River Cray downstream from Priory Gardens source through St Mary Cray, St Paul’s Cray, Foots Cray (lunch stop), Bexley and Hall Place (refreshments / sightseeing stop) to Crayford bus stops and rail station. (Alternatively leave or join by bus at Foots Cray; or by bus or rail at Bexley).
Saturday 3rd September 2016 10.30am EnBro Public Walk
Repeat of walk on 27th August.
If you prefer a paper copy of the walk as included in the information pack then download and print the pdf.
The walk uses the Darent Valley Path in a number of areas. For more information on this path see the Wikipedia entry:
MapOmeter map for route Cray Crawl
Meet: 10.30am at the entrance to Priory Gardens from Church Hill, off Orpington High Street (Ordnance Survey map reference TQ465665).
From Orpington station (London Travelcard Zone 6), a 1.0 mile walk: From Station Approach, turn left along Station Road, go 500m to the War Memorial roundabout and turn left onto the High Street. After 700m turn right up Church Hill for 200m to Priory Gardens.
Bus services to Orpington High Street:
Buses 51, 61, 208, 353, B14, R1, R2, R3, R4, R6 and R11 go to Stop V, named ‘High Street / Broomhill Road’:
or Bus 477 goes to Stop W, named ‘High Street / Church Hill’ (Arriva Kent Thameside – Shoppers Heaven bus. Oyster cards not valid).
Maps: Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale Explorer Sheet 162; 1:50 000 scale Landranger 177; London Cycle Guide 11.
Outline route: Follow the River Cray downstream from Priory Gardens, Orpington – St Mary Cray – St Paul’s Cray – Foots Cray (picnic lunch, pub or café stop, 3.5 miles) – Bexley – Hall Place (afternoon tea and toilet stop; optional walk around grounds) – Crayford bus stops (8.0 miles*) and rail station (8.4 miles*). *Excluding optional walk in Hall Place grounds.
Terrain: Mostly level paved paths and pavements to Foots Cray. Predominately field paths following lunch stop to the end of the walk. Likely to be muddy in wet conditions or during winter months.
Early finish options: Foots Cray (bus stops for Orpington or St Mary Cray stations, 3.5 miles) and Bexley (bus stops or rail station, 6.0 miles).
Late start option: From Foots Cray to Crayford bus stop (4.5 miles) or rail station (4.9 miles).
Detailed route description: From the former Bromley Museum entrance bear right through Priory Gardens (N) between ponds, left, and the lake, right, where the Cray surfaces at TQ467668, over 50m/170ft above sea level. Take the park exit into the end of Court Road (A224). (Community conveniences are available at the Parade Café, left.) Cross the road, turn left (N), and cross to the end of Cray Avenue (A224). After 400m walking by the road, fork right to follow a path alongside the Cray on the right, following signs to Nugent Estate. Cross Kent Road, follow the path to the left of the river for nearly 400m before crossing it and following its right bank northwards alongside St Mary Cray High Street.
Bear left on Mill Brook Road to follow the course of the river under the rail viaduct to Station Road. Here turn right for a few metres, then turn left (N) along Main Road. After 700m turn left along a footpath to view the end of a fishing lake. Follow the river through the park back to Main Road. Turn right to the junction, then left along Sandy Lane (take care; busy road with narrow or no pavements in some areas), with the river valley to the left. Go under the A20 to Ruxley Corner, turn left at the roundabout, and cross Edgington Way (A223) to a short footpath to Maidstone Road (A211). Turn left to cross the river after 400m at the beginning of Foots Cray High Street. (Lunch stop: picnic lunch site, pub, two cafés, no public conveniences, 3.5 miles).
For an early finish, Return to Orpington or St Mary Cray stations from Foots Cray bus stops (3.5 miles).
Continue up Foots Cray High Street to the crossroads, and turn right along Rectory Lane. Where this road bears left before the church, turn right onto the London LOOP/Cray Riverway footpath leading to the river, and cross Pennyfarthing bridge. (Paths might be muddy for the rest of the walk.) Follow the right bank downstream through Footscray Meadows for just over a mile to the end of Water Lane. Turn left over the river for 250m to the end of Riverside Road. Turn right here, and follow the London LOOP along a footpath heading NE, with the river in the valley to the right. Continue along a track, past Bexley station to Tanyard Lane.
For an early finish, return from Bexley rail station or bus stops on the High Street (6.0 miles).
On reaching Bexley High Street, go right for 150m. At the mini roundabout go right under the railway bridge to the Old Mill to view the river. Turn back to the railway bridge, cross the road, and at the mini-roundabout turn right along Bourne Road (A223). After passing a roundabout and crossing over the A2, descend steps and turn left and left again to follow the boundary of Hall Place to its main entrance via the car park. (Afternoon tea stop: free entry to gardens, toilets and café; charge for entry to house.)
Exit from the grounds and turn right to follow their east boundary to the river. Cross the bridge, turn left, and follow the right bank downstream to Crayford. At the end of a paved path, go through a kissing gate onto an earth path. After a further 300m, just after a weir, go through a large iron gate into a disused industrial area. (There is no formal footpath here, but carry straight on to the end). The track bears right to cross the river, then go through a gap beside a large gate into Maxim Road, and turn right. On reaching Roman Way turn right to cross the Cray again, then cross two slip roads to reach bus stop N (8.0 miles).
Optionally, continue 100m and turn left to the centre of Crayford (pubs, cafés, public convenience); or, cross the car park to Sainsbury’s (toilets inside to left; café upstairs open 7am to 8pm Mon-Sat, 9:30am to 3:30pm Sun).
Bus services from stop N (8.0 miles):
96 to Woolwich via Bexleyheath, Welling, and Plumstead;
492 to Sidcup station via Bexleyheath, Bexley, and Foots Cray (circuitous route).
Southeastern Trains services to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street via Bexley, Sidcup, Hither Green, and Lewisham.
To reach Crayford station (8.4 miles, London Travelcard Zone 6): From the entrance to Sainsbury’s, go NE past the library, then right into Townhall Square. At the far side, bear right past housing to a path running alongside the railway. Go right for 250m to the northern entrance of the station. Cross over the footbridge for trains to London.