*Walks* One of the area’s most stunning walking destinations is in Coulsdon in the London Borough of Croydon. It consists of Happy Valley, New Hill and Farthing Downs.
It’s an historic area with remnants of an iron-age field system and Saxon burial mounds. It also has an abundance of rare wildlife being on scarce chalk downloads.
There is a well-sign-posted circular walk.
There’s a panoramic road called Ditches Lane that runs along the top of Farthing Downs which used to be the original Brighton Road. This road was known to be hard-going for a Horse and Cart, and the flint-covered building by the car park was once a Coaching Inn, providing rest for weary travellers. Presumably, this building dates back to at least the 1700s.
When did Ditches Lane cease to be the main London to Brighton Road?
Britain’s Prince Regent from the year 1811 instigated the building of a new Brighton Road – now known as the A23 – which bypassed Farthing Downs. This is so that he could get to Brighton and his Pavilion as quickly as possible. In his position as standing in for the king, who had ill health, he was bound by the constitution to live within 50 miles of the capital. The new road shortened his distance.
The Inn then became popular tea rooms, before eventually becoming residential property. The park rangers live in the nearby cottages.
There are various parking spots in the vicinity. For example, the car park at the top of Farthing Downs on Ditches Lane, Coulsdon CR5 1DA, by the entrance to New Hill on Chaldon Way, CR5 1DL and by The Fox pub in Fox Lane, Coulsdon Common, Caterham CR3 5QS. The nearest train station is Coulsdon South.
Here’s a map provided courtesy of the Friends of Farthing Downs.
As a special bonus for reaching this far down the page, we’ve made you a video too.
Have you been to Happy Valley? Would you recommend it? Let others know in the comments below. Or why not give this walk a star rating?
Current photos and video © SecretCarshalton.com. Did you know, every single walk on this website, we test personally.