Showing posts from April, 2020

The Covid Walks: Option 3 Coombe Wood

Option 3 of the Coombe antiquities walk is to visit Coombe Wood Local Nature Reserve.  Once at the top of Traps Lane - head across the road to Coombe Hill and then onto Henley drive where there is an access board. The nature reserve can also be reached via the A3 slip road, where there is a public footpath/cycle route. Hopping and Coombe wood are split in two (north- south) by the Kingston by-pass. The western half is more established and not as disturbed  that the eastern half, which can be reached by an overbridge, although the latter is more 'alive' and biodiverse. If leaving via the alternative route; the slip road at Coombe Lane West by the New Victoria hospital, then the sign for Hoppingwood Farm denotes a modern office site and not the original farm, which was in New Malden. The site has some magnificent oak trees, two old ponds and  understory of bluebells and wild garlic. However a lack of attention,  the dumping of garden rubbish and rhodendro

The Covid walks short series: Norbiton Common and Cambridge Estate

One of the ambitions of the 'Tolworth Treasure and the Hogsmill Hum' walks currated by Lucy Furlong and myself and featured on Radio 4's walking women was that you can enjoy walking anywhere but you may need a device to help you connect with the area. Walking along the busy Tolworth Broadway was particularly enjoyable when in the company of one of its former residents: Richard Jefferies. 'Richard Jefferies' along Tolworth Broadway The following short circular walk is around parts of what was NORBITON COMMON and was written in the context of a discreet period of time when Kingston Cemetery was locked (it has since reopened). Alexander Mitchelson, a market gardener who lived in NORBITON STREET - was the founder of the Kingston heritage apple - the 'Mitchelson's seedling'. He had 13 acres of  his allotments at NORBITON COMMON (an additional 15 acres were situated at Kingston hospital at the A308 junction). Tithe Map Starting at Kingston Road, y

The Covid Walks: Coombe antiquities

This circular walk, Norbiton - New Malden - Coombe - New Malden, is suitable for pyjama bottoms or shorts.  You may feel more comfortable wearing a face mask along THE CUT  as it is quite busy. There are opportunities to walk on grass verges rather than paths if you suffer from arthritis. Some background reading is advised to get the most out of this walk. The walk starts at the Railway bridge over the KINGSTON ROAD at Leigh Close Industrial Estate, where there is a footpath along the railway lines. Can you see the entrance to the footpath in the photo? On the left  is an old Cedar and some Lleyland Cypress trees which goldcrests love. They make a sweet noise, swinging up and down the register of the higher notes, that only people under 50 can hear well. You can search for birdsong here. Leigh Close industrial estate Kingston Road. Exit the footpath and you are at Elm road railway crossing and about to enter THE CUT on the right hand side. Do mas