I’m lucky enough to live in Coulsdon and have this fantastic trail right on my door step. For those who live further into London, Coulsdon is easily accessible by train from both London Victoria and London Bridge Railway stations. Perfect if you fancy escaping the city for a few hours on a Sunday morning.
The 7.5 mile, fairly hilly route is mostly on trails with some pavements and a section between Chaldon and Farthing Downs where you have to run on the road but it was very quiet when I was out. The route can get boggy and slippery in places so take care, especially on the hilly sections.
Starting from Coulsdon, head out towards Coulsdon South Station. At the large roundabout take the first exit and head up Marlpit Lane. After about 200 metres turn right into Downs Road. A little further along you will see the entrance to Farthing Downs and the start of the trail.
Head up the hill until you reach the Farthing Downs car park where you cross over the road and down into Happy Valley. The first 200 metres is all woodland before it opens out into open pastureland. From here continue in a diagonal direction across the open ground to the bottom of the valley and along until you reach the end.
At the end of the valley take the steep track off to the left and follow the path around the Golf Course for about 1.5km until you reach Rook Lane. Turn right and run along the pavement for about 300 metres, you will see a narrow footpath on your right hand side that will take you through the Golf Course. Follow the path around and you will come out close to the clubhouse. Cross the road and head down the steep, narrow track which opens out into a path through the course. Head up the hill and exit the Golf Course on to Leazes Avenue.
Follow the road down until you reach the turnoff on the right hand side. Just past the turnoff there is a narrow entrance to another footpath on your left hand side which takes you down to the village of Chaldon.
Exiting the footpath, turn right and head along Ditches Lane. Although the road is fairly quiet, there is no pavement so watch out for traffic. Continue along Ditches Lane for 1.5km until you reach the Farthing Downs car park for the second time. From here you can follow the first part of the route in reverse back down into Coulsdon and the end of the run.