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Abbey Wood Circular

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Abbey Wood Circular
Author: cjmorris84, Published: 29 Jan 2018 Walk Rating:star1 Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide star1 Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide star1 Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide star1 Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide star0 Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide
London, Abbey Wood
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Abbey Wood Circular
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide boot Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide boot Abbey Wood Circular Walking Guide
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A six-mile circular walk around Abbey Wood in London, visiting Lesnes Abbey ruins, running along Woodland Way and passing next to Crossness Nature Reserve. The route includes woods, footpaths and parks; there is also some street walking and one section passes through an industrial estate.

There are some fairly steep hills early on, however it is predominantly flat after that. There are a couple of kissing gates, some steps and one stile to negotiate (at waypoint seven). The route is mainly on tarmac and dirt tracks (some of these get moderately muddy in winter but old trainers or walking boots will likely do). There are a couple of road crossings that need care. One park has free-roaming horses, but these are used to walkers and usually keep to themselves. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts from Abbey Wood station, which is well connected with trains and local buses.

Walk Sections

Start to Woodland Crossroads

Start point: 51.4911 lat, 0.1217 long
End point: 51.4874 lat, 0.1237 long

Exit Abbey Wood station and turn right to go over the bridge. At the end of the bridge, you will notice a park with an ornate entrance 'Lesnes Abbey Wood'. Go through the entrance and follow the path for a short distance until it starts to curve to the right. At this point, take the smaller path to the left which heads to a big metal gate.

Once you reach the gate, turn right to head up the hill (watch your head on the low hanging tree branch). As you near the top you will come to a dirt crossroads (the first one you encounter). Take a left to head down the short, steep, hill.

Woodland Crossroads to Lesnes Abbey
Woodland Crossroads to Lesnes Abbey

Start point: 51.4874 lat, 0.1237 long
End point: 51.4875 lat, 0.1289 long

Once you have got to the bottom of the short, steep hill, continue straight up the other (much more gentle) side. **NOTE: Make sure you keep the houses on your left throughout this woodland section** As you near the top, bear left and left again when you come to the fork (past the small post with red rings around it, which is on your left). You will go down some steps to get to the main road. Cross the road carefully (cars drive fast round there).

On the other side of the road, pass through the gate to enter the park and take the path to the right (where the litter bin is). This will curve around and you will see a cafe building on your left. When you get to the crossroads, you can turn left to go and view the ruins of Lesnes Abbey (well worth a visit). Once you have had a look around, head back to this point and head into the woods.

Lesnes Abbey to Leaving the Green Chain
Lesnes Abbey to Leaving the Green Chain

Start point: 51.4875 lat, 0.1289 long
End point: 51.4894 lat, 0.143 long

As you enter the woods you will see a path immediately to the left, which is signed as the Green Chain walk. Turn left at this point. The walk follows the Green Chain through this wooded section, so you should follow those posts throughout this section.

After a couple of minutes you will see a face carved into a tree on the left (pictured), continue on to follow the Green Chain past this, first down the hill and then up the very steep hill. You will come to a clearing, continue straight across (following the Green Chain) and then down the hill.

At the bottom of the hill you will reach an alleyway. Turn right and follow this for a short distance until you reach a road. **NOTE: Do not follow the Green Chain once you reach the road**

Leaving the Green Chain to Belvedere Station
Leaving the Green Chain to Belvedere Station

Start point: 51.4894 lat, 0.143 long
End point: 51.4915 lat, 0.1518 long

As you exit the alleyway from the last section, the Green Chain turns right and heads up the hill (on the main road). Do NOT follow this, instead head down the hill on the main road (pictured; where the car has come from).

At the bottom of the hill, follow the bend to the right and follow the road until you come to the sign for Belvedere Station. You should turn left here towards the station.

Belvedere Station to Woodland Way
Belvedere Station to Woodland Way

Start point: 51.4915 lat, 0.1518 long
End point: 51.4953 lat, 0.1423 long

Once you reach Belvedere Station, use the footbridge to cross the tracks. Continue straight down the main road on the other side of the bridge.

As you near the end of the road, turn left on Waterfield Close. You will soon see the main road on the right and you should start to walk along it in the same direction. There is a set of traffic lights as you enter the main road (by the bus stop), do NOT use these as the path runs out on the other side (as I found out), instead continue along the main road (passing the old gas works, pictured). When you get to the second set of lights, cross the road, break off the main road and head down Waldrist Way.

There is a small bridge just round the corner. Cross over it and immediately turn right through the gate to the footpath by the stream.

Woodland Way to Crossness Nature Reserve
Woodland Way to Crossness Nature Reserve

Start point: 51.4953 lat, 0.1423 long
End point: 51.4987 lat, 0.1483 long

Once through the gate, follow the path as it curves to the left, keeping the stream on your right. The path straightens with large fields on the left. Continue forward, keeping the fields on your left. You will get to a kissing gate, go through it and go up to the road. Cross the road very carefully as the cars often travel fast.

Crossness Nature Reserve to Belvedere Road
Crossness Nature Reserve to Belvedere Road

Start point: 51.4987 lat, 0.1483 long
End point: 51.5048 lat, 0.1322 long

Once on the other side of the road, follow the footpath and travel parallel to the road (which runs across to your left).

You will soon come to the water treatment works with Crossness Nature Reserve continuing in front. This walking route does not continue into the reserve, however it is worth taking some time to explore the reserve and then come back to the route here if you wish.

Instead of continuing into the reserve, turn left and walk along the footpath, this stretches for quite some distance alongside the water treatment works (pictured, looking back from Belvedere Road). Climb over the stile to reach Belevedere Road.

Belvedere Road to Abbey Wood
Belvedere Road to Abbey Wood

Start point: 51.5048 lat, 0.1322 long
End point: 51.4916 lat, 0.1272 long

Once over the stile, turn left and follow the road under the bridge as it curves to the right.

You will soon reach Southmere Park on your left. Do NOT take the first entrance, but carry on for about 10 metres or so to enter the park by the lake. Please note that there are horses roaming this park, however they usually keep to themselves. Follow the path, keeping the lake on your right, until you come to a large open area with a rock signpost on the ground. Turn left to travel to the left of the grass steps and playground.

Continue to follow the path as you near the end of the park, crossing over the bridge and continuing on the second stretch of park. At the end of this section, you will see a bridge which takes you over the railway. DO NOT use this, instead travel to the right side to reach the road which runs parallel to the railway, and turn right.

Abbey Wood to End

Start point: 51.4916 lat, 0.1272 long
End point: 51.4914 lat, 0.1213 long

Once you have turned right on the road, follow the railway for a short distance. You will shortly meet Abbey Wood station, where you the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author cjmorris84 and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 comments for "Abbey Wood Circular"

Please update this walk to make it clear that Crossness Nature reserve is NOT closed. The public part was only closed briefly at the start of the year and has been open for at least 6 months. The protected area, open to members only, has also just reopened (in September 2018). The reserve is under threat from development by Cory Riverside who are very likely to be allowed to build both a second incinerator and four storey data centres at the very boundaries of the reserve. It is therefore important that as many people visit this wonderful place as possible and are not misled into thinking it is closed.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know that the reserve is open. We have updated the guide.

By danno78 on 17 Sep 2018

Great walk with good instructions. Nice to discover a new part of London.

By liannemurray on 03 Mar 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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