The Vanguard Way
This is a great 66 mile route encompassing a variety of landscapes and points of interest from East Croydon down to Newhaven on the Sussex coast. We’ll bump it up to 85 miles or so with links to and from the railway stations on six separate hiking days. There are trains out from London and back for the whole of the route. The journey time gets up to one and a half hours each way by the end.
Section 1 - 13.6 miles
This is only for people who are OK going up and down hills. The path begins very conveniently at East Croydon station and during the course of the morning threads its way out of the suburbs into the open country beyond.
After a nicely situated pub lunch stop we go up and over the North Downs, then leave the path to duck under the M25 on our way to the railway station at Oxted.
There is a £1 charge payable to the organizer on the day.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 9.00 and 9.25 a.m. at Victoria Station, by the ticket office. I will be wearing the floppy hat and moustache for recognition. Ideally get into groups of 4 for buying tickets.
Buy Ticket: Day Return to Oxted. From £9.50 for 1 adult down to £4.75 each in a group of 4.
Outward Travel: 9.40 a.m. train from Victoria platform 17 to East Croydon platform 4. Arrive at 9.59. There are toilets on platform 3 & 4. The Ladies is inside the café.
Meet for Start of Hike: From 10.00 to 10.10 a.m. by the taxi rank. Turn left out of the main exit on to the main road facing the tram stop. Go round the corner of Whistlestop Food and Wine. Meet under the projecting roof, by the ticket machines and taxi rank.
Part 1: 6.8 miles. We'll have to crack on a bit faster than previously stated in order to get to the pub by 1 pm. Maximum 2 hours 50 minutes at an average speed of 3 mph on the flat, adjusted for the ups and downs and an occasional short stop to regroup and look around.
Lunch: 1 hour stop. You can choose to either order food in the pub or have your packed lunch outside. We'll leave by 14:15 or earlier.
Part 2: 6.7 miles. Maximum 3 hours 5 minutes in total.
End of Hike: Arrive at Oxted Station by 17:20
Post-Hike Refreshment: For those who wish, we walk on just over half a mile into the old town where there is a choice of pubs.
Return Travel: 17:28 train to London Victoria or hourly thereafter. 41 minutes journey time.
Click on the Pages tab for some hiking tips.