Welcome on board our Tour of Chislehurst, designed and presented by The Chislehurst Society, to show how much of Chislehurst's rich and varied history can still be experienced today.
Chislehurst can date itself back to before the Norman Conquest, and there has been continuous settlement here for a thousand years or more. Most of what we can now see was developed since the middle of the 19th century, though some buildings, such as the parish church, are much older. Chislehurst became a fashionable place to live after the exiled Emperor of France took up residence here, which nearly coincided with the extension of the railway to Chislehurst. There followed a huge expansion of building and development, which formed the basis for Chislehurst as it is today. At the same time the new residents wanted to maintain a rural feel to Chislehurst, and they campaigned successfully to keep the Commons, Petts Wood and Scadbury Park as open spaces.
There is much to see, and our tour is designed to let you see the charms of Chislehurst past and present, either from the comfort of your home, or by walking or cycling the route. The tour starts at Chislehurst Station, which is located on the southwestern edge of Chislehurst, and it is here that we will finish, though of course being circular, the tour can be started and finished where you like!
Some notes to bear in mind:
- The text gives you directions (marked with a blue arrow). If you are walking, the whole trip could take most of a day. There are plenty of places to rest and eat and drink.
- We give hints about what to look for on the trip. If you would like to point out something of interest that we haven't included, please let us know...
- Old photographs are from our archives, and where possible we have tried to show what today's views are like. Try clicking on any of the photographs to see if there are more images available..
- Today's images have been captured by local resident, Roger Taylor. Please ask for permission before downloading and using them. It is noticeable how difficult it is to get the same view in many locations, mainly because of the much greater number of trees today than when the original images were taken.
- If you want to take something with you as you walk or cycle the tour, you can download a pdf of the route here... We have now printed a bound booklet. You can buy a copy here...
- Please send us any photographs you take along the route. We will be happy to display as many as we can on the site.
We have not been able to include all parts of Chislehurst in this tour, in particular, the areas north of Red Hill, the stretch of Green Lane from Belmont Parade, and the parts of Chislehurst near Leeson's Hill are not included. They are lovely places, but not easy to include in an organised trip.
|What to look out for|
|Directions to the next stop|
Note on the Tour for walkers and cyclists:
The walk is some 7 miles long (plus another mile or so if you extend it to Babington House and Bullers Wood). There are three steep hills, Summer Hill, Red Hill and Logs Hill (if you take the detour to Bullers Wood), otherwise the route is reasonably comfortable. Apart from the trip to Willett Memorial Wood (Stop 16) and any walking you do on the Commons, which are on grass or dirt tracks, the route is served by pavements in reasonable condition. You will need to cross some busy roads during the tour.