Locked down in the Cronx (not the brewery!)
Croydon, with it's many tall buildings, once laid claim to being akin to Manhattan. With much of the London Borough feeling rather edgier than that swish part of New York, locals embraced the term 'Cronx' as a reference to the rougher Bronx. In fact one of the local craft breweries has taken that as it's name.
Anyway, we now find ourselves locked down again, allowed out only for essential trips (food, pharmacy, medical appointments) and for exercise. With news of people in another part of England being fined £200 for driving 8 miles to a local beauty spot to walk, we've been keeping it very local. We are very fortunate to live near to a lot of green space, so have started to explore more of it beyond Lloyd Park and Coombe Woods which are the nearest green spaces, and have been pleasantly surprised a few times.
This is a site of designated special scientific interest; in the midst of suburban housing and adjoining a golf course, this ancient woodland offers peace and calm. It's about a 15 minute walk from our house, so it's somewhere we've been fairly often, especially as it offers a nice circular walk.
The climb to the top is rewarded with beautiful views, and a chance to take in some history tracing the lines of a Bronze Age Barrow. This is the kind of place that I would have loved to explore as a child; there are places to hide, logs to clamber over, trees to climb, and slopes to run down with a sense of danger.
Just before Christmas, a flask of mulled wine and a mince pie made the climb to the top even more rewarding than usual. I did just feel one step up from a wino on a park bench with a bottle of White Lightening cider!
A Georgian house, gardens, and adjacent farm are all to be found about a mile from our house.
It's absolutely stunning late spring when the rhododendrons explode into flower; we saw one early variety flowering, but will need to wait a few months for the full splendor. We did however get meet the inquisitive horses from the adjoining farm, no doubt hoping for an apple or carrot from us.
After visiting Heathfield we drove up to Addington Palace, which is about a mile and a half from home, but didn't get to see the palace as it's on private property. So we then went for a walk on Addington Park, which was nice, and we got a glimpse of the palace from the rear across the golf course (there are a *lot* of golf courses where we live!). Once where the Archbishops of Canterbury resided it's now a golf course, spa, and wedding venue.
We proceeded onto the village and took a look in the church, which we thought was old from a distance, but we hadn't appreciated that it actually dates from 1080. A number of archbishops are buried there, as well as the odd knight. With painted plaster it's very pretty as well as being historic. I was interested to see that the current clerical team are all women.
You may have noticed a few words in this piece not usually associated with Croydon: farm, horses, history, golf clubs, palace, knights and Archbishops of Canterbury. It's not all tower blocks.
Where have you been exploring local to you? Do let us know.
St Mary's the Blessed Virgin, Addington