AP Photographic Walk When doing this walk, it’s worth remembering to look back periodically as you go, to capture anything you may have missed on the way; and consider coming back in different light conditions/weather as this will give you a completely different experience.
Starting at Old Mill, walk diagonally left across Common to St John’s Terrace, past the Victorian Lodge on the corner. Walk down to end of St John’s Terrace, go down steps and along edge of railings on the right.past houses on Blendon Terrace, and continue ahead into Vicarage Road. At the bottom of the road turn right past the Vicarage (c.1790) and at the end turn right, up Vicarage Park. At the top left corner, where there is a concrete lined dip inside railings, turn left into the Conservation Area down some steps. There are views across the horse paddock and an old mulberry tree, a legacy of the time when this was a garden. After 5 minutes here, retrace your way back up the steps to Blendon Terrace and bear round to the left to rejoin the Common. (There is an alternative set of steps which will take you up by the top of Bramblebury Road, be aware that at the top of them there is a slope which could be muddy/slippery after wet weather, which is why we will be returning on the steps to Vicarage Road)
Continue back across the Common, walking between the tennis courts to your left and the bowling green to your right. Once back on Waverley Crescent, detour left to look at Alms Houses built 1896, before continuing past The Old Mill, and heading past the end of Chestnut Rise (views to left). Go down steps to Slade pond. Continue round to the right to take photos through the railings of the pond, as far as the western end, then retrace your route and climb up steps on the right to The Slade. Turn left, down Lakedale Road, before crossing over onto the Common.
Continue along Green Chain Walk, parallel to King’s Highway, and onto Bleak Hill Lane, a cinder path. Detour onto a path on the right through an area of grass, directly after a patch of brambles peters out on your right. Follow this path to the very end, as it dips down and up through an area of mixed trees and grassland. When you reach a set of steps on your right which lead down to King’s Highway, do not go down them but instead, turn left, away from them and skirt round the edge of the Common. Presently you will see a fairly narrow entrance to the Wildflower Meadow on your right. Go into the Wildflower Meadow. If you walk to the very eastern tip of it, through some trees you will see a high view over Wickham Lane with Bostall Woods beyond. Leave the Wildflower Meadow, bearing right before you reach the Common, over an area of burnt grass, the site of a bonfire, then emerge through the trees to skirt along the Eastern edge of Winn’s Common and enter the Green Chain path dipping down into woodland on your right. Go as far as the small post on the right of the path where you will see the backs of houses, then retrace your footsteps back up the path and re-emerge onto the Common. Turn right, walk to the edge of the Common, noticing the rusty old stench pipe to your right. Look at the old steps on the small area of grass across Winn Common Road next to Grosland Road in the shadow of the flats.
Walk along Winn Common Road, note views right down Purrett Road. Stay on grass verge to right of Winn Common Road, cross Riverdale Road (more views) and along Heath Villas. Bear right onto the spit of land, which juts out to the North with excellent panoramic views over to Essex through trees, and views to the left towards Shooters Hill. Continue towards the Childrens’ Paddling Pool, going down a small dip on the way. Walk over to the bench to your right to enjoy additional views North.Then cross towards the steps to the left of the three storey houses on Lakedale Road, walk down these steps, noticing the picturesque gardens on your right, to re-emerge back at The Slade Pond, then continue up the steps alongside the pond towards Plumstead Common. Continue back to the Old Mill, where the walk ends.