An Upper Norwood Walk

Route & what to see

site map

Upper Norwood was a rural area until the mid 19th century when the 'Crystal Palace' was re-erected at the top of Anerley Hill. This brought visitors, railways & new residents and changed the area completely. This walk combines the area's attractive parks and woods with the 'Norwood Triangle'. The Croydon Borough includes several conservation areas. With its elevated position there are some fine views across London but also some hills to climb!

A 3 mile circular walk from the bus station at the southern end of Crystal Palace Parade. Gipsy Hill Station is just off the route - walk to the right up the hill to join the walk where indicated in the text.

From the bus station go to the left to the road junction
This was the site of the Vicar's Oak until about 1825 which served as a boundary marker. It is still the point where the boroughs of Croydon, Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark meet. The Palace pub stands on the site of the war-damaged Royal Crystal Palace Hotel.

Cross to the Westow House
This was formerly the White Swan pub. On the opposite corner is the Cambridge of 1880 with decorative glazed tiles.

Go along Westow Hill
The offices (previously a Nat West Bank) next to the Westow House have a plaque to the artist Camille Pissarro. Plumbase was built as Burton's Tailors in Art Deco style. Joannas is on the site of the old Woodman pub with an adjacent cobbled lane that would have led to stables. Beyond this numbers 34-40 are pre-1850 cottages converted to shops. At Beardall Street there are views towards London. The library of 1899 is situated on the corner of this road.

Opposite this road go into the cobbled lane alongside the Royal Albert pub.
This was the site of an early 19th century windmill and Mill Cottages, demolished in 1980. Beyond was an area of cottages and workshops known as the Paddock - now developed with housing.

Beyond the barrier go left then right through the estate and then right as signposted into Carberry Road
At the end are former dairy premises.

At the end go left along Westow Street
The former post office building is now a restaurant and the adjacent sorting office has been converted to a Wetherspoons pub. The Norwood Heights complex including a supermarket was built on the site of Barker's Piano Store & factory and a Salvation Army citadel. The 'Picture Palace' has a well-preserved attractive frontage. The Presbyterian Church of 1878 has now become a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to St Helen & St Constantine. Number 71 was formerly a meeting hall, part of the original White Hart built around 1800.

Go around to the left into Church Road
The present White Hart pub was built in 1868 in a Tyrolean style. From this road you can view the weatherboarded rear of the Meeting Hall.

Go into Alma Place to the right

Return along Church Road and go left into Belvedere Road
There is a row of former almshouses on the left.

There is the option of continuing down Belvedere Road and returning up Fox Hill. Otherwise go through Tudor Road as below
Belvedere Road has the following featues:
Some impossing Victorian Houses. The home of sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (plaque) with a curious folly in the garden. Hawkins was responsible for making the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park. A Penfold hexagonal pillarbox.

Go right along Tudor Road and right at Fox Hill
This was a track leading to Fox Farm which still stood in 1827. Pissarro painted a picture of Fox Hill that is in the National Gallery.
View this image

This road comes out opposite Westow Park. Go left along Church Road
This is an ancient route which is shown on Rocque's map of 1745. It became a desirable residential area when the Crystal Palace was re-built nearby. Numbers 124, 126 & 128 are all Grade II listed. The Queen's hotel was built to serve visitors to the Palace. Famous people who stayed there included the Emperor of Prussia and Emile Zola (blue plaque).

Opposite the Queen's Hotel go into the Park (a cul-de-sac). At the end bear left to enter Stambourne Woodland and follow the path through.

At the end go right along Auckland Road
The impossing St John the Evangalist Church was designed by J L Pearson with a rose window by Sir Ninian Comper.

Look out for a gate on the right (opposite Kiwi House) leading into Beaulieu Heights and go through this. Follow the path up then bear left. At the open ground head across right towards the mast and follow the path left to the exit.

Go right along South Norwood Hill and left into Spa Close. At the end go down steps into Kingslyn Cresent and follow this to the left. Cross Grange Road into The Lawns opposite. Follow the path through keeping to the right and exit by some white posts. Go along the drive to the lodge buildings.

Cross Beulah Hill into Harold Road and follow this.
Many of the houses in this road were built in the 1880s for middle class professionals.

Go left at Eversley Road then through Upper Norwood Recreation Ground to the right into Chevening Road.

Go right at Chevening Road and cross Harold Road into College Green to the left. Go into Westow Park on the left and keep to the left hand path. Just beyond the green-roofed building exit into Bedwardine Road to the left. Go right along this road.
Gatestone Road to the left has some houses with stone facades.

At the top go left and then right through Haynes Lane to Westow Street
Opposite is the Foresters Hall with a prominent clock, at one time used as one of Croydon's Crown Courts.

Go left along Westow Street
The Hollybush Stores were originally 3 Victorian cottages. There are other early shops in this street but some were demolished to provide an entrance to Ovett Close.

Cross at the lights and continue along Gipsy Hill
There is a former police station on the right and views across to London. The tower of Christ Church built in 1866, which remained after a fire, has been incorporated into a grand house.

Go right at Cawnpore Street
There is an attractive Arts & Crafts style building on the corner site.

At the end go right along Woodland Road. Past number 82 go through Jasper Passage to the left, right into Jasper Road then first left to join Farquhar Road. Go right along this road.
This runs alongside the former track of the railway, now re-developed with housing. As the road turns to the left the grand station building by E M Barry would have been situated on the left. To the right the turntable area, now used for parking, is still visable.

Cross over to the bus station. You can extend the walk by exploring Crystal Palace Park. 2009

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