Guided Heritage Walks

Throughout the year Guided Heritage Walks, led by experienced Penge Heritage Trail guides, take place raising awareness of Penge’s multi-faceted history and heritage.

There are two heritage  walks: Heritage Walk 1, a circular walk, and Heritage Walk 2, a linear walk.

Heritage Walk 1 begins at Alexandra Nurseries on Parish Lane and ends at the Royal Watermen’s Almshouses. This leisurely walk, lasting about one and a half hours, takes in the Alexandra Estate, Holy Trinity Church and its meditation garden, the Lionel Atwill connection, Alexandra Recreation Ground, Penge East Station,  the Royal Naval Asylum, Queen Adelaide Court and the Festival of Britain,  St John’s Church, the Ira Aldridge connection and the Royal Watermen’s Almshouses. Walkers receive 10% discount on food and drink at the Nurseries at the end of this walk.

Heritage Walk 2 begins outside the Penge West entrance to Crystal Palace Park and ends in Empire Square. The one and a half hour walk takes in the Dinosaurs and Crystal Palace Park, Bridge House Tavern and its bijou professional Theatre, the George Orwell connection, composer Arthur Carnall, Penge Recreation Ground, the Victorian Murder Mystery, the Royal Watermen’s Almshouses. the Crooked Billet and Empire Square, site of the famous Empire Theatre.

Both walks are free although donations towards Penge Heritage projects are gratefully accepted. These two walks are led alternately on Penge Days, during Pengefest, and during the Penge Festival.

Owing to the negotiation of an over-line passenger bridge at Penge East station Heritage Walk 1 is not recommended for buggies, prams or mobility scooters.

Heritage Walk 3 is planned for May 2020, taking in new Heritage sites and plaques. There is a degree of overlap on all three walks but each one has its unique features.

The Walter de la Mare Walk begins outside the Moon and Stars pub on Penge High Street. The mainly circular walk lasts about one and half hours and takes in the four houses where the poet and novelist lived from 1899 to 1925. The story is told of his move to Anerley, SE20, and how his life there produced some of his best work. Today Walter de la Mare’s work is being newly discovered by academics and republished. The first international conference on his work – Reading Walter de la Mare – took place in September 2018, at Cambridge University.

The Listeners, once judged Britain favourite poem, was written while he was living in Worbeck Road.  Connecting poems are read outside the houses where they were written. The walk ends at the Thornsett Road house which became a social and literary hub with famous visitors such as Seigfried Sassoon, Henry Williamson, Cathleen Nesbitt and Rupert Brooke. Light refreshments are provided at this last stop, courtesy of the house-owners.

Again, this walk is free but donations towards Heritage projects are gratefully accepted. Walkers are provided with free Penge Heritage Guides on completion of the walks.

Spring Walks are led in partnership with the Friends of Cator and Alexandra. These walks traverse two parks, Cator Park and Alexandra Recreation Ground, via the beautiful Pool River embankment. The history narratives of the parks are given from their origins as aspects of the Cator Estate and the ancient Penge Common, their reclamation by the local council and  their status today.

Spring Walks take place once per year during March and are free. Donations are gratefully accepted toward Friends’ projects.