Suburbly Line




The Great Loop Forward

     You have to change lines several times, but always at places where there are charity shops, but you must be careful to get on the right train. 

      Orpington – Surbiton via Clapham Junction is the outer limit of the Oyster and Freedom card zone. it is easy enough to get to both of them from central London Rail stations but a nightmare trying to cross the crazed rail lines in South London. The two are about twenty miles apart, as the crow flies, but a sane crow would stop off at the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital in Camberwell for a check up if it saw the route you need to take.  As far as I can see the following is the best way to visit the greatest number and the best shops in South London in the least possible time.

Orpington 10, Petts Wood 4, Bromley South 5. Beckenham Junction 10.  West Norwood Streatham hill 7 , Clapham Junction 9,





From Orpington station down incline, and left down hill and left at roundabout, and into the high street, it is a long walk and you can get a bus but it is not worth it yet. Initially on the left are OXFAM, HOSPICE OF HOPE,  SAVE THE CHILDREN, AGE UK Scope and St Christophers have both closed. but continue  and on the other side  of the road is there is the  RED CROSS. then CANCER then THE PDSA, coming back towards the roundabout.

At the bus stop by the PDSA shop you can either get a bus back to the railway station, and/or to Petts Wood, the 208, in this  case I think the bus to Petts Wood is faster than the train.




 Out of Petts Wood station on south side, turn left and St CHRISTOPHERS is on opposite corner. The 208 bus from Orpington passes it. Oos turn left towards Bromley and ROMNEY HOUSE CATS RESCUE,  these two are worth a detour, especially the Cats, which seems  intent on turning stuff over, currently DVDS are 3 for £1.  OOS turn left and there is SENSE, Back to station and over bridge and turn left and right ahead head is SCOPE.





Out of Bromley South station on right and cross road to other side, even though the Oxfam is nearer, the first two shops listed are the best in the area, ALICES ATTIC, out of shop turn left and continue and on the left is St CHISTOPHERS,. then thr newly moved CANCER, the original shop is now closed Oos turn left and continue beyond the paved zone to the Heart Furniture shop but this is a long walk and not worth the effort unless you are keen on vey dull furniture. From Cancer cross to other side and back towards the station are: HEART,  SCOPE, BARNARDOS, and OXFAM

Beckenham Junction 10 T





Out of station towards the church and turn right and there is St CHRISTOPHER HOSPICE. OOS turn right and ahead to second major junction and turn right. The following shops are all on the right, in the High St:  SENSE, OXFAM, CANCER, HEART, SCOPE, and SALVATION ARMY. Cross road and there is RED CROSS, out of shop turn left and left at junction, and on left is MIND, You must now double back to the station and get the train on platform one for WEST NORWOOD. or you can take bus towards Croydon.




From West Norwood station turn left and there are two Emmaus shops on left, the first does electricals, the second clothes, and  just beyond the second if you turn left there is a pathway leading to large warehouse primarily furniture.Then on the other side is a third larger shop which does furniture and books. Out of the third EMMAUS shop turn left over bridge, and  RSPCA and GERANIUM are on left. From West Norwood it is possible to get a bus to Norwood Junction, where there is one of my favourite shops Fishers of Men










The next station west from West Norwood.

There are several railway stations in Streatham but it is a swine to get to the one you need, you must get to Streatham Hill, from West Norwood or Balham or Victoria and this is the only way by train but they are all a long way round unless you are at West Norwood..

I usually go to Streatham by bus from Brixton tube, out of tube turn left and it is one of the last stops in Brixton, but then you do have to find a bus that goes through Streatham, and they all seem to have the wonderful habit of stopping one stop before you want to get off, to change the driver, and the passengers are not allowed to get off there. If when they built the Victoria Line to Brixton they had left an old man with one arm and a bucket and spade, they could easily have extended the Victoria line out to Streatham and beyond by now. Why it is best to go this way is that you can visit the best shop first.


On the contrary this shops seems to give a lot, and is well worth a detour. Out of Streatham Hill station left towards Brixton, cross road, ignore the Trinity shop for the moment – you  certainly will do when you see the prices – and continue. sior. Out of Give a Little turn left and there is TRINITY oos left.  but newly listed is OASIS in Leigham Court Roaddirectly opposite  Streatham Hill station,, which I had not previously listed. out of shop turn left and left if you are only visiting Streatham then for  for the sake of your safety you should now keep to the left. Motorists in Streatham consider it their divine prime duty to attack anybody crossing the road. Newly opened is a large St Christophers. then OXFAM, CANCER, EART GENERAL and All ABOARD  continue south to the crossing, even there you are risking life and limb, and on the other side is SHELTER, Out of shop on left and there is then SENSE then TRINITY, then Heart Books and music..

There are no toilets on Streatham Hill station, this is a working class area, and the locals are not to be trusted, the council has closed the ones in Leigham Court road, you have to march to the far end of Streatham High Road and find the middle class Marks and Spencer by one of the other Streatham station at least one mile

From Shelter in Streatham, you can get the 319 bus seemingly going in the wrOng direction to Clapham, otherwise you will havee severe problems when you visit c.


all above updated march 2019

BALHAM 5 See Balham on the Northern line.



The charity shops of Clapham  are very difficult  to visit as one group, essentially they go off in three different direction which all lead well away from one another.  it is best not to start from Clapham Junction station, If you do want t begin from a station then the best is  Wandsworth Common, but there is only one shop there, and then you have to get a bus. far better is to begin from Streatham and get the 319 bus towards Sloane Square, which goes through Clapham but which initially seems to be going entirely the wrong way, ie the bus goes south, but at least you can easily visit two of my favourite shop in Tooting Bec. which I rate higher than all of the bijou shops south of clapham junction station



Alight from the 319 bus heading towards Sloane Square, just past Tooting Bec Station and it stops almost outside PAWS,  which is far better than most of the Cshops south of Clapham Junction station put together. They all  suffer from the Good House keeping disease, the Dale Carnegie version of friendliness, the Harrods version of economical pricing. and the feeling how long is it before I can leave without seeming rude, I did the first Trinity in Northcote road in under 13 seconds. and they had something in the  window I liked the look of, until I heard the price.

Out of PAWS turn right and on the other side is a large OASIS. then go back to the bus stop and head for Northcote road. on the way you pass trinity at Wandsworth common, but unless you want to innoculate yourself against the disease that is to come. it is not worth getting off the bus for.












OASIS 308-310 Battersea Park Road,, SW11 3BU 020 7924 2343

OASIS 553 553 Battersea Park Road, SW11 3BL 020 7924 7514



PAWS 543 Battersea Park Rd, SW11 3BL 07523 738006

FARA 254 Battersea Park Rd, SW11 3BP 020 7924 5575

CLAPHAM is where the campaign to drive out the working class has been triumphantly won, known as the low land clearance. Led by Chelsea estate agents who could no longer afford their own rents, initially setting up forts, with intimidation by dark suits, dull ties and carpet, where none but the brave trustafarians dared cross the portals. Those who understood that the real purpose of a house was to go up in price daily.

All the charity shops south of Clapham Junction are a bijou nightmares, I am only surprised they do not have commissionaires on the door. I am not longer brave or rich enough to enter most of them. the last one, where I felt a sense of guilt at not doing so, had a tie – too unserious for an estate agent – which they described as damaged, for which the wanted £12.00! As I mainly use ties to hold up my jeans, I did not think it was worth it. In the view of the assistant I was soon sorted out as not being the right sort of person by not knowing who the designer was.

If you want to buy stuff then it is best to head north from Clapham junction, there are far fewer shops, but you will be able to buy things,

From Clapham Junction station, exit north  at the Grant Road exit. near platform one, where there is still a whiff of the working class, cut through at an angle towards Falcon Road,, and on the right on the station side the road is a RED CROSS SHOP, I had never previously noticed this place until I came out of  Clapham junction station one day, usually I cycle down Falcon road, and it is set back at an angle, by the second bus stop, it is not great but I am sorry to have missed it,

Out of shop,  Get bus towards Battersea Bridge it is along walk about three stops, right into Battersea Park road, and on the left is OASIS, which is attempting to gentrify this part of Battersea, however they seem to regularly sell bikes. out of shop and across the road to a second OASIS, which previously look like it was on the closure list. but given the prices it asks it might as well be. out of shop and on the right is PAWS it should by rights be called Pause, it is by far the best shop in the area, and as it says in the doorway it has quality and value ( well nearly quality, but it is good enough for me). out of shop turn right and there is a FARA on the other side.


From FARA at the last junction In Northcote Road – but which bizarrely has an address in Chartham road – you have to walk a long way back to Clapham Junction, but far better is to take the 319 bus outside PAWS to the far end of Northcote Road and on the way you pass all the following charity shops on the way, HEART, SCOPE, TRINITY, CANCER, another TRINiIY and then FARA and FARA KIDS..  From here it is faster to walk back towards Clapham Junction.

MEKONG 22 Lavender Hill, SW11 5RN 020 3674 1953

Back at the Debenhams corner near Clapham junction station turn right on the right is yet another Trinity, out of shop right and a long way down on the left is the wonderfully name Mekong Children Charity shop. a bit far to walk, it is about three stops. whom I suspect are even now digging a tunnel to Northcote road, It is the best shop in the Clapham area, but alas the stock is vey small. The only good thing I can say about Clapham Junction is that it is easy to get away in all directions, but Sheen  is the closest