Here Be Dragons: In Search Of The End Of London

M@
By M@ Last edited 89 months ago
Here Be Dragons: In Search Of The End Of London
We're in the East now, but it doesn't look much like the Eastend.
We're in the East now, but it doesn't look much like the Eastend.
And the view, looking towards London, from the road.
And the view, looking towards London, from the road.
The Northern extremity of London.
The Northern extremity of London.
And the view of Tilekiln Osiers from the motorway, almost Constable-esque in its beauty.
And the view of Tilekiln Osiers from the motorway, almost Constable-esque in its beauty.
The Southern limit of London, where the green line turns a sharp corner.
The Southern limit of London, where the green line turns a sharp corner.
Looking North from the Southern extremity. You can almost taste the city.
Looking North from the Southern extremity. You can almost taste the city.
The Western boundary peaks at Junction 14 of the M25.
The Western boundary peaks at Junction 14 of the M25.
Down on the ground, Google's Street View car performs an umbral self-portrait.
Down on the ground, Google's Street View car performs an umbral self-portrait.
We're in the East now, but it doesn't look much like the Eastend.
We're in the East now, but it doesn't look much like the Eastend.
And the view, looking towards London, from the road.
And the view, looking towards London, from the road.
The Northern extremity of London.
The Northern extremity of London.
And the view of Tilekiln Osiers from the motorway, almost Constable-esque in its beauty.
And the view of Tilekiln Osiers from the motorway, almost Constable-esque in its beauty.
The Southern limit of London, where the green line turns a sharp corner.
The Southern limit of London, where the green line turns a sharp corner.
Looking North from the Southern extremity. You can almost taste the city.
Looking North from the Southern extremity. You can almost taste the city.
The Western boundary peaks at Junction 14 of the M25.
The Western boundary peaks at Junction 14 of the M25.
Down on the ground, Google's Street View car performs an umbral self-portrait.
Down on the ground, Google's Street View car performs an umbral self-portrait.

Where are the limits of London? Exactly how far North, South, East and West is it possible to live and still call yourself a Londoner? Rather than making the torturous pilgrimage to the edges of our homeland, we decided to boot up Google Earth, open up the atlas and indulge in the greatest feat of armchair exploration since Sir Ranulph Fiennes got locked in DFS.

North

According to the A-Z, the furthest up you can go in London is Tilekiln Ossiers. It's a small rhomboid of low deciduous woodland cut in twain by the M25. The northern edge of the motorway itself marks the boundary line, so we've included a Street View from this spot. If, for some reason, you'd like to go see this blessed patch for yourself, Crews Hill station is within a kilometre. Surprisingly, there's a tourist attraction nearby. Diamond Geezer visited the little-known Whitewebbs Museum of Transport late last year. View in maps.

South

To reach London's antipole, we must trek down to the southern tip of the Borough of Croydon. Virtually, of course. Our southern extremity is also rural, as the photo above attests. We're on Ditches Road, a winding country track that heads down from Coulsdon towards...oh, we don't know. Whatever's south of London. Not much in the way of public transport in these parts, but you could take a hike from Coulsdon South rail, passing a forensic mental health unit, on the edge of something called Happy Valley and down past Sparklie Wood and 'The Devil's Den'. It's all a bit strange round here. View in maps.

East

Our easterly peregrinations take us beyond the M25. That's right, a small portion of Greater London lies outside its own Orbital. There aren't many names on the A-Z at this point. In fact, page 79 of our Master Atlas is largely blank, save for the crimson declaration of 'THURROCK' and a cat's cradle of farm tracks and dykes. The nearest place name is 'Corner Farm', although it looks like some of the outhouses of nearby Fen Farm might just trump it. We wonder if they get into arguments about who is the most easterly Londoner? If you wish to penetrate this hinterland, your nearest station is Ockendon. View in maps.

West

Our occidental champion is seemingly easy to pinpoint. It's Junction 14 of the M25. But here we have a boundary dispute. Our A-Z sees the edge of London track the circumference of the roundabout, while Google Earth clearly shows the border passing through the centre of the junction and thus rendering the north-west portion of Horton Road as the true end point of London. There's a huge Travelodge across the road where frontier pedants can argue it out. View in maps.

See also: Where is the centre of London?

Last Updated 08 September 2010