LAURA REYNOLDS wrote at Londonist.com on 24 October 2016:
“Yeah, yeah, we know. Swanley’s in Kent, not London. It is, however, inside the M25, and in 2016 it joined the prestigious ranks of Watford High Street, Cheshunt and Chalfont & Latimer in Zone 8 of the TfL network.
That means that, if you’re so inclined, you can use your Oyster or contactless card to travel to Swanley station. If you were to do so, what would you find there? Let us enlighten you:
Swanley Square Shopping Centre
Alright, so it’s no Westfield. But Swanley Square Shopping Centre offers top high street brands such as Wilkinson, Card Factory and Poundland.
When you’re all shopped out, Costa, KFC and Subway are on hand to provide refreshments.
Every Wednesday, a local market pops up at Swanley Square. We’ve not been ourselves, but evidence suggests you can buy everything from fresh fish to stuffed Rainbow toys to miniature Big Bens. After all, Swanley is basically part of London now.
Sidcup & District Motorcycle Club is based at Canada Heights track, the nearest town to which is Swanley.
Although some events are for members only, others are open to the public. Keep an eye on the upcoming event schedule, and you could soon be watching some seriously muddy cross-country biking.
Swanley New Barn Railway
Swanley Park is approximately a 20-minute walk from Swanley station, but those who put in the effort can reap the rewards in the form of the Swanley New Barn Railway.
‘Another railway?’ we hear you cry, ‘but we’ve only just got off the train!’
Yes, but this half mile of miniature railway transports visitors from the car park to the other attractions of the park — such as the boating lake, sandpit and cafe.
Don’t write it off as just a pleasure trip though: the SNBR website boasts of ‘a rush-hour style headache on most high season afternoons’. Take that, Southeastern.
According to the Town Council’s website, Swanley was once seen as “the ideal place to send sick Londoners”. It had not one, not two, but THREE hospitals, which is just plain greedy if you ask us.
Except all three have now closed, so on second thoughts, it’s probably not the best place to head for if you’re feeling peaky.
Not just any Asda — an Asda Supercentre. Just walking around one of those bad boys is practically a day’s entertainment in itself. Baked goods, clothing and homewares all await your arrival, and you can even get your recycling done while you’re there. If it all gets too much, schedule in a bargain fry up at the cafe.
Misleadingly, one thing you are unlikely to see in Swanley is swans. It’s thought the name comes from the Saxon ‘Swine-ley’ meaning pig farm. Oink oink.”