Situated in the London Borough of Bromley, Orpington is a town on the borders of south east London and Kent. Though if you were to ask any of its residents where they live, London or Kent, they would strongly say Kent! Though actually, this is incorrect...but you would be a brave person to say this! With a population of over 90,300, Orpington also contains the areas of Chelsfield, Crofton, Farnborough, Locksbottom and Petts Wood.
Did you know that there is a breed of chicken named after this BR6 town – The Orpington.
A Roman villa, Crofton Roman villa, was occupied for 260 years, from 140 AD to 400 AD and was the centre of large farming estate. It was not until 1036, that Orpington was officially mentioned, but then it was called Orpedingetune, and then in 1086, it is mentioned in the Doomsday book where it records Orpington’s population of between 75-100, what they did and what they owned.
You can learn much more about the history of Orpington here.
If you are unfamiliar with the town and find yourself here, we have put together a local guide to help you around the area.
The heart of Orpington is the High Street with an array of shops, cafes and restaurants, together with The Walnuts Shopping Centre. Should the High Street not quell your thirst for shopping, then a short car journey away in St Mary’s Cray you will find the Nuggent Shopping Centre. Here you will find such stores as Marks & Spencer’s (a separate clothing and food store), Next, Cotswold Outdoor, Carphone Warehouse, Hobbycraft, Superdrug and many more.
In recent years, the Walnuts Shopping Centre has been redeveloped to include a 7 screen, Oden cinema where you can watch all the latest block buster releases. Just around the corner you will find the Palace Superbowl, Orpington’s very own bowling alley.
Not only do you have the Walnuts Leisure Centre where it has its own swimming pool, 5 badminton courts, a sports hall, a 120-station gym, plus a large soft play centre and creche, there are many sports club in the area. Including football, golf courses, rugby, bowls and tennis, to name but a few.
If you just want a walk and enjoy the country air, you cannot go wrong by visiting High Elms Country Park. It has over 250 acres of meadows and woods, and if you are feeling a little peckish after your walk, there is even a café, the Green Roof Café.
You have a number of local parks too. These include Goddington Park, Priory Gardens, Poverest Park, plus several smaller recreational grounds.
If you are looking for something to get the adrenaline pumping, then why not try paintballing with a few friends at Delta Force Paintball. If shooting your friends is not your cup of tea check out Airjump trampoline park which is very near to Nugent Shopping Centre.
Places To Eat
With all this physical excursion, you have no doubt built up an appetite. The only problem you will have is choosing where to go and eat as there is a huge choice of restaurants and places to eat in Orpington. Not only do you have many restaurants to choose from, but you have many styles of food too. From English and European to Indian and Chinese, Turkish to Japanese.
So, here are just a few examples. If you are looking for somewhere special to eat, then there is only one choice, Chapter One, a fine dining restaurant serving contemporary British and European cuisine that use only fresh and seasonal ingredients. It has a main restaurant plus a brasserie. If you are looking for somewhere that offers some entertainment while you eat, then you need try Ephesus restaurant. This Mediterranean and Turkish style restaurant has one thing all the other places to eat in Orpington do not have…live traditional belly dancing, plus live music.
If you are looking for breakfast, lunch or supper and want to buy some records…yes, records, as in vinyl, then there is only one places, The Orpington. A family run restaurant and record store on Orpington High Street.
Finally, we have BR6, a student led restaurant and bake house in the heart of Orpington. It is part of London South East Colleges’ Hospitality, Food and Enterprise Career College. It is the students from this course that create and run the restaurant. Gaining vital real-world experience while at the same time creating some award winning food.
Rail: Railway hub Orpington railway station is operated by Southeastern Railways and runs trains to London Bridge, Waterloo, Charing Cross, Canon Street and Victoria. They also serve Kent, with trains to Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Hastings.
Bus: Orpington is well served by bus routes from Transport for London, Arriva Kent Thamesside and Go Coach Buses.
Car: From Orpington, you have great access to central London via the A21, with three additional main roads, the A208, A224 and A232, plus, just south of the town you have the M25
As you would expect, the town has a full range of primary and secondary schools and colleges, plus two local grammar schools, St Olaves for boys and Newstead Wood for girls. Both of these are selective schools.
More business in Orpington here.