Alert readers will be asking 'but where is the R5?' On the other hand, residents of Orpington and its environs will know that the R5 is a circular route which is called the R10 when it goes the other way, which is what we did, so the R10 will have its moment in a few weeks.
So here is the R6.
This was a brief trip. The R6 leaves St Mary Cray Station twice every hour, so we were please to have only a sixteen minute wait, before boarding at 10.47. And we arrived at Orpington Station less than 25 minutes later.
This is a single decker, and the bus was never busy. The views would have been wonderful from a double decker, but the lanes might have been even more difficult for the driver.
We came out from the station area, and past the limited shops of St Mary Cray, before heading down to the A224 and over it to reach Mill Brook Road. We were going alongside the Cray, in order to make a big loop through residential areas, including some very artistic cycle racks, and down to Sweeps Lane. This brought us back to Crockenhill Road, but not for long, as we swooped along Burrfield Drive, which took us back towards St Mary Cray again, this time on the other side of Cray Park. We were travelling pretty fast, but the driver was calm and efficient.
After this tour of the residential estates, we headed pretty well straight for Orpington, along the Sevenoaks Road.
Once again we passed St Andrew's, the Parish Church, which is some way from the centre of Orpington. The little parade of shops here was already offering fireworks, so we have to face the fact that November is nearly here. The day was warm and overcast, so it was hard to believe that winter is coming.
Into Orpington we went. I think we have said before that the downside of the letter buses is that we visit the same area week after week. But even jaded travellers like had to admire the fine rowan berries outside the White Hart pub, with its doodled Inn sign.
One of several Charity shops was that of the Tadworth Childrens' Trust, which works for children with multiple and complex health needs. much of the rest of the High Street looks as if it is managing fine, despite the large Tesco on the way to the railway station
Scrutinising the War Memorial on its roundabout for about the sixth time I finally noticed the little black rampant lions which guard each corner, rather than merely admiring the fine planting around the monument.
As we went up the hill, we noted the HQ of Bromley Mind, appreciating the squiggled muddle of the middle of the logo. but unable to identify the font of the rest of the notice (Linda said 'it's worse than Comic Sans' which is about as censorious as she gets).
Then it was up the hill, under the railway bridge and into Orpington Station, at 11.10, ready to take pot luck on whether it would be the R5 or the R10 that we took next.
This had been a pleasant ride, through the prosperous residences of this corner of the borough of Bromley. A little sunshine would have been nice, but we had still enjoyed the trip.