The arrival of rail in 1871 helped Swanley to become a horticultural and industrial hotspot - right up until the 1930s it was one of London's main suppliers of flowers, vegetables and even manure. Trains also made Swanley accessible to Victorian health tourists, who were attracted by the fertile soils and mild climate. Today, this former village is a commuter town with excellent road and rail links; in just 150 years its population has grown from a mere handful to over 20,000.
The station is a mile from the town centre, and is also a gateway to the nearby Brands Hatch racing circuit and Eagle Heights bird of prey centre. The pedestrianized shopping centre was built up in the 1960s and much of the town centre has a modern feel, with plenty of big-name retailers present. For a peek into Swanley's history, head to The Library, where you'll find maps and illustrations charting the town's curious past.