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Abbey Wood SE London - good for little kids?

(16 Posts)
Cha Wed 16-Mar-05 15:12:04

I think I remember going there for a picnic a hundred years ago BC (before children). Can anyone who knows it well recommend it for a day out, picnic etc for kids 1-3 years old? Live in Herne Hill and would like to expand our repertoire of days out that involve being outside. Any other suggestions welcome!

otto Wed 16-Mar-05 15:37:44

I haven't been there myself, but a friend was born there and says it's really nice. There's also Oxleas wood which is near Greenwich. Do you drive, because if you do there's Eltham Palace which has gardens, but probably not that fantastic for kids. Nunhead Cemetary, if that's your kind of thing. I really like it, but haven't tested it out on children. There's Crystal Palace park. They've recently done up the dinosaur bit. There's a maze there too. Also, I've seen on the A-Z something that describes itself as Norwood Country Park near Crystal Palace. No idea what that's like, maybe somebody else knows it. The Horniman is good, as are the gardens. HTH

tarantula Wed 16-Mar-05 15:47:04

Its fantastic. bring a small spade and a sieve and a little bag and you can go fossil collecting in teh sandpit in teh woods. We took dss and collected a lovely pile of shark and rays teeth. It was brilliant fun. Also enjoyed looking round the ruins too. Its good for an afternoon out.

Cha Wed 16-Mar-05 15:49:35

My Dad is buried in Nunhead Cemetary so we go there sometimes. Same with Crystal Palace and the Horniman. What's Oxleas Wood like, is it OK for buggies? We have a car though kids like to use the train!

Cha Wed 16-Mar-05 15:51:37

Thanks Tarantula - posts crossed. Is it OK for buggies or too muddy? And presume dogs are allowed? Fossil hunting sounds great, tell me more! My step son (7) would love that.

Marina Wed 16-Mar-05 16:11:38

I would not hack all the way over from Herne Hill just to see Abbey Woods, to be honest, Cha. There are more notable attractions in SE London such as Crystal Palace, Dulwich Park, Greenwich Park.
For a day's rambling around in woodland, Oxleas Wood on top of Shooter's Hill is great. On the Green Chain walk, with a cafe and toilets at its centre, but real explorer stuff. Muddy for buggies in places, but mostly wide paths.

Cha Wed 16-Mar-05 16:35:54

Found the green chain walk website, looks interesting. Oxleas wood - is it anything like Dulwich wood anyone? I love woods and once both my kids are happy to walk (probably in about 10 years time), I want to go as often as poss. How big is it and is there a train station nearby?

tigermoth Fri 18-Mar-05 07:39:07

A Green Festival in Oxleas Wood is happening this year. If you google 'oxleas Woods Festival' you can view the festival website. Lots of stalls and music, with a family friendly feel. Looks excellent to me! The date was set for Saturday, 28th May but I have heard it is now changing, so keep looking on the website for details or contact the festival organisers.

On May 22 Woodlands Farm (a city farm just opposite the Woods) is holding an open day - again, lots of stalls and farm attractions. Very popular with families.

On Saturday Jun 5 there's a Green Fair in Greenwich Park, part of a Londonwide celebration of sustainability week. It is being organised jointly by the Mayor of London and Greenwich Council.

Going back to Oxleas wood (a favourite place of mine) it is is big enough to get lost in, if you don't know it. Definitely enough wood for a hour or two's worth of walking. Masses of blackberry bushes, and soon, there will be lots of bluebells. I live very nearby, so know it well (don't get lost in it now!)

As for what's worth travelling across London to see, I second Marina's post.

Marina Fri 18-Mar-05 12:09:35

If I was feeling hugely energetic I could hike all the way from my own front door to pretty much Tigermoth's, all along the Green Chain Walk, Cha! (Thanks for those diary dates TM)
The set of leaflets published for the segments of the walk are well worth buying, Cha. Public transport access is highlighted and circular sections of the walk suggested. However, buses are much more convenient than trains...the 89 from Lewisham goes over Shooters Hill and deposits you right by Oxleas Woods, and the 161 from Eltham Station leaves you at the bottom of Shooters Hill. The closest stations are in fact Eltham and Falconwood, but these still leave you with a bit of a step before you hit the real woodland.
Is there a Mumsnet mass explore in the offing...we love Oxleas Woods too, I was brought up running pretty much wild in them as a child...

soapbox Fri 18-Mar-05 12:15:47

Tigermoth - where do you find all that info out from???

Thanks for the details as we're in the area and you've given me some good ideas of things to look out for

tigermoth Sat 19-Mar-05 07:47:03

I'll look forward to seeing you striding down my road in your hiking boots one day soon, marina

Soapbox, I work in local events management so I sometimes get to hear of stuff early,(the notice for the Woodland's farm open day is on a poster along the road by the farm). Sometimes of course, the dates change, though.

The Oxleas Wood Festival website appears to be down. I have just tried to google it again. I'll let you know when it goes up and the new festival date is set.

Xena Sat 19-Mar-05 07:58:59

We also go to Oxleas Wood reguarly and the children love walking up to the castle I am sure there were more fallen trees when we were younger though as there is not v much to climb. Eltham Palace has a lesser know attraction which I don't know if anyone else has seen recently but my DS(7) when he was 2 loved feeding the huge huge fish in the moat they leap out of the water when you throw bread in.

tigermoth Sat 19-Mar-05 08:05:35

oh, do they really? my two love fish and fishing so we must go there.

FYI, if you're after leaping fish, Swanley Park (a 30 minute drive down the A2 and M25) has a big boating lake full of them. You're allowed to bring fishing nets to catch them, as long as yo quickly throw them back in the water.

Xena Sat 19-Mar-05 08:17:30

I keep hearing great things about swanley park a mini train??

tigermoth Sat 19-Mar-05 08:21:03

yes, there's a mini steam train from the car park to the paddling pool, cafe, boating lake, small fairgroud and playgrounds. And everything is free apart from the train and fairground rides. The journey only takes 10 minutes to walk, so if you miss the train, you are not stranded.

Marina Sat 19-Mar-05 23:12:06

The park in Swanley is smashing. Last free open-air paddling pool for children that I know of in the area, big sandpit, cafe...great. Never been in the high peak of summer hols, bet it gets busy.
Also love Eltham Palace - the gardens are beautiful but IMO there is not that much room for little boys to run about screeching. Nice staff though.

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