Our Park Walks Campaign aims to get older Londoners out and about in London’s green spaces! For this week’s blog we hear from Stu, who tells us his ten favourite park walks – all discovered while writing the London Wlogger Blog. Why not try one out this weekend?
Hello there, I’m Stu, the London Wlogger and I’m a walking enthusiast who loves getting outdoors and exploring the capital’s hidden gems, parks, woodlands, gardens, bridges, landmarks and sights! Since I started my blog in 2016 I’ve done over 30 walks of London, which have seen me stroll from North and South London to East and West London via Central London where I’ve not only discovered the touristy and well-known areas, but a variety of little treasures and places you don’t normally visit!
I’m delighted to team up with Age UK London’s Park Walks campaign to provide you with my top ten green spaces in London that you can enjoy exploring.
The remarkable 17th Century Richmond Park is one of London’s eight iconic Royal Parks and at 2,500 acres it’s the second largest park in London after Lee Valley Park. It also has the honour of being the second largest urban walled park after Sutton Park in Birmingham and is three times the size of Central Park in New York! Walking around the park’s vast area really is awe-inspiring and if you’re lucky enough, you might see some of the deer which live there.
If there ever was a place in London that epitomised the notion of a ‘hidden gem’, Russia Dock Woodland is just that! Located near Canada Water, the Russia Dock was one of the former Surrey Commercial Docks. Following the closure of the docks in the 1970s the area was redeveloped and turned into a 34.5 acre woodland. The charming woodland still has many of the old docks features including mooring chains, tracks, bollards and gauges, which really adds to its character.
Right beside Russia Dock Woodland you’ll find an extremely unexpected and cool feature, Stave Hill! The artificial grass hill was added in 1985 and provides you with one of the most spectacular views that London has to offer.
If you’re ever in South-East London, a trip to Lesnes Abbey Woods is a must! The name derives from the ruins of Lesnes Abbey Church with the woodlands dating back to the Bronze Age. The woodland has a variety of beautiful trees, shrubs, plants and bushes, and with every corner you stroll through, you’re in for stunning scenery.
Why escape to the countryside when you can discover a countryside right here in London! Fryent Country Park is located a stone’s throw away from Wembley Stadium. With 254 acres of rolling hills and woodland it comprises of French oak, hornbeam, elm, ash and fruit trees and is one of the surviving Middlesex countrysides.
If you enjoy old railway walks then Sydenham Hill Wood is a walk you’re going to love! If you’re exploring this woodland in South London you can do the beautiful Cox’s Walk and take a stroll along the old Nunhead to Crystal Palace railway, which once passed through the woods. The woodland is also home to more than 200 species of trees and plants as well as rare fungi, butterflies, bees, woodpeckers, wasps, beetles, hedgehogs and birds.
No walk in London would be complete without walking along the Thames and Bishop’s Park in Fulham, right near Putney Bridge tube station, is the ideal place to do this! Opened in 1893, the park is next to Putney Bridge with Craven Cottage Football Stadium at the end of it. Within the park there’s a cute café, play areas, picturesque pond and plenty of benches to sit and look at the lovely trees.
We all know how beautiful Hampstead is, but the neighbouring Highgate is just as glorious – and the focal point of the area is the gem, Highgate Wood. The wood’s first appeared in the 1886 Ordnance Survey and at 70 acres is home to different species of bird, moths, butterflies, spiders as well as bats, foxes and grey squirrels. When you walk around the woodland, you do feel like you’re in a fairytale!
Brockwell Park near Herne Hill isn’t just 125 acres of open green land with ponds that you can walk through, but it also has a charming little walled garden, which provides the perfect place to sit and relax, or read a book. There’s also the café in the old Brockwell Hall if you’d like to sip a cuppa while basking in the park’s glory.
If you’re taking a trip to Hampton Court Palace, visiting Hampton Court Park is a must also! Opened to the public since 1894, the 750 acre park feels so untouched and because it’s such a vast area and doesn’t attract many people, it’s so peaceful and eerily silent when you stroll through it. It holds acres of trees and – just like Richmond Park – you’ll get to meet some delightful deer on your travels too!
Another South-West London gem is the quaint and enchanting Barnes Green, located not far from Kew and Chiswick. The Green has a real village feel to it and with its pretty pond, you really do feel like you’re outside London!
I hope you’ve enjoyed joining me exploring some of my favourite green spaces in London! If you’d like to do more walking in London’s parks, you can check out all my walks on my blog at www.londonwlogger.com.
Thanks for these top tips Stu! There is overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity, such as walking, is one of the best things you can do to keep healthy – even if you have a long-term health condition. So why not try one of these park walks this weekend? You could go for a stroll on your own, or with friends and family – just make sure
If you’d like to know more about our Park Walks campaign, please head to www.parkwalks.co.uk!
If you would like to write a piece about your favourite Park Walks in London, please get in touch!