So when I moved here many years ago, I didn’t realise how much green space there was within easy reach, and some of the great parks we have on or doorstop, of just few stops on the train. I’m sure I’m missing some so please add, and what you like about them, here are the ones we visit the most:
Great views of Canary Wharf and the City, perfect if you have a parafoil kite and strong arms! Good kids playground. Hilly! Has an annual festival that is great, typically in July. Friends page here
Honor Oak Rec.
This place I didn’t realise even existed for years. Good kids playground, flat park which is unusual around these parts. Kids football here Saturday mornings with Hillyfielders link here. If you cycle into London and don’t fancy cycling over One Tree hill you can also cut through here in daylight hours and avoid the hill.
One Tree Hill
Wooded, good views over London (see Chris’ photos below), Church, quite steep. Not a park per se but good for a walk. have heard rumours of owls here, think I have heard one once, never seen one though.
Crystal Palace Park.
Clearly not SE23 but so close. Dinosaurs, large (but very busy playground), cafe and a small farm. Only 3 stops from HOP, 2 from FH.
As above not strictly in SE23, but a great park and so close. Beautiful, has a boating lake, you can hire bikes (or just cycle there yourself - the climb past the hornniman is a little tiring!). Kids will also love the ducks etc. Plenty of sport here, think there is a parkrun at weekends, great place to train for running, relatively flat. Has a nice cafe, playground, lots of space to sit down and relax. A really fantastic park.
Is this a park? I say yes. Fantastic Gardens, Farmers market Saturday mornings, great veg garden, very small animal enclosure, Bandstand and of course ties in beautifully with a visit to the museum itself or the Horniman Triangle play area opposite.
A little further in Beckenham, but has massive lake, one side for dogs, the other for no dogs. Saw a Kingfisher here once. Large playground with large tunnel slides and cafe. Lots of geese ‘droppings’ though…
Combine with a walk over Blythe Hill (or around). Has a lovely river \ stream which kids and adults will like, has some water pumps, couple of playgrounds, not sure if the big adventure playground is still open as my kids are too small for it but that looks good.
Wells Park (thank you @Michael)
I know there is a park with a water area in summer for kids, but the name escapes me right now.
Peckham Rye Park
Peckham Rye has also become a very good park, with good playground for young and older children, a nice cafe and a pleasant lake.
How could you miss Mayow Park ! Tennis courts, kids play, cricket pitch, cafe and nursery (plants) area.
Beckenham Place Park
The golf course has now been closed and trees are being planted on various parts of it. A huge park, river running through it, meadows, woods and a lake for open water swimming and I think kayaking coming in summer 2019! Also a dog walkers paradise - if you want to feel you are in the countryside, this is the park to go to.
Some discussions on this park here and here
Sydenham Hill Woods
I’ve shamefully still not been here, but here it;s great for young and old explorers alike - it is a wood not a park.
Albion Millenium Green
I don’t know much about this one, but Pauline describes it as a hidden gem below!
River Pool Linear Park
Described by Michael and Timmo44 below, this runs from Sainsburys Bell Green Car Park through to Catford. Good for a cycle or walk by the River.
Nunhead Cemerary and Camberwell Old Cemetery
See Brett’s posts below.; Nunhead cemetery - great for walks and cycling (when weather is good), gothic memorials and a magical view of St Pauls.
Has a lido, paddling pool , walled garden and a large park area. Rachael describes it below.
A little further afield (10 minutes drive or less from HOP), but an Honorable mention from me as you can regularly see Kingfishers and Herons here. Kingfishers photos seen here
There is a small playground here, see Michael’s post below.
Hope this is of use to someone and I know there are plenty more parks - right back to work!
Horniman Triangle as well. Home to a sandpit, playing equipment, a cafe and no mobile phone signal!
Wells Park (SE26) can be fun for a splash about.
Less suited for a dip but Waterlink Way between Southend Lane and Catford (and then joining to Ladywell Fields) is a very pleasant walk in the summer.
Peckham Rye has also become a very good park, with good playgound for young and older children, a nice cafe and a pleasant lake.
Not a park, but don’t forget about Sydenham/Dulwich Woods, which are great fun and a bit different from a park.
How could you miss Mayow Park! Tennis courts, kids play, cricket pitch, cafe and nursery (plants) area.
Agree with all the mentions so far.
To add, Nunhead cemetery - great for walks and cycling (when weather is good), gothic memorials and a magical view of St Pauls.
Also, Camberwell Old cemetery which has some woodland left though Southwark council are intent on changing that along with some woodland also threatened on wonderful One Tree Hill.
Does the water feature in Wells Park work any more? Have not seen it working for a long time - mind you, no water features needed this summer so far!
@Oakr That is a brilliant list, thanks for sharing.
+1 from me on Peckham Rye park in particular, which I visit regularly - mostly for brunch at the “G Kitchen and Cafe” which is next to the park:
I hope you don’t mind but I took the liberty of changing the formatting of your numbered list slightly, as the forum markup language had misinterpreted it.
Just a thought, but if @oakr is willing, we could make his post a “wiki” post that others are able to contribute to. I understand, though, why we might to prefer not to do this, and focus on the replies for updates to the list.
Slightly further afield, Beckenham Place Park has a couple of wide open fields and fantastic woods that little kids will love for running around and pretending to be… well, anything they like. There is also access to the river than runs clean with a gentle current - you’ll often find several doggies in there having a good old splash around, and I’ve seen various treacherous-but-fun-looking rope swings in the trees above the water. There is a small playground with a water spray and also a small skate park at the Old Bromley Road car park entrance. There’s no cafe or other facilities at present, and it might not be ideal for very little kids as there is walking involved to get to the good stuff, but it’s a great outdoor space.
Yeah, works fine. Was there with my kids a few weeks ago.
I have a running class there on a Saturday morning and one morning during the class without warning all the water features went off with noone in sight at 8:30. So they work, but Im not sure if the foot pad triggers do… well I didnt test them. Oh… answered above I see…
I also used to take my kids to Brockwell Park. Easy parking by the Lido, paddling pool (although that was, erm, about 15 years ago!) playground, lovely walled garden, cafe.
There is a water play in Brockwell Park too - over the other (Brixton) side of the park - opposite to the Lido.
Hi Chris, no problem re the formatting, I did notice they were all 1s after posting but no time to review why!
As for using it as a Wiki article I don’t mind either way, whichever is more helpful -feel free!
I did forget about Peckham Rye, not been there in a while, a real hidden gem.
Excellent, thanks @Oakr - I have made this a wiki post, so all members of trust-level-1 and above (about half the members) are able to edit and add other relevant parks.
Hey, don’t forget our magical hidden gem that is “Albion Millenium Green” Ssh don’t tell everyone though
There is also the small playground on Baxter Field
And if you are in Dulwich you might want to visit the “Fresh Prince of SE21”
River Pool Linear Park (starts behind Sydenham Sainsburys) has a river complete with herons and kingfishers and a kids playground. The river path runs all the way down to Wickes in Catford. Great for dog walkers.
Beckenham Place Park was the most mind-blowing oasis of countryside just outside Catford! A stately home, a council run golf club for poor/normal folk to use, FREE parking - oh, what joy!. Acres of free, wild fields and prairies, a wood full of bluebells in May, an exquisitely well maintained flower garden with tennis courts and totally unspoilt! It was all so free and easy. No cyclists bombing past you knocking you off your feet, nothing ‘focus grouped’ made, nothing gentrified - just sheer peace and quiet. Heather, gorse, wood peckers, rhododendrons, a few dog walkers saying ‘hello’ as you pass each other by - utterly natural and unpretentious. Unfortunately, locals felt it was under-used and the lottery has allowed some ‘big thinkers’ to move in, and hence, changes are afoot, which will yes, get more people there - but probably scare the wildlife off. Also, some people felt golf was an elitist sport (even though it was open to everyone) and that has been closed down. An absolute haven of quiet, unstructured bliss
Welcome to SE23.life, @Gillipops. That eulogy to Beckenham Place Park was pure poetry, I loved it