Cox’s Walk in SE London is a former 18C public path which used to link a public house in Dulwich, The Green Man, with the spa at Sydenham Wells. It was a ‘path with a purpose’, a practical path. The path delivered you to the spa, or perhaps offered something stronger to those who had already recovered in the spa. Today it is a pleasant and well-used stroll in ancient woodland, between Dulwich and Sydenham Hill. It is interesting to see the continuity of purposes as it seems to enjoy a similar practical aim, only now it delivers people into the woods for exercise and enjoyment.
The Lewisham War Memorial Garden stands in a narrow strip of land alongside Lewisham High Street. Three tall blocks of flats separate the Garden from neighbouring Lewisham Park. I have driven past this little garden for years and not really paid any attention to it, which was a big mistake!
Christ Church churchyard in Forest Hill is in some ways a rather sad sight. And the site is curious – half residential and half consecrated – I wonder what it feels like to live there?
Sydenham Wells Park in SE London covers 8 hectares and is a beautiful garden on a sloping hillside. Like many of the green spaces in this area it has a history!
Baxter’s Fields in Sydenham is a grassy park which hides between houses in South East London. The park is associated with significant and important people in the printing industry in the 19C. It is another little surprise in my exploration of green spaces in South East London.
Downham Fields in SE London was also called Durham Hill and I found the park when I was walking in South East London. It is one of the surprising, and perhaps unlikely large green areas – a large green park, on a steep hillside, with beautiful trees and far views over London.
Downham Playing Fields in Lewisham was created during the development of the Downham Estate as a leisure facility. A century later it still fulfils that function. The fields are a pleasant walk, and have the added bonus of the Spring Brook, a tributary of the Ravensbourne River.
Downham Woodland Walk in South East London is Ancient Woodland which hides away behind the houses on the Downham Estate, and close to more Ancient Woodland in the Forster Memorial Park.
Forster Memorial Park in South East London is another of the surprising and hidden parks in South East London. It lies behind busy main roads and affords peace and quiet to local residents. And unusually it has the remains of Ancient Woodlands as well.