November walk: Oxleas wood

When: Sunday 18 November, starting at 11am
Where: meeting at Oxleas Wood Café, Crown Woods Lane, London SE18 3JA (map)

Walk in Oxleas Wood, taking in Severndroog Castle

How to get there: The café has a car park, and is a few minutes’ walk down from Shooters Hill, the nearest bus stops being SL on the south side and SE on the north side. Buses 89 and 486 stop there. You can also get the 244 which stops at WN, at the top of Shrewsbury Lane at The Bull, or come up from Falconwood Station on the B16 to Stop P/Oxleas Meadows, though that means a slightly longer walk uphill.

How long or difficult is the walk? This is a short and pleasant amble through woodland, about 3 miles, mostly gentle slopes though it does involve a long set of steps up to (or down from) Severndroog Castle. The reward: wonderful views. Stretches of path may be muddy.

What is Oxleas Wood?
Oxleas Wood is one of the few remaining areas of ancient deciduous forest in southeast London. Someparts date back over 8,000 years to the end of the last Ice Age. The local volunteers’ website says: “Take a walk through the woods of oak, silver birch, hornbeam and coppice hazel. See the terrace garden, and have lunch at the excellent cafe. Perched at the top of the meadow the views across into Kent are spectacular. You would never believe you were in London. Then walk through the numerous enchanting woodland paths to Severndroog Castle, a tower folly, built in 1784, for a view in the opposite direction, it has a viewing platform giving some of the most spectacular views across the city.”