Did you know London has over 20,000 hectares of woods?
Wow! That’s a lot of trees.
And you can find those woods all over London.
There’s ancient wild woods.
Big grand old forests. Lovely little local woods.
All right here in London.
Plus some newly planted woods. Hurrah!
We do love London’s museums. And we practically live in our local park. But nipping to the woods is one of our fave days out in London.
Climbing trees. Building dens. Kicking leaves. Collecting conkers. Playing hide and seek. Fighting the sherrif of Nottingham. Or even on a scorching hot day when we can’t get to the beach just hanging out with a big picnic and a good book.
There really are so many London woods to choose from. North, south, east and west.
Far too many to cover in one list but here are a selection of great London woods to get you started including some of our big faves …
London’s 7 Best Woods
1. Epping Forest
Now Epping Forest really is the big old grand daddy of London Woods.
Over 8 miles from end to end, you can easily spend a day exploring.
In fact if you really want to cover some ground, it’s worth taking bikes.
You can get to Epping Forest on the overground from Liverpool St to Chingford or the Central line to Theydon Bois.
For more details have a read about one of our trips to Epping Forest.
2. Ruislip Wood
Ruislip Wood is one of our new fave London Woods.
Spreading round the Ruislip reservoir – there’s a sandy beach and a train! – Ruislip Wood is part of the old wildwood that covered England after the last ice age.
It’s full of beautiful old oaks, beeches, hornbeams and silver birch.
And has some seriously brilliant climbing trees.
In fact we would go so far as to say, the best climbing trees in any London wood we’ve been to!
To get to Ruislip Wood take the Metropolitan or Picadilly lines to Ruislip. And hop on the H13 or 331 bus right outside Ruislip station, getting off at the Ruislip Lido/Reservoir Road stop.
You’ll see a brown sign to the lido and it’s just 2 minutes walk.
3. Petts Wood
The National Trust’s Petts Wood in south London has been one of our fave London woods for the last two years.
It’s big enough to keep older kids entertained for a good half day. (You can take bikes).
But still fun for littlies.
There’s some lovely secret paths and dense undergrowth and lots of split sweet chestnuts which are great for climbing and making dens in.
Petts Wood is easy to get to. There are direct 20 minute trains from Victoria and London Bridge.
And it’s a 10 minute walk from the station to the wood.
Turn right at the top of the steps to leave the station – towards Iceland not Morrisons – cross over Station Square, turn left into the main street and then take the third right Towncourt Crescent. At the bottom of the crescent, cross over the road and turn right on the public footpath into the wood.
4. Joydens Wood
Joydens Wood, is another fantastic south London wood, near Bexley.
Set on a hill, the wood was once the border between Mercia and Kent and there are ancient ditches and dykes throughout the wood, which are perfect for woodland battles with hastily constructed stick swords and bows.
(Note to self – always remember string when going to the woods in London).
It is a decent sized London wood – big enough to get lost in. (We got lost!)
So you could easily spend a good half day there.
Although it’s worth noting that the stunning Tudor Hall Place is only a mile and a half away.
5. Oxleas Wood
Oxleas Woods in Greenwich is over 70 hectares of ancient oak and beech wood …
It’s simply awesome for climbing trees, building dens, playing hide and seek and riding bikes.
And the lovely Woodlands Farm, which is free to visit, is right on the edge of the woods.
Plus from the top of the woods there are views for miles and miles across the whole of London.
What’s not to like?
If you are driving, there is parking by the cafe at the top of Oxleas wood.
But you can also get trains to Falconwood or Welling stations.
And the 89 and 486 buses stop right by the wood.
The view from the top of the bus coming down Shooters Hill to Blackheath is magnificent!
6. Highgate Wood
Up in north London, Highgate Wood is not a big wood.
But it makes up for it with its prettiness.
And Highgate’s views.
It’s just 5 minutes walk from Highgate tube station.
And you could combine with a gentle potter around – and food maybe – in Highgate village.
Or walking over to Queens Wood.
7. Queens Wood
Queens Wood is another little north London gem.
Still great for tree climbing but also for nature hunts.
As it is full of wild flowers and some pretty scarce bugs.
It’s just five minutes over the road from Highgate Wood.
So there you go, just a few brilliant London woods to wet your appetite for adventure.
I do hope you enjoy these woods as much as we do.
Let us know what you get up to.
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