Oxleas Wood in Greenwich is one of London’s best woods for walking and for a day out with kids. The beautiful ancient woodland offers stunning views across London plus its very own gothic castle and a lovely farm.
Covering over 200 acres the woods provide plenty of opportunities for circular walks but are also on the Green Chain walking route.
In this guide to Oxleas Wood you will find everything you need to know for a great day out right here in London including :
Oxleas Woods Guide
Oxleas Wood Opening Times
Oxleas Wood is open all hours so is a wonderful place for a very early or late evening walk in the summer when the views can be magnificent.
Oxleas Wood Car Parks
The free car park for Oxleas Wood off Shooters Hill is open from dawn to dusk and is very convenient for the woods and cafe. But it does get busy on sunny days and the access lane can jam with overspill parking.
Alternatively, there is limited parking at Severndroog Castle, 5 minutes walk away from the Oxleas Wood cafe.
Or you can park at Eltham Park South Carpark on the A2 at the bottom of Oxleas Meadow which makes a good access point for circular walks including Sheperdleas Wood.
Oxleas Wood Cafe
The Oxleas Wood Cafe is open every day from 8am until 5pm and is a good old fashioned cafe with hot meals, sandwiches, cakes, ice creams and tea & coffee. The outside seating is enclosed from dogs.
Severndroog Castle and Woodlands Farm (see below) also have cafes.
Shooters Hill Views
Oxleas Wood is situated on Shooters Hill one of London’s highest points and offers amazing views all over south London to the south Downs.
For truly stunning views of the whole city northwards just walk the few minutes from the cafe to Severndroog Castle.
Severndroog Castle is an 18th Century tower built in the style of a Gothic castle. It’s only small but it makes up for it with the best views of London from its 360 degree viewing platform.
The castle has a small cafe.
Note Severndroog Castle is only open on Sundays.
The Woodlands Farm
If you’re visiting Oxleas Woods with kids, the Woodlands Farm is a must. Right opposite the wood on Shooters Hill its one of London’s biggest and loveliest city farms.
Children can visit the cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks plus Bob the Shetland pony all year around for free. There are also four seasonal open days for lambing, midsummer, the apple harvest and Christmas which are very popular but wonderful.
Oxleas Wood Walks
Oxleas Wood has preserved some of the most ancient woodland in London with parts going back to the last ice age 8,000 years ago. Today the wood includes beautiful old oaks, silver birch, hornbeam and hazel.
It’s pretty easy to just follow your feet in the woods but if you start from the cafe, entering the wood by the outdoor gym equipment, then fork right you’ll reach the centre of the wood and an oak clearing with unofficial but fun rope swings for kids. Then head north towards Woodlands Farm before cutting back left towards Oxleas meadow and the car park.
If you’re coming to Oxleas Wood by train or bus see below for walking route suggestions.
Oxleas Wood also makes a great starting or ending point on south London’s beautiful Green Chain walk.
The Green Chain Walking Route
The Green Chain Walking Route connects up beautiful green spaces and historic sights across south east London. Oxleas Woods are on
- Route 3 : a lovely 3 mile walk route 3 takes you through Woodlands Farm to Bostall Woods where it’s worth continuing on route 2 for a mile to see the Lesnes Abbey ruins and Abbey Woods bluebells in spring.
- Route 5 : a four mile walk route 5 goes from the Thames Barrier at Charlton – you can get a boat in the summer – to Oxleas via Charlton House and if you fancy a dip Charlton Lido.
- Route 6 : a four mile walk from Oxleas to Mottingham route 6 takes in the Tudor cum Twenties Eltham Palace.
Oxleas Wood Map
It really is possible to walk in Oxleas Wood without a map. It’s a good size but it’s nothing like walking in Epping Forest for example.
But if you do want a map of the main walking paths check out the guide to Green Chain route 6 or get the Ordnance Survey map of Greenwich & Gravesend.
Oxleas Wood By Train & Bus
You can visit Oxleas Wood by train and bus pretty easily.
Oxleas Wood By Train To Falconwood Station :
Falconwood station is 5 minutes from the bottom of Oxleas wood. There are half hourly services from London Bridge (20 mins) and Victoria (30 mins) which you can connect to easily at Lewisham.
To reach the wood from the train cross Rochester Way and walk through lovely little Shepherdleas Wood. Cross Rochester Way again at the top of Shepherdleas and then walk up to Oxleas Cafe via Oxleas meadow or turn onto Welling Way to enter the wood proper, veering right pretty soon after entering to reach the beautiful main paths through the oak trees.
Oxleas Wood By Bus From Blackheath
We typically get the train to Oxleas Wood but get the bus back as the 89 is one of London’s best bus routes!!
Catch the bus on Shooters Hill opposite Woodlands Farm or at the top of the lane from the car park. Try and get at the front on top to glimpse fabulous views over the city and later across Blackheath which is a good place for an evening meal before getting the train home from Blackheath station.
So there you go everything you need to know about family walks and days out in Oxleas Wood. Do bookmark or save the guide for future reference.
If you’re looking for more woodland walks in London check out this guide to London’s best woods and forests which covers over 18 different woods within the M25.
And for more fun things to do in London check out these guides :