… a four-in-one kind of day.
The problem with the winter cold and coming up on the end of my time here is that I don’t end up going out as much as I would like to. Also, time passes more quickly than expected so it seems impossible that my long day running through part of the Green Chain Walk in London was already three weeks ago.
While the north of London has its share of forest stops to wander through, if you are a fan of green park spaces (and a few forests as well), practically everywhere along southern London is an easy distance from a decent number of green space networks. I’m slowly but surely trying to make my way through them.
Last week, I looked at Morden Hall Park, but this week I’m looking at a close network along the Green Chain Walk through Crystal Palace Park, Horniman Gardens (and Museum), Dulwich Park, and Sdyenham Hill Wood.
I was only in Dulwick Park for a short time (and accidentally; I got a little loss) after a shortcut through Sdyenham Hill Park went awry due to a closed pass, but Crystal Palace Park and The Horniman Gardens really make the trek to this part of London worth it all.
So to break it down:
Crystal Palace Park is a massive green space which is filled with all sorts of sights and events you can attend throughout the year. Even when there are no events on, the park is filled with walks like Darwin and the Dinosaurs walk with an audio guide offered through Audiotrails. This trail moves throughout the park with easy numbering following the evolution of these statues, like this large dinosaur specific waterway.
Near the center of the park, there is also a maze whose history is detailed in the large sign outside the entrance. It shouldn’t take more than an hour (and that is if you get really lost!) to complete with nice placards to follow throughout. At the very least, this is a great photo spot!
There are many more spots for budding photographers from the Sphinxes near the top of the park to the layers of arches and surrounding greenery and hiking trails throughout.
The Hortiman Gardens are much smaller but no less picturesque. The gardens themselves are highly maintained—not the overgrown beauty of the Pergola and Hill Gardens, Hampstead Heath— but between the shapes, colors, and surrounding architecture, this is quite the lovely area. One thing to note: there are gates between gardens which do not mean you cannot enter and are easy to open.
The gardens are set on a hill so the elevation gives a great shot of the city in the distance as well as other vantages of the surrounding area. On the downside, this means that the park is a bit hilly so be ready for the incline.
If you are traveling with younger children, there is also an area with animals you can look over and a museum which has been listed as one of the highest rated, unseen spots in London. With its extensive collection covering music, natural history, and anthropology, it’s one of the parts of this sight I wish I had managed to hit.
One last stop for this sight, again mostly for photo-bugs, is the beautiful conservatory building set near the park café. This area was empty when I visited but it is still an amazing shot.
My original plan for the day was to hit these two parks which are a fairly easy walk away from each other (about half an hour) if you do not get lost…. Which I did on the way back. There is also a bus route that runs between these spots and makes the trip easy if you don’t mind spending a little bit of money.
Dulwich Park was a nice walk through but there were some great views through the pass of Sydenham Hill Wood. There are some picturesque ruins and bridges but remember, parts of the park are closed which made this a much longer walk between Crystal Palace Park and The Horniman Gardens.
Again if you are looking for some nice views, especially if you have kids who need to get out of the city, these are a few spots and a day out of the grey, which I really recommend.
So, until next time and a little more green,
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.