WHEN it’s not actually pouring with rain, getting wrapped up warm and going for a wander in the woodland is one of the great pleasures of winter.

Vibe takes a look at five of the best places for a nature-filled stroll in south east London and north Kent.

Lullingstone Country Park, Eynsford

Once a medieval deer park and the estate for Lullingstone Castle, the 460-acre park is a beautiful place for a gentle walk with 500-year-old trees, wildlife, a Roman villa and great views of the Darent Valley. There’s a cafe for the hungry and thirsty too.

Scadbury Park, Chislehurst

A favourite year-round, Scadbury’s circular woodland and meadow trail is especially popular with walkers and joggers. The 300 acres of woodland also link up with Jubilee Country Park and Petts Wood.

Oxleas and Shooters Hill 

Oxleas Wood is 8,000 years old, so you can imagine its paths are well trodden. Part of the south east London Green Chain walk, this area is one of the most extensive areas of ancient woodland in London. Check out Severndroog castle, built in 1784, and the terraced garden in Jack Wood. There’s a cafe here too.

Joyden’s Wood, Bexley

There’s plenty of history at Joyden’s Wood, with a landscape shaped from the iron age right through to the Second World War. There’s hilltop views and a wooded valley to enjoy, two trails and a picnic area.

Downe Band and Cudham Valley 

The Downe Band nature reserve is uniquely special due to the studies carried there by Charles Darwin and, along with Down House, became part of a World Heritage Site.


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