Eltham Park North & Shepherdleas Woods
A very attractive mixture of grassland and ancient woodland, on a sloping site, with distant but good views towards the City of London and west to Crystal Palace. An ornamental pond - ‘the Long Pond’ is home to numbers of quite tame ducks and geese, and to a couple of large terrapins who can be seen sunbathing on warm days.
The grass in the meadow area is mown only late in the summer, so that butterflies and other insects can feed on the wild flowers and the flowers can set their seed.
There are well-marked paths through the woodland – known as Shepherdleas Wood, part of a large block of ancient woodland (including Oxleas Wood and Falconwood Dell) which has been continuously wooded since the last Ice Age.
Notable tree species include: willow, oak, sweet chestnut, ash and holly and there are cowslips in the meadow
Eltham Park South
A large, mainly level, open park with scattered trees, some hedges, football pitches, and a children’s playground. Popular picnic area.
This land and The Warren were acquired by the Council in 1902, its facilities include tennis courts, a putting green, a children’s playground and formerly an open air swimming pool. The Warren, lying south of Eltham Park, was the original source of spring water for Eltham Palace via Conduit Head and is now occupied by Eltham Warren Golf Course.
Well Hall Pleasaunce
The Well Hall Pleasaunce's history dates back to the 13th century. It is a haven of formal gardens, ponds and woodland. It contained a manor house at the time of Henry V111 and more recently was the home of Railway Children author E Nesbit.
The 16th century Tudor Barn has been renovated and is now open as a first rate venue for functions, an evening restaurant, traditional Sunday roasts and day-time heritage cafe.
The woodland glen is one of the most beautiful parts of the Pleasaunce. As well as the many trees, it contains two features recently planned and paid for by the Friends group. These are the bog garden and the restored rockery. As well as these improvements, the Friends have created the woodland walk and wildflower meadow on the back green and the new play area.
Trees, The Pleasaunce contains many beautiful trees. The walled garden contains fruit and ornamental cherries. In spring, there is much blossom, such as this Japanese crab. There are 240 trees in all, with many unusual species including elm, ginkgo, black poplar and Indian Horse Chestnut
Flowers, The wisteria arch is one of the most spectacular horticultural features in the Pleasaunce. The herbaceous borders in the walled garden are colourful throughout the summer; the formal borders in the Italian garden and shield garden are planted with annuals all year round.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the ancient Oxleas woods cover 77 hectares and are at least 8,000 years old. Take a walk through the woods of oak, silver birch, hornbeam and coppice hazel.
Visit Severndroog Castle - built in 1784 as a memorial to William James of the East India Company, it stands in Castle Wood.
Jack Wood, next to Castle Wood, has a terrace garden, from which visitors may enjoy spectacular views across London. It also has an attractive rose garden.
The Tarn is a park containing a small lake surrounded by woods and gardens. It contains a bird sanctuary and an 18th century icewell, where ice from the lake was stored in winter for use the following spring. Finally you climb a steepish slope up through Middle Park, part of the Crown lands associated with Eltham Palace. It is a designated wildlife area, where the natural environment is enhanced to encourage plant and animal life.
Avery Hill Park & Winter Gardens
A large park (89 acres, 36 ha) of short grass and fine trees, with a formal garden, cafe toilets and children’s playground. The large domed conservatory, adjoining the house, known as the Winter Garden is London’s best surviving example of this kind of steel and glass Victorian extravaganza. The tropical house contains banana, coffee, breadfruit and pineapple plants as well as an impressive collection of palms.
To the west of the allotments, between the two branches of the Green Chain Walk, lie Pippenhall Meadows, a group of hedge-lined fields on gently sloping terraces. They show superbly the variety of different plant communities which grow in areas of contrasting wetness, from marshy hollows to dry acid grassland. Wet meadows are now rare and still getting rarer so the survival of this area of wet grassland so close to London is astonishing and very precious. The hedges dividing the fields are old and in places very overgrown, they have an exceptional number of different tree and shrub species in them, which is a good clue to their great age. Some of them have been estimated to be 600+ years old.
A small stream known as the River Shuttle rises in the central part of Pippenhall Meadows and flows south through the park, beside some of the oldest hedgerows in Greenwich, between earthen banks, shaded by overhanging hawthorns. In places, some of the classic flowers of running water appear in it in the summer: the deep blue of brooklime and the fresh white of fools watercress.