Best Parks And Green Spaces In South East London

Emily Munden
Dec 12, 2023 By Emily Munden
Originally Published on May 11, 2020
American Baby in Swing with Finger in his mouth.

The sun is shining and we're able to do some great socially distanced walks in our local area.

It's the perfect time to check out the parks within walking or cycling distance from our homes. We've put together an extensive list of the best parks in the south-east of London for you to explore with your little ones.

Remember to keep following government advice for England regarding travel.


Beckenham Place Park

This huge green space has a wonderful sensory garden, a lake and some of the best wildlife in the borough, including ancient woodland and a Turkey oak tree that is supposedly the second oldest in Britain! The wild swimming lake is brilliant for hot summer days and the BMX track is great for adventure-seekers.

Where is it? Beckenham Hill Rd, Beckenham BR3 5BS

Nearest Tube Station: Beckenham Junction, New Beckenham or Beckenham Hill are all within easy walking distance

Buggy Friendly? There are some steps and ramps, so wellies and a lightweight buggy would be best

Toilets: There are toilets in the cafe area, with a baby changing sofa. Just be sure to check any updates regarding opening measures in light of COVID-19 before you visit.

Parking: There's a free car park at the golf course and parking facilities all over the park

Outdoor Amenities: Swimming is available for ages eight and up and paddle-boards and canoes can be rented during normal opening times. There's also a playground and skate park

Size: The largest green open space in the borough!

Manor House Gardens

This quaint little park in Lee is a green space filled with natural beauty. The fountained lake features many ducks and geese and the famous heron. Take a stroll through the walled flower garden, check out the ice-house and kick a ball about one of the many sports pitches.

Where is it? Taunton Rd, Lee SE13 5SU

Nearest Tube Station: You can walk from Lee, Hither Green and Lewisham stations in fifteen minutes

Buggy Friendly? Yes, lots of wide smooth paths for easy access

Toilets: Only two, with disabled and baby-changing facilities

Parking: Free parking with limited spaces and additional meter parking on the road

Outdoor Amenities: a cafe, lake, wildflower area and walled flower garden

Size: Lots of outdoor space, but not one of the biggest South London parks on our list

Ladywell Fields

Since it's 2007 redevelopment, Ladywell Fields has a beautiful river where you and your little ones can paddle on a hot summer day. The large infrastructure around the edges of the park will have you feeling like you've discovered one of London's secret gardens. Stretching all the way to Catford, little ones will love the playground and adventure park.

Where is it? Adjacent to Lewisham High Street behind the hospital

Nearest Tube Station: Ladywell and Catford Bridge are five minutes away from the top and bottom of the park

Buggy Friendly? The circular bridge is accessible, but quite steep

Toilets: Inside the cafe, there are toilets with no baby changing facilities.

Parking: There's free street parking on Manwood Road and Ravensbourne Park right beside the park

Outdoor Amenities: Four playgrounds, a basketball court, a community orchard and a bowling green

Size: The fields stretch across over a mile - a perfect lunchtime walk in the South of London.

Horniman Gardens

Check out the gardens of the famous Horniman Museum, for a magical park walk. Little ones will love saying hello to the animals in the petting zoo and watching the beautiful butterflies in the Butterfly Garden.

Potter through the Dye Garden, the Instrument Garden and check out the Prehistoric Garden to learn what plants were around in the dinosaur's times. Just remember to check any updates regarding opening measures in light of COVID-19 before you visit.

Where is it? 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ

Nearest Tube Station: Forest Hill

Buggy Friendly? The gardens are all easy to access by buggy.

Toilets: The indoor toilets at the museum have baby-changing facilities, but opening might be limited during lockdown.

Parking: Limited parking, so it's best to walk or cycle.

Outdoor Amenities: Petting zoo, sundial, viewpoint, butterfly garden, museum.

Size: 16.5 acres of hilly parkland


Greenwich Park

The oldest enclosed Royal Park in London, this beautiful South London park is an urban sanctuary for tons of wildlife, including foxes, deer and more than 70 different types of bird. The boating lake is a great fun summer activity, and the view of Canary Wharf from the top of the hill is spectacular if you're willing to hike!

Where is it? Greenwich, London SE10 8QY

Nearest Tube Station: North Greenwich is nearest to Greenwich Park, but you'll need to catch the 188 or 129 bus to the park.

Buggy Friendly? The park is buggy and wheelchair accessible

Toilets: The toilets have disabled and baby changing facilities

Parking: Pay and Display parking is available on site.

Outdoor Amenities: Boating lake, six tennis courts, a Royal observatory

Size: This huge South London park is the perfect green space to socially distance while you're having a walk


Blackheath is one of our favourite parks to visit in London for a walk, or to play outdoor games like rounders or frisbee. Bring a kite with you to while away a windy afternoon.

Where is it? The Heath, Tranquil Vale, SE3 9LE

Nearest Tube Station: Blackheath train station is a short five-minute walk from this great South London park

Buggy Friendly? Completely - lots of easy access for buggies

Toilets: No public toilets in the park, but the Blackheath Station has a toilet with baby changing facilities not too far away.

Parking: Can be a little bit tricky around the park - we recommend walking or cycling if you can

Outdoor Amenities: There's no playground here, but it's the perfect large space to play a family game of rounders!

Size: A huge park stretching across most of Blackheath town with lots of opportunity to stay distanced from other walkers.

Colorful playground on yard in the park.

Charlton Park

This large grassy park is great for a sunny afternoon stroll. Check out the Jacobean architecture of Charlton House and explore the pockets of wildlife. Charlton Park features a sensory garden which is full of plants that can be appreciated by people with visual impairments and physical disabilities. There's also an Adidas outdoor gym for any sporty families.

Where is it?  Charlton Park Road, Charlton SE7

Nearest Tube Station: Woolwich Dockyard is a 23-minute walk away.

Buggy Friendly? The park is buggy and wheelchair accessible

Toilets: There are disabled and baby-changing toilet facilities

Parking: Parking is free onsite

Outdoor Amenities: Sensory garden, cricket pitch, football pitches, outdoor gym, children's playground, skatepark, nearby refreshments.

Size: Medium-sized park


High Elms Country Park

With 250 acres of countryside to explore and a 150-acre golf course, you can spend hours at this sprawling estate, and forget you're in London at all. On the edge of the Thames basin, this country park is one of South London's nicest parks for wildflower meadows and woodland.

Where is it? Shire Lane, Farnborough, BR6 7JH

Nearest Tube Station: Travel to the park on bus route 358 or R11

Buggy Friendly: The park is buggy accessible but a little bit bumpy in places

Toilets: Public toilets are available at the park

Parking: There are two car parks, one at either side of this London country park

Outdoor Amenities: Wildflower meadows, formal gardens, chalk meadows, gardens and cafe

Size: This huge park is perfect for a social distanced walk

Priory Gardens

Explore the antique style gardens of the Priory mansion, and spot swans and geese swimming peacefully on the lake. Roam around the beautiful rose garden.

Where is it? Church Hill, Orpington BR6 0HH

Nearest Tube Station: Orpington

Buggy Friendly? The park has some steps, but is mostly accessible by buggy

Toilets: No toilet facilities on site, unfortunately!

Parking: There is limited pay and display parking available, but it's better to arrive by public transport if you can

Outdoor Amenities: Small play area, ornate gardens  and a large lake

Size: Choose a weekday to visit this little park, to avoid any crowds


Hall Place and Gardens

These huge grounds are some of the most beautiful in South London, with an animal topiary, butterfly garden and owl experience for nature-loving little ones. Wander around the idyllic gardens and get lost in the maze.  

Where is it? Bourne Road, Bexley, DA5 1PQ

Nearest Station: Bexley station is a short walk from the park

Buggy Friendly? The park is all buggy friendly, except for the butterfly garden, which is a little bit too small

Toilets: The park has nice clean toilets with baby changing facilities

Parking: Tons of free parking available in the onsite car park

Outdoor Amenities: The Butterfly Park and Owl Experience both cost £4 for adults and £3 for children (check opening updates before you visit), but the park is free to access, there's no playground but little ones will spend hours playing in the trees

Size: This park isn't the biggest, but there are lots of different areas to keep you and your little ones busy for hours

Bexley Woods

This beautiful bit of woodland is home to the River Shuttle. Adventurous little ones will love exploring the natural woods and building dens between the trees - you'll forget you're in London in no time.

Where is it? 17 Charter Drive, Bexley, DA5 3NR

Nearest Station: Bus Route 132 and 269 both stop at the park, and the nearest station is Bexley

Buggy Friendly? The park is mostly woodland, so could be a little bit tricky for people with buggies

Toilets: There are no toilets on site

Parking: Some parking available on the roads outside the park

Outdoor Amenities: Woodland and River Shuttle

Size: This woodland area is quite small, but there are lots of little tucked away areas to spend time with your little ones in this London park

London Greater London United Kingdom South London England

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Written by Emily Munden

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Emily Munden

An experienced Londoner, Emily loves to discover new and exciting places in the city, especially with her two younger brothers. She has a passion for fashion and design and is also involved in art charities that facilitate workshops for children with special needs and difficult home lives. Emily is a trained life coach and enjoys writing about general wellness, mindfulness, and healthy relationships.

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