The sunshine returns to Nunhead and Peckham this week. Whether you want to relax, walk, run or cycle, we’ve picked out some places where you might like to seek it out. The Rye is difficult to beat for sun-soaking, but this post suggests a few ventures outside our corner of SE15.
From the southern point of Peckham Rye Park, Dunstans Road takes you to Dawson’s Hill, a small park in front of the beautiful, modernist Dawson's Heights housing estate. The main reason to make your way here is the incredible view of central London. After the steep climb up the switchbacks from the road, the hill provides a wonderful place for relaxation and contemplation.
The Horniman Museum has so much to offer under normal circumstances with an eclectic museum, aquarium, amazing butterfly house and animal walk. During lockdown, the gardens remain open and present a pleasant place to stroll. The views don't quite match those from Dawson’s Hill but are still impressive, and it's also worth knowing that the toilets are now open too. The main entrance is on the South Circular, just west of Forest Hill, but there are also gates on the north side, off Westwood Park and Horniman Drive.
The adjoining Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Woods are larger than you might think – in fact they form the largest area of the ancient Great North Wood that survives to this day. Curving from where Lordship Lane meets the South Circular (near the Horniman – see above) to near Sydenham Hill station, there is great potential for exploration. Main paths are supplemented by smaller tracks and it’s great for kids, especially those that enjoy exploring and building dens.
If you’re looking to head a little further, perhaps on a bike or for a run, it’s worth seeking out the River Ravensbourne. The Ravensbourne eventually flows into the Thames at Deptford Creek, and foot and cycle paths mean that the water can be followed continuously southbound from Ladywell station and Lower Sydenham. Just south of Catford, the path starts to follow the Pool River (itself a tributary of the Ravensbourne), where the green space surrounding you forms part of the Riverview Walk and River Pool Linear Park.
You can also pick up the Ravensbourne in Lewisham and follow it north to Deptford Bridge station, via the peaceful Brookmill Park.
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