Beckenham Place Park is the largest green space in the borough. The park is great for walks and nature spotting, with 60 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, grass meadows and a riverside walk. Following recent renovations, there is now a cafe, basement bar, open water swimming lake, record shop, yoga classes, playground and more.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
Beckenham Place Park is one of London’s best-kept secrets. It is one of our favourite family places to explore and play. Nestled on the edge of Lewisham and Kent, it gives us a real taste of the countryside on our doorstep and is a quick and easy way to escape the hustle and rebalance ourselves.
The ancient woodland and meadows are beautiful all through the year and the views across the parkland are stunning. There is plenty of room to run and roll around in the meadows, spot squirrels and parakeets in the woods and jump in muddy puddles and streams (dogs and children alike).
Walk through any gate and you are immersed in a magical place. The woodlands are criss-crossed by lots of paths, so you can spend ages just wandering around and having adventures in the bush.
We love: early morning weekend walks around the woods; picnics in the meadow on top of the hill; drinking ‘tea’ in the den (if you can find it); seeing the bluebells in Spring; and enjoying a drink from the cafe overlooking the beautiful parkland (by Pippa Ranger).
Beckenham place park is a beautiful open area of park and woodland. I live behind it so visit most days . It has always been beautiful and so peaceful. This has changed recently with the addition of a new lake and play area which draw in hundreds of visitors and make the place noisy and busy. Parking is a disaster so best to travel by foot, bus (54) or train to Beckenham Hill or Beckenham Junction. There is the Mansion House, a new cafe area with seating and toilets (currently open Thursday to Sunday). Lake is wild swimming for over 8s who can swim 25 metres. There are canoes and paddle boards but no on line booking so have so far not been able to do this as it’s always been booked up. No cash taken either. There is a vast peaceful woodland area.. the play area has climbing frames and a large sandpit. Dogs allowed on leads. A lovely place to spend a few hours (by Nicola Warran).
I’ve been going to Beckenham Place lake this summer- brilliant for swimmers aged 8 and up. Need to swim 25m. Though I’ve seen plenty of younger looking kids just paddling 🙂 The shallow section 2-3ft deep is much much bigger than it was, therefore safer. Deep part is 11ft. To swim there costs £3 per adult, £2 per child, and there are changing tents. The canoes there take three people, £10 per boat per 30 mins, paddle boards to hire also. Lots of info on the PTP coaching website, including Paddle Club and parent and child canoeing class. Its all well organised now, after a difficult opening July 2019.
The playground is brilliant- my grandsons aged 7 and 4 played there for 4 hours and didnt want to leave. There are two cafes there now. There is parking there, but extremely busy at weekends recently. Side roads are best. Definitely worth a visit, beautifully planted terrace gardens as well. (by Debbie Nelson).
Address: Beckenham Hill Road, Lewisham, London, BR3 5BP.
Playground: Children’s playground and skate park / BMX ramp on Downham side of park, with a splash pad during the summer. Entrance on Old Bromley Road.
Suitable for up to about 12. Sandpit, swings, climbing frame (no baby swings).
Café: Child-friendly cafe, the Nineteen Bar and Kitchen, in Beckenham Place Park Mansion by the golf course. Indoor and outdoor seating looking over golf course. Wide range of food, including bangers and mash, burgers, cooked breakfasts, panninis and homemade cakes! Kids menu and toys available on request. Fully-licensed bar, including kids hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream (Pippa).
There is the Mansion House, a new cafe area with seating and toilets (currently open Thursday to Sunday). Ridiculous queues usually at the Homesteads at weekends. Have to queue twice if you want food/drink and then ice cream (Nicola).
Toilets: Plenty of trees! Well-maintained toilets in cafe, with sofa for baby changing. Wheelchair users buzz for assistance. Toilets in the Mansion and the Homesteads.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Golf course entrance opposite Beckenham Hill station has smooth paths up to mansion and across golf course area. Venturing further into the woods and parkland, slings, all terrain/lightweight buggies and wellies are best. Some of the ornamental gardens are accessible but there are some steps and some access ramps.
Parking: Parking freely available in and around park. Golf course has free carpark, BR3 5BP. Free on street parking around Ravensbourne station entrances on Crab Hill, BR3 5HE (though fairly busy during the week) and Westgate Road (private un-maintained road) BR3 5DT (Pippa).
Parking for just 100 cars. Way too many people visit by car and then get parking tickets for blocking the local roads so best to travel by public transport or walk (Nicola).
Nearest Station: Easy to get to by train. Beckenham Hill station for golf course / cafe entrance. Ravensbourne station for woods and dog walking fields.
Bus: 54 passes the park. Other buses close by are the 181 or any to Beckenham.
Train: Beckenham Junction, New Beckenham or Beckenham Hill.
Phone: Green Scene on 020 8314 2047 or Friends of Beckenham Place Park on 020 8325 8781.
Email: [email protected].
The formal gardens near the old listed buildings are nice for picnics with babies. The former 18-hole golf course is beautiful to play on or walk through. There are also football pitches, a children’s play area, tennis courts, a cycle track, nature trail and nature reserve areas.
Grade II listed Beckenham Place Park Mansion (built in the late eighteenth century) houses the cafe, bar, visitor centre and toilets.
Run by Lewisham Council, the park is free and open to all every day of the week during daylight hours. It makes up part of the South East London Green Chain Walk and the regional Capital Ring.
The park is an important wildlife site. The Friends of Beckenham Place Park arrange events, including walks, sensory garden workdays and litter picking. See the website [www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.org.uk) or pop into the Friends Visitors Centre in the Mansion on Sundays from 2-4pm.
The nature trail is downloadable here: http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.org.uk/NatureTrailGuide.pdf and here: http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.org.uk/Nature%20Trailprint.pdf
Recent renovations include an open swimming lake and new play area and cafe. More information here: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/jul/19/beckenham-place-park-lewisham-london-lake-woods-rewilding
Review by Pippa Ranger.