Beckenham Place Mansion, Driveside

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Wild Swimming Lake

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill) [Wild Swimming Lake Option]

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Wet Woodlands

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Some Bluebells

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Ornamental Gardens

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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The Homestead

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Apr-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Daffodils off path to exit from park

SWC Short Walk 46 - Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill)

16-Mar-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Beckenham Place Park (Ravensbourne to Beckenham Hill) walk

Attractive park in SE London by the Ravensbourne River. Famous for its bluebells, wet woodland, wild swimming lake, ornamental gardens and Palladian mansion.

Start

Ravensbourne Station

Finish

Beckenham Hill Station

Length

4.9 km (3.0 mi) Ascent/Descent: 70/82m

Time: 1 ¼ hours walking time

Toughness 1 out of 10
Walk Notes

This partly undulating route winds its way through an attractive park in South East London, partly on grounds formerly used for a public golf course. The park is bounded to the east by the Ravensbourne River and the route initially follows parts of the well-waymarked Waterlink Way along it through open meadows. You then cross the railway line into the more undulating westerly part of the park, famous for its bluebell displays in season. Recent major investments in the landscaping of the park have spawned some interesting new features: A Mounded Garden, a Wet Woodland, a Wild Swimming Lake and the replanted Ornamental Garden with its beautiful café in the former homestead of the mansion.

There is a late bar and another daytime café as well, both in the Palladian Beckenham Place Mansion.

Please keep to the main paths in the woods– especially during bluebell season – unless where stated.

The route is walkable at all times of the day.

Travel

Ravensbourne and Beckenham Hill are stations on the Catford Loop Line, a branch line off the Chatham Main Line, providing a suburban stopping service from Central London via Elephant & Castle to Sevenoaks, operated by Thameslink. Both stations are located in Zone 4. Travel time to Ravensbourne is 31 minutes from Blackfriars. Beckenham Hill is one stop closer to Central London.

Eat/Drink

Beckenham Place Café Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham, BR3 1SY. Open 09.00-15.00 Mon-Fri, 09.00-16.00 Sat-Sun in Autumn and Winter, one hour longer in Spring and Summer.
Basement Bar Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham, BR3 1SY. Open 16.00-22.00 Wed-Fri, 12.00-19.00 Sat-Sun.
The Homestead Café Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham, BR3 1SY . Open 09.00-16.30 Mon-Fri and 09.00-17.00 Sat-Sun.

Notes

Waterlink Way
The Waterlink Way is a cycle-path and walking route in South East London, following the Pool and Ravensbourne rivers while connecting a number of parks and green spaces – including Ladywell Fields and Brookmill Park. A Beckenham Place Park spur from further up the Ravensbourne River starts at Ravensbourne station and leads across Beckenham Hill, the watershed to the Pool river, and on to Lower Sydenham. It is an established part of the National Cycle Network Route 21, linking Eastbourne to the Thames and well waymarked. The route was designed to be accessible, with a large number of railway and tram stations en route, in SE London including Kent House, Clock House, Lower Sydenham, Ladywell, Lewisham and Greenwich. In Cator Park, Beckenham it links with the Capital Ring and Green Chain Walk.
Find a map here: https://lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/sport/get-active/walking/waterlink-way

Ravensbourne River
The River Ravensbourne is a 17 km (11 mi) long tributary of the Thames in south London. It flows through the Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich and enters the tidal River Thames at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek. The Ravensbourne rises at Caesar's Well, Keston, 6 km south of Bromley town centre. For the initial third of its length the river flows across common land (including Hayes and Bromley Commons) until it reaches the southern outskirts of Bromley town where it is joined by the Ravensbourne South Branch and the Ravensbourne East Branch, which substantially increase the flow. Its main tributaries are the Pool (joining in Catford), and the Quaggy (joining in Loampit Vale, Lewisham).

Beckenham Place Park
Beckenham Place Park is Lewisham Borough's largest green space, extending to 96 hectares (237 acres) and including a wide range of facilities, including a lake, ball court, football pitches, tennis court and sensory garden. It was established between 1757/60 and 1785 by John Cator the Younger who had acquired the rights of the Manor of Beckenham. The park is named after Beckenham Place, a Palladian-style mansion which now serves as a community centre and café. A railway line splits the park into two distinct parts and the only routes from one part to the other are at the northerly and south easterly ends.
These days the park is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and the Green Chain Walk and Capital Ring run through it. It is considered one of the finest wildlife sites in the borough, containing bluebell-rich ancient woodland as well as a variety of other habitats.
A wild swimming lake was opened in July 2019 after some large-scale landscaping works but shut down after just five days following a near-fatal incident. Following the erection of fencing, a tender for businesses to run the lake on a commercial basis was launched in early 2020.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckenham_Place_Park https://www.beckenhamplace.org/

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By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

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Start BR3 5HE Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish SE6 3RE Map Directions Travel to the start:

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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

May-20

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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk