Petts Wood Circular walk

Easy and pleasant walk through woodlands nestled in the middle of London's South-Eastern suburbs


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Wed, 23-Oct-19

Date # Post
Sun, 09-Dec-18 9

Sunday Walk – A woodland walk in south-east London (Petts Wood)

Extra Walk 309 – Petts Wood Circular
Length: 12 km (7.5 miles). Toughness: 2/10

10:28 Orpington train from Victoria (Brixton 10:35 and lots of other stations in south London), arriving Petts Wood at 11:03. The station is in TfL Zone 5, so use Oyster PAYG or contactless.

If it's more convenient you can travel out from Charing Cross. The 10:16 Sevenoaks train arrives at 10:51; if you just miss this take the fast 10:25 to Orpington and sprint across to Platform 6 (arr 10:50; dep 10:54) to go back one stop to Petts Wood.

Direct trains back are at xx:22 & xx:52 to Charing Cross, xx:27 & xx:57 to Victoria.

There was a favourable report after this woodland walk's début in February and it looks well suited to a Sunday outing on these short days: well inside the M25, but with a rural nature. The suggested lunch stop is the Bull's Head in Chislehurst; their website says "booking is essential" for Sunday lunch, so call ahead if you want this (you'll get there at around 12:45). Unless you take the optional extension to Chislehurst Caves the afternoon leg should only take an hour, but there are more refreshment places at the end if you need further sustenance.

You'll need to bring the walk directions from the Petts Wood Circular walk page. T=swc.309
Doing this one sounds lovely, thanks Sean
does this go past the 'Wilberforce oak' ?
No. Typing 'Wilberforce' into the Search box reveals that the Oak is passed on the Hayes Knockholt walk.
9 on this attractive half day woodland walk including the walks inspector whom we met just after the start. Attractive trails which were not too muddy and the walk author wisely in my view mainly kept us off the busy and muddier London Loop although there were a couple of times when the path was a bit over complicated and a simpler route would perhaps have been preferable. Also the minimal written walk directions seemed to work reasonably but I would hesitate to rely on them exclusively and a map or gps was a real help. There are numerous notice boards en route and the walk notes would benefit from more information about places of interest, many of which we missed.

Two walkers got detached from the main group and ended up doing most of it in reverse but we met up at picnic area with seats (worth mentioning this) about 2km before the pub: none of us went to the pub as we all ate there.

We got back to Petts Wood about 2.30pm and found a superb cafe the Arabica Coffee House just before the short turn off to the station. 4 of us had excellent tea. coffee and cakes there. Its open until 4pm on Sundays and 5pm on Saturdays and weekdays. It could be open later in the summer.

A fine winters walk with much laughter and chat making for an excellent short day out. With a bit of tweaking and shortening this could make an excellent summer evening walk. There are pubs near the station. Oh the weather: it was w= cloudy with flashes of sun.

Two walker
Sat, 24-Feb-18 21

Petts Wood Circular


Length: 12km (8m)
Tougness: 1 / 10
Transport: Two options: Either take the 9:55 from London Victoria arriving at 10:30 or take the 10:05 from London Charing Cross arriving 10:36. The walkers from Victoria should wait for the walkers from Charing Cross. Return trains are frequent to either Victoria or Charing Cross.

This is the first outing of this new walk. From the description:

This is an easy and pleasant walk through woodlands nestled in the middle of London's South-Eastern suburbs. Petts Wood was saved by locals from developers in the early part of the 20th century while Scadbury Park has been in private ownership for centuries until it was bought by Bromley Council in 1983. Bromley Council declared it a Nature Reserve and opened it to the public. In Petts Wood there is a memorial to William Willett who built many houses in South-East London and campaigned for the introduction of Daylight Savings Time. Scadbury Park was for some time owned by the Walsingham family who had close relationships with Tudor monarchs including Elizabeth I. The ruins of their manor house can still be seen.

It looks to me like Petts Wood is in Zone 5
Intend coming and catching the 10.08 train from waterloo east
21 walkers set off from Petts Wood station on this cold sunny day. Apart from a few muddy patches, conditions on this woodland walk were near perfect, sheltered as we were most of the time from the raw east wind. The walk meanders through Petts Wood, Scadbury Park Nature Reserve and Hawkwood, passing Willetts Memorial sundial, with its Latin inscription (horas non numero nisi aestivas = I count only the summer hours) in tribute to William Willett, who campaigned in the early 20th century for the introduction of daylight saving, only to die in 1915, a year before it was introduced. Later we walked past Scadbury Park Moated Manor House, another site of historic interest. Most walkers stopped at the Bulls Head Hotel in Chiselhurst for lunch. This new walk lies well within the London zones and yet feels remarkably rural in nature. The directions were generally easy to follow.