You’ve got to love Bank Holidays in the UK! Three, sometimes even 4 day weekends are very welcome! Last weekend was one of those happy, long, and this time, sunny and warm weekends! It was time for a hike in the Petts Wood & Hawkwood in Chislehurst.
I was keen to travel to the seaside, but after picturing myself stuck in the traffic, I was easily tempted by Charlie’s offer to take a train and travel to Chislehurst, zone 5 in London. Only 17 minutes on a train sounded good to me!
Saving the Petts Wood & Hawkwood from greedy developers
There is a great and humbling story behind the woods and how the local community stood together to protect this evergreen land.
Petts Wood was once on the market and at risk of being overdeveloped. This made the locals concerned of the green area being spoilt by the developers and what they did next was rather amazing. The locals bought the woodlands!
The 88 acres of land was purchased with the donations from the local people, how amazing is that! They then donated the purchased land to the National Trust to keep the woodlands protected from further development.
The locals couldn’t afford to buy the rest of the 47 acres though so it was purchased by Colonel Francis Edlmann. Not long after he passed away, the Hakwood was again in danger of being developed.
Not being able to raise funds to buy it, National Trust together with the Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District Council and the local people managed to keep it safe despite the developer trying to put their hands on the woodland.
In the end, in 1957 Robert and Francesca Hall purchased the 230 acres and donated it to the National Trust. Cheers to the happy ending! It’s good to know that this amazing piece of land will stay green for many years to come.
Exploring the woods
The walk we took is developed by Bromley Countryside Ranger Service. We started at the Jubilee Park, established in 1978 to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (this year we celebrated Queen’s Diamond Jubilee). The park is now a designated Nature Reserve.
To enjoy the walk, follow the footpath and the signs along the way and carry on exploring the beautiful park.
Escape the city in the city
Only 13 miles from the centre of London, the woods are beautiful to discover at any time of year. It’s a great escape from the city in the city.
We really enjoy the walk through the woods and especially the soft blanket of bluebells. They were everywhere! I couldn’t get enough of this beautiful view.
Can you believe it’s in the middle of a heavily populated area on the London/North Kent border?
Another unforgettable weekend! We also popped into the Chislehurst Caves for a terrifying tour. Check it out!