After three days of largely staying indoors with chocolate coins, cake and movies, we decided to drag ourselves off the sofa and make the most of the beautiful, crisp sunshine – so on the spur of the moment, we consulted a blog highlighting Kent walks near London and plugged Chislehurst into the satnav!
Thirty-five minutes later we found ourselves a world away from the city – in the National Trust woodland called Hawkwood just outside Chislehurst. It was so quiet (bar a few passing trains!), it was frankly hard to believe we were just 10 miles from Herne Hill and well within the M25!
The children were soon running off into the distance and disappearing off the path on little adventures!
The views were gorgeous – such a blue sky and so few people!
In shady spots there was still frost on the ground in the middle of the day, but in the sun it was surprisingly mild.
So mild in fact, that we enjoyed an al fresco picnic together on a little bridge over the Kyd Brook – not something I expected to be doing during the Christmas holidays!
Our lunchtime entertainment was a wonderful series of passing dogs, all of whom stopped to splash around in the brook and to investigate our lunch! Our favourite was this incredibly springy dog which caused the children to have complete hysterics!
Renewed with energy, we set off properly on the 2.5 mile loop, enjoying a range of landscapes along the way. We particularly liked the woodlands where the children could hide amongst the trees and traverse log bridges.
While the majority of the path was good, there were just enough muddy patches for the children to make the most of their wellies. I’m still amazed Sophie didn’t fall in as she got pretty deep at times!
There were loads of interesting trees and vantage points from which to get a different perspective on the view.
The woodland regularly cleared to reveal open fields and far reaching views which really made you feel you were in the country.
Sophie did a good job of navigating with the National Trust signposts and map!
Whereas Alex focused more on searching for wildlife amongst the trees – he was convinced that two owls were living in this beautiful old trees!
Just as the children were flagging, we thankfully found another excellent climbing tree and stopped for a bit of a play.
We had such a refreshing walk – and it was absolutely ideal for children with not much climbing, loads of things to see and climb and not too far for little legs. I think Alex and Sophie’s favourite thing was the opportunity to paddle – again, something I didn’t expect in December! The little Kyd Brook was perfect for paddling in wellies, with gentle banks and shallow water (well, except the bits that Sophie found that immediately filled her boots!)
Despite the soggy toes, they had so much fun splashing around it was hard to drag them back to the car!
We had two very tired children at bedtime yesterday night! And a new destination for a weekend walk added to our list 🙂