With such a huge area to explore when it comes to Oxleas Woods, there are many parts that deserve to be mentioned for you to really grasp the beautiful surroundings that Oxleas Woods has to offer. Severndroog Castle is home to Oxleas Woods and is a gothic-style building that was popular in the 18th Century. Formerly known as a folly, it is a castle that features a medieval style of architecture. Severndroog Castle is near to the top of Shooters Hill, and the site is 132m above sea level. It features a spiral staircase with 86 steps to arrive at the top, where seven counties can be seen with the use of its viewing platform. Being small, the castle is only equipped for a capacity of 10 people per viewing at the top, but is well worth it to see the spectacular surrounding and scenery that Oxlea Woods has on show. The castle rooms tell a story and volunteers will guide you through the story of Sir William and Lady James as well as the building's uses over the years. They will also explain about the campaign that was created to save the castle from being demolished. Severndroog Castle houses a small tearoom for a pit stop and can cater for small private functions if people so wish to take up the opportunity.
Within the surrounding area of Oxleas Wood, there is Oxleas Meadow, a sizeable meadow separating the ancient woodlands of Oxleas Wood and Jack Wood. It features an underground water reservoir that serves the local residents of the area with running water, supplied by Thames Water. Further to the north of this, Oxleas café is situated for the public to enjoy something to eat and drink. With public male and female toilets available, this Oxlea Café is a small hut positioned north of the Woodland and is owned by the Borough of Greenwich, who lease it to a café operator to supply an area for refreshments. Spectacular views of London can be seen from the café itself across the south and west of the area. Near to Oxleas Cafe, it has an outdoor gym that can be used by visitors. Working out in beautiful surroundings can be an appealing, mood enhancing and a great way to start the day. Present next to the outdoor gym is also a multi-use games area that features sports such as basketball, five-a-side football and also a children's playground for them to run around and have fun. Plenty of fun activities are supported by Oxleas Woods to entice people to make regular visits with so much to see and enjoy.
Oxlea woods is home to a honeybee apiary, named Oxlea Woods Apiary, thanks to the late John Large who managed the apiary for over 40 years. He taught a comprehensive course on beekeeping for up to 10 weeks to those aspiring to become bee-keepers. To this day, the apiary is still in use with thousands of bees homed and kept here, making this a pivotal place to visit when attending Oxlea Woods.
The woodlands form part of the London Green Chain Walk, and there are a number of well-defined footpaths throughout the woods for you to explore. The London Green Chain Walk is a linked system of open spaces including the parks, woodlands and fields, between the River Thames and Crystal Palace Park. Dependent on what you would like to see and visit, there are many sections to the Green Chain Walk, and these span over a huge 50-mile radius. Signposts are present around the area for you to follow and join in on. Park rangers that manage the woodlands offer regular programmes of guided walks, meeting from the café and undertaking different routes from where you want to end up at. When exploring these routes, there are a number of places you can see along the way. At Crystal Palace Park, stands a series of sculptures of dinosaurs and other extinct animals for you to enjoy and are located by the lakes in the south section of the park. These were built by Victorians and lurk between the trees. An exhibition is put on to tell you more about the dinosaurs that would be an enjoyable experience to teach you more knowledge you may not already know. Crystal Palace Park is also home to a variety of other activities including a sports centre, children's farm, a maze, and outdoor concert stage.
The opportunities here are endless and make for a great day out when following the Green Chain Walk from Oxlea Woods. Another route that can be taken from Oxleas Woods is to Eltham Palace, which is home to Art Deco Glamour. Eltham Palace goes back centuries to a residence who belonged to the millionaires Stephen and Virgina Courtald, who in the 1930s turned it into a mansion. This can be visited along the Green Chain Walk from Oxlea Wood and has been developed using a unique combination of architectural styles, from medieval to art deco. It has an entrance that is sure to impress and is managed by English Heritage. A guided tour can be taken around Eltham Palace, so you take in its history and beauty, knowing how it was taken from a medieval home to a modern mansion. Horniman museum which is near to Crystal Palace Park is also on the Green Chain Walk Route and this is a spectacular museum that provides a wide range of events and places to explore. The museum and gardens are the main attraction with an aquarium, butterfly house, Gallery, and Animal Centre also present.
With lots to see and do here, the Horniman museum provides lots of useful information about global cultures and natural wonders.
In order to really get the most out of Oxlea Woods, there are Summer and Autumn Fayres that are set up for visitors to get the best experience and knowledge of the woodlands. With conservation volunteering opportunities also available for those who would like to get to know more about its wildlife and nature. If visiting Oxlea Woods is a family affair, it has a Woodlands Farm opposite Shooters Hill which is one of London’s biggest city farms. It's home to cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and ducks. The farm advertises seasonal open days for events such as lambing, apple harvest and Christmas which become very popular with local visitors.