Mental health & nature – Green Bromley

The Crystal Palace transmitting station in Bromley at sunrise.

Nature is central to our wellbeing. Whether it’s growing plants, exercising outdoors or being around animals, spending time in green space or bringing nature into our everyday lives can benefit both our mental and physical health.

Here’s our guide to some of the wonderful walks and green spaces where you can connect with the natural environment in Bromley.

Green Bromley

Bromley is officially London’s greenest borough, encompassing more than 160 parks, 52 allotments and 21 outdoor sports facilities. From the rolling fields and meadows of Downe and High Elms to the flowerbeds of Church House Gardens in the town centre, no other London borough offers such a diverse and expansive green landscape.

Walks in Bromley

With more than 7,000 acres of green space to choose from, anyone looking to connect with nature in Bromley is spoilt for choice.

Town centre walks

As Bromley is so extensive, it can be tricky to reach some of the borough’s more far flung corners by public transport. If you don’t have your own transport or prefer not to drive, these more central walks may appeal.

  • London-footprints.co.uk has a 4km (2.5 mile) town centre walk taking in green spaces and  local buildings of interest. Get the details.
  • The same website also offers a 4.82km (3 mile) circular walk around Crystal Palace park. Discover the fascinating Victorian grandeur of this unique park, including, of course, its famous life-sized dinosaur sculptures. Get the details.
  • A 1.60km (1 mile) Heritage Trail around Bromley North Village, which takes in War of the Worlds writer H.G. Wells’ birthplace and other local landmarks, can be downloaded from Bromley Council’s website. Get the details.
  • Bromley Council also offers a circular walk around Bromley Common, relatively close to the town centre. This 6.43km (4 mile) walk starts and finishes at the common, once a profitable haunt for highwaymen, and takes in the farmland and grounds of the once grand Rookery Estate, a substantial mansion built on the edge of the common in the 18th century. Get the details.

Walks further afield

Darwin’s Downe

For keen naturalists, what could be more appropriate than following in the footsteps of England’s most celebrated naturalist, Charles Darwin? This 6.43 (4 mile) stroll from the Kent Walks Near London website guides you around the ancient woods and glorious North Downs Darwin explored after leaving central London to take up residence in the village of Downe. Get the details.

Map of easy access walk at Scadbury Nature Reserve, Bromley Bromley Council walks

Bromley Council has many attractively designed, downloadable walks which will give you a fantastic insight into the flora and fauna to look out for on your perambulations.

These include:

Crofton Woods circular trail – walk around one of the largest ancient woodlands in the whole of Greater London.  This 200-acre site is a bird spotter’s dream> Keep an eye out for tawny owls, green and great spotted woodpeckers, treecreepers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps, among others, on this 3.21km (2 mile) walk. Get the details.

Jubliee Country Park trail – a 3.21km (2 mile) ramble through the glorious wildflower meadows, hedgerows and semi-natural ancient woodland of this 62-acre Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Petts Wood. Get the details.

Ravensbourne trail – the River Ravensbourne is 17.4 km (11 miles) in length and flows through the three boroughs BLG Mind operates in, Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. Much of this 4.02km (2.5 mile) circular trail loosely follows the course of the Ravensbourne through Keston, passing through rare bog, acid grassland and ancient, coppiced woodland in an area that’s been important to mankind for around 5,000 years. Get the details.

For more Bromley self-guided and circular walks, head to Bromley Council website.

You can also download Bromley-based walks from Go Jauntly, the free community-based walking and nature connection app.

Easy Access walk

The 1km (0.62 mile) Scadbury easy access trail through Scadbury Park Nature Reserve, a delightful, 300-acre Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Chislehurst, has reasonably firm surfaces and gentle gradients making it suitable for most wheelchair users. Get the details.

AccessAble, which offers free guides to accessible public places, has details of easy access facilities in parks in the Bromley area.

Directory of Bromley's green spaces

For an A-Z list of all the parks and green spaces in Bromley, including locations and facilities, head to the Parks section of Bromley Council’s website.

Get into nature with BLG Mind

Bromley Recovery College

Our Recovery College offers a range of courses to help students gain skills and have fun while exploring their mental health. This includes walking groups in Bromley and Orpington and allotment gardening. View our Recovery College prospectus for the latest courses on offer.

Go the extra mile for BLG Mind

No matter where you walk, you could raise awareness for local people affected by mental health problems or dementia. Why not do a sponsored walk for BLG Mind?

You could:

  • Walk some or all of our 13 mile (21km) BLG Mind Three Boroughs Walk, which encompasses the three boroughs we serve: Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich.

OR

OR

  • Pick your own walk, anywhere you like.

Any donation you give, large or small, will help us carry on giving vital support to those who desperately need it.

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