Oxleas Wood

A couple Saturdays ago it was a gorgeous day and we were all itching to be outdoors.  We packed a picnic and took a bus to a place a woman on the train had told me about.  It still surprises me the kinds of green spaces you can find in the middle of the city.  This place is called Oxleas Wood, and even though most of the trees are winter-bare, it was really pretty and green.  

I read that these woods have existed for 8,000 years.  They are one of few remaining areas of ancient deciduous forest in this part of the city.  But like I said, I’m really grateful that any areas of woods still exist at all.  It reminds me of Virginia, where we could walk to the end of our street and be in the woods.  

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Three cheers for no coats!

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And because it’s completely natural to come upon a castle in the wood…

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Severndroog Castle

Severndroog Castle isn’t actually a castle. It is a “folly”, which is “a building constructed primarily for decoration.”  The term became popular because such structures were a little silly or excessive, they were more or less overdone garden ornaments.  

In the case of Severndroog Castle, it was built as a memorial to the husband of Lady James of Eltham, in 1783.  It did seem to serve some practical purpose because it sits atop a hill and from it’s rooftop you can see for miles around Greenwich and Southeast London.  

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This photo is more about my love affair with blue sky…

We found a grassy place to eat our lunch and let Cameron and Eli play football for a bit.  Then we walked and explored and the kids invented all kinds of imaginary tales with sticks and tree stumps and bark and leaves…
Then we sleepily rode the bus home in the late afternoon sunshine.  It was perfectly lovely and no one wet their pants.  

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