13 January: Explore London’s Green spaces – Petts Wood to Hayes

Nordic Walking in London. Get fit and explore surprisingly green London. This time we will grab our Nordic Walking poles to explore the country side of south London. Charles Darwin lived close by and we will visit the Wilberforce Oak that witnessed the beginning of the end of the slave trade.

On our second Explorer walks of the year we will return to South London, and explore the green spaces of Petts Wood (which we didn’t see last time), Bromley Common, Farnborough, Keston and Coney Hall, ending by Hayes Rail station.

On our way we will pass the Wilberforce Oak – the place William Wilberforce told Prime Minister Pitt that he intended to petition Parliament to ban slavery.

If you are training to Nordic Walk the half marathon (aka the Big Half) on 4 March, this 9 mile/14.5 kmwalk will keep you on track with your training schedule, so do make sure to join us. But you don’t have to have ambitious plans like a half marathon to enjoy this walk. We will walk at our usual pleasant pace, so don’t expect a super-fast walk, but -be warned- it is a slightly longer walk than our usual 7 miles.

Now the days are getting shorter, it is even more important to spend time in nature, get plenty of daylight and enjoy the friendship and company of others. So, come on a walk with us – we promise we will help you feel absolutely fabulous, both mentally and physically! Will you join us on this walk?

How to get there:

To travel together: Meet us at 9.05 in the ticket Hall of Herne Hill station, where we will aim to catch the 9.21 train, aiming to arrive at Petts Wood station at 9:45 am.

If this is easier for you, you can also meet us on the train, or in Petts Wood. If you do get the train at a different station, please make sure you text me on 078 078 3456 4 to tell me you plan to do that, and then again once you are on it, and in which carriage you are, so we don’t get all worried that you are not there! 🙂

If this is closer to you, you can take the train at these stations too:

  • 09:12 London Victoria (Platform 3)
  • 09:19 Brixton
  • 09:21 Herne Hill (Platform 3)
  • 09:23 West Dulwich
  • 09:25 Sydenham Hill
  • 09:28 Penge East
  • 09:30 Kent House (Platform 3)
  • 09:32 Beckenham Junction
  • 09:35 Shortlands
  • 09:38 Bromley South (Platform 2)
  • 09:41 Bickley
  • 09:45 Petts Wood

All stations are within the Oyster and 60+ Freedom card zone, so there is no need to buy tickets in advance.

Terrain and length of the route:

The route is about 9 miles/ 15 kilometres.  The walking is generally easy, but with a few longish, steep slopes, stiles and kissing gates and some small flights of steps. Much of it is through commons, parks and along tracks.

It is January, so puddles and mud can be expected. Please bring good footwear.

Toilets, food/drinks & what to bring:

I suggest we find a nice park café or pub for lunch, but if you want you can bring a pick-nick and enjoy your lunch outside. It is a great idea to bring a flask, so you have something warm to drink for on the way if you get a bit cold.

There are cafes and pubs at many places along the way and you can picnic at High Elms, where there are also public toilets.

I have a reputation to uphold, so I am counting on sunny weather, but this walk will happen in any weather, unless it is unsafe. Please check the forecast and bring your waterproofs and shoes with a good grippy profile. Waterproof trainers are highly recommended.

Clothing recommendations:

My recommendation for cold weather is to wear plenty of layers. I like wearing 2 thin merino wool t-shirts with long sleeves, covered with a warm fleece sweater and a gore-tex rain jacket. I also like to bring a thin puffa jacket, which I can slip on during breaks, or when my layers are not warm enough. I also wear insulating tights underneath my walking trousers. And because I like to be toasty, I tend to wear waterproof over trousers when rain might be expected, or when the temperatures are low.

Puffa jackets are thin insulating jackets. Sometimes filled with down, sometimes with man-made fibres. Nordic Walking UK members have 15% off at Cotswolds Outdoors, so that could be a good place to look, but other good places to look for budget options: TK Maxx, Decathlon and Uniqlo. I can also highly recommend Uniqlo’s heat tech underwear. Lasts forever, soft, warm, even when you get a bit sweaty. If you don’t mind buying online, then I can highly recommend the Sportpursuit website for great reductions on the best Outdoor brands.

(There are lots of good waterproof shoes and great walking clothes available. They don’t have to be expensive. Get in touch, I would be happy to share my favourites that fit your budget).

Who can join?

Anyone who can comfortably walk 15 km.

Feel free to bring a friend or family member, with or without poles. Nordic Walker or not, you are very welcome to join us, if you are Fit (enough) and Happy! 😊

Need poles?

Are you a Nordic walker but don’t have your own poles? Would you like to borrow some from me? Text me THE MORNING OF THE WALK on 078 078 3456 4 and I will bring you some. (please, please do not ask me for poles days before the walk unless you remind me the morning of the walk, or risk walking without poles.)

Check our shop if you would like to buy your own. Feel free to give us a ring, we are happy to advise you on the best poles for your lifestyle, needs and wishes.


£10 or, if you are one of our regular Fit and Happy Outdoors walkers, one stamp on your 10-session card. (£89 for ten walks)

If you are genuinely poverty stricken-  £5

(Train tickets and food or drinks at café not included)

Joining A Walk

New to Fit and Happy Outdoors? Please fill in the registration and health questionaire, which you can find here and email them to at least 24 hours before the session, mentioning in the header which walk you want to join. That will give us enough time to get back to you and discuss your needs and experience.

Please sign up for our Meetup Group to easily RSVP and find out when the next walks are.

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