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Lloyd, London

A walker on the North Downs Way looking across the parkland of Gatton Park designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown - green belt south of London.
Green Belt land south east of London provides a much needed respite SJ Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Living in London, my family find solace and rejuvenation in our connection with the green space that surrounds the city.

Our experience is shaped by various factors, including the accessibility of these areas, transport links, and the condition of footpaths. Firstly, the Green Chain Beckenham Palace Walk is a gem in our neighbourhood. This walking route offers a seamless blend of nature and history, taking us through lush greenery and the splendid Beckenham Palace Park, making it a joy to explore with our three kids. The ancient forest that surrounds it adds an enchanting touch, evoking a sense of timelessness and wonder, often sparking the imaginations of our little ones. They are always trying to find Tree Beard and all the tree fairies.

Kent is on our doorstep via a short drive, which provides a quick escape from the city. The easy accessibility of ‘the Garden of England’ ensures that we can immerse ourselves in nature’s tranquillity whenever we need it. The cleansing effect of these woodland walks cannot be overstated, serving as a valuable respite from the urban chaos.

'In a world where so much comes with a price tag, connecting with natural wonders is one of the few things we can do for free'

Of course, these experiences come with their challenges, such as the upkeep of footpaths and the reliability of transport links and parking. While some areas are well-maintained, others require attention, which can hinder the experience. Yet, the benefits far outweigh these inconveniences.

An adult and some children next to a large tree
Lloyd enjoying the countryside with this children | Lloyd Woodland

In a world where so much comes with a price tag, connecting with these natural wonders is one of the few things we can do for free. It fosters a sense of balance in our lives and teaches us the importance of cherishing the environment. Our family’s connection with Mother Nature – whether in our neighbourhood or nearby Kent – offers us both physical and mental wellbeing, ultimately enriching our lives and the bonds we share.