Severndroog Castle and a circular walk around Oxleas Woods
Back in September we took a little walk to Severndroog Castle is at the top of Shooters Hill in Eltham. We've been to Oxleas Woods before but not managed to visit this little known hidden Gothic-style castle in South London. To be clear the castle technically isn't a castle but it is still super impressive. The views match any of the peaks that surround London and are definitely worth the wait to get to the top.
Severndroog was commissioned by Lady Anne James in memory of her husband, Sir William James, the commodore of the East India Company’s marine force, and takes its name from the Suvarnadurg battle on India’s East coast in 1755. The Castle first opened to the public in the 1920s but closed in the late 80s and then fell into disrepair. Since then, a Building Presentation Trust was formed and it was restored and reopened to the public in 2014.
Inside Severndroog, we were greeted by friendly volunteer staff who explained there would be a short wait to get to the viewing platform. Whilst we waited our younger friend was given a task to find the illustrated squirrels and acorns dotted over the castle and there was plenty of historical material for the adults to read.
As we ascended the winding stairs, we were greeted with incredible views. All of which were totally unexpected and the near 360° of seven counties, left our mouths agape. The volunteers provide binoculars and running commentary on the views. The kids in our group were delighted by the tall buildings and aeroplanes taking off and landing at London City Airport.
On our way down, the little ones received certificates for their clever counting endeavours and we finished off the day with a lovely circular walk around Oxleas woods followed by lunch at the Severndroog tea room.
Severndroog is open during Autumn/Winter (From Oct 30 2016 - March 24 2017) Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, 11:00am-3:00pm but do check their website as they close occasionally for special events and it looks like over Christmas until February.
Walk info: The castle is has steep steps so it not accessible. You may leave your pram at the bottom and take the stairs up. There is a well organised but short wait at each level in the castle as the viewing platform is quite small. The volunteer staff are pleasant and talk you through the history of the castle and there are kids games and toys to play with whilst you wait. The toilet has baby changing facilities. Oxleas woods has some accessible paths but there are occasional steps.
And why not treat yourself or your family to a fab Christmassy event on the 10th at Severndroog and support the Castle at the same time. It looks like festive fun! 🎄🎅🏻