a photo of woodland flowers six purple petals yellow stamen from goddington park

Forest walk in Goddington Park

This is a forest walk route plan for an outdoor activity for children under five years. It is a walk in Goddington Park with exploring activities, ending in a playground. This is a great walk for days with poor weather when you are not sure how long you can stay out with your child because your car is only 5-10 minutes walk away.

Location

Goddington Park is in Orpington, about 3.3 miles and 10 minutes drive from Rushmore House Montessori Preschool. It has football and rugby pitches and has a car park. The car park is open morning to dusk, the times are on the Bromley Council website. The address is:

Goddington Lane
Orpington
BR6 9DH

Route description

From the carpark

This forest walk is straight out and then back they way you came. Start in the carpark and skirt around the playground. After walk on the mud track with the hedge on your right side.

a photo of a playground with swings and slides in goddington park
The playground near the carpark at Goddington Park, Orpington

Public Footpath sign

At the corner of the field turn left a little and follow the Public Footpath sign into the wood. Now, slow things down, so your child has time to explore and examine their surroundings.

a photo of the public footpath sign at the beginning of the woodland at Goddington Park
The Public Footpath sign at the entrance to woodland in Goddington Park

Following the path

With this walk you cannot really get lost or go off track. To your left is a football field and to your right is a farm field. So when you come to choice of path why not let your child choose and see where you end up. The choices will take you to either of the three environments and you can weave in and out between all three.

a photo of a path in woodland in goddington park
The woodland path

Ivy

Throughout the forest you will see Ivy growing on trees. You can point it out to your child, but first read these articles on Ivy as a hazard.

Ivy hazard

Ivy is considered to be a hazard to young children because it contains a skin irritant and the berries are mildly poisonous. These articles give more information:

Show and tell

Things to see and talk to your child about Ivy:

  • Ivy is evergreen, it does not lose it’s leaves in Autumn.
  • Ivy climbs up the tree.
  • Ivy is not parasitic, it does not draw nutrients from the tree, it just climbs up them.
  • The Ivy stem is weak it, uses the tree it is climbing for support.
  • The stems of the Ivy have hairs, or fingers that hold it onto the tree
  • The leaves have five lobes, count them. Note that adult leaves exposed to sun may not have the lobed appearance, but these are usually high up and difficult to see.
a photo of ivy on a tree in woodland at goddington park
Ivy growing on a tree

Balancing

Some logs left on the can be used for balancing. Hold your child’s hand to give them confidence.

a photo of a log in woodland at goddington park
A log can be used for balancing. How your child’s hand to give them confidence.

Low level climbing

Keep a lookout for low level climbing opportunities on fallen trees and log piles.

a photo of fallen tree logs in woodland at goddington park
Fallen trees for low level climbing

Exit woods

When the football field to your left ends there is an exit to the farmers field on your right.

a photo of a path in the wood at goddington park to the farmers field
Exit wood to farmers field

Farmers field path

A path runs alongside the farmers field. Explain to you child why to be careful not to trample the farmers crops.

a photo of a path by the side of a field in goddington park
Path along the edge of the farmers field.

Back to Playground

When you arrive at the corner of the farmers field you will see the Public Footpath sign where you entered the wood.

a photo showing the exit from the farmers field next to woodlands at goddington Park
Exit from the farmers field and wood

Playground

You can now see the playground you passed on the way to the woods and the carpark beyond it. If you have time you can visit the playground before you leave.

a photo of the playground at goddington wood taken from the woods towards the car park
Returning from the wood back to the playground and the carpark

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