|High Elms Country Park|
The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
High Elms may not be a celebrated garden or major attraction, but it is a very well managed country park run by our local council at Bromley in Kent. It contains a good mix of nature conservation, unspoiled woodland, formal gardens, wildflower meadows, nature trails and a picnic site. The park is situated on the rim of the Thames Basin on a ridge of the North Downs some 15 miles from central London
High Elms is the ideal location for a picnic on a sunny summers day, when you haven't the time or inclination to drive miles to some high profile gardens or country house attraction. It is very peaceful and it is always interesting to walk around the nature centre and trails, to see what has changed since your last visit.
High Elms covers 250 acres of countryside combined with a 150 acre golf course that together form the High Elms estate, originally the country home of the Lubbock family. In the 1840's Sir John Lubbock II developed the new house and grounds in a classical Italian style with tree's collected from around the world. His son Lord Avebury was one of the foremost public figures of his day and was responsible for the Open Spaces act (1896) which enabled his former estate to be transferred to Bromley Council in 1965, as a Green Belt open space. Unfortunately the house was destroyed by fire, but some of the formal gardens survived and are still maintained.
The Nature Centre was opened in 1970 and includes a lecture room and exhibition, used both by local schools and for Environmental courses. The building is only open to the public at certain times and it is advisable to check before attempting to visit the exhibition. The Victorian stable block is now the office for the Bromley Countryside Ranger Service, who help to manage Bromley owned countryside.
Regular events are held at the Park, including a craft fair, Victorian picnic, family rambling day, and others.