Autumn family fun at Holmwood Common

Experience the magic of autumn and have fun with all the family this half-term. Whether you wish to simply absorb the quiet atmosphere of the season or you’re looking for an energetic run around with the kids, Holmwood Common has plenty to offer.

Trees

Climb to the Viewpoint to admire the magnificent kaleidoscope of colour as you look over towards Ranmore Common and Box Hill. It’s particularly enjoyable sitting on a bench with a flask of hot chocolate and some cake to celebrate.

Have fun kicking through the leaves on the paths, climb a stout tree or search for a horse  chestnut and hold your own in-family conker competition.    

Play areas

Children can test their skills in our new natural play area on the old cricket pitch near Inholms car park. The play area was opened in 2017. 

  • Can they keep their balance when log-walking? 
  • Who will be the first across the stepping stones? 
  • How will they manage traversing the climbing posts? 

The trees and bushes across the Common make excellent cover for hide-and-seek, and there are also lots of open spaces, such as the Old Football Pitch, for wider games. These areas may be muddy and perfect for squelching through with bright wellies.

A dry path 

Our 5km (3.1 miles) circuit trail follows the hard-core path that is laid around the common, providing an even surface for those who wish to keep their feet dry. It is also an excellent path for buggies, family bikes and wheelchairs and there are plenty of benches and stopping points if you don’t wish to complete the full distance. 

Wildlife

Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife on Holmwood Common. Autumn is the perfect time for spotting brightly coloured jays collecting acorns. Look for flocks of long-tail tits, jackdaws, rooks and woodpeckers among the trees. Ducks and geese can be found on the ponds, especially Fourwents and Willow Green.   

Hunt for other seasonal fruits such as crab apples, hazel nuts, rosehips and holly berries. This is also the season for fungi – see if you can spot the following:

  • ‘Chicken of the woods’ (Laetiporus sulphureus) which grows on oak, sweet chestnut and willow
  • ‘King Alfred’s cakes’ (Daldinia concentrica) which grows on the dead wood of ash, beech and alder. Also known as ‘coal fungus’
  • ‘Beefsteak’ fungus (Fistulina hepatica) grows close to ground on oak trees and can reach up to 25 cm in diameter