Greenwich: The beauty of southeast London




  • Train – North Greenwich (Jubilee line), Cutty Sark (DLR), Greenwich (National Rail)

  • Landmark - Cutty Sark, Millennium Dome (O2 Arena), Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory (GMT Line), Royal Naval College, Greenwich Park

  • Random Fact - Some scenes from the most recent Les Miserables (2012) were filmed at the Royal Naval College. 

By James Tremain

Anyone that watched the showjumping at last year’s Olympics may be more familiar with Greenwich than they realise.

The competition took place within Greenwich Park, looking wonderfully rainy. The park is still there even if the grass might not be (rain and hooves isn’t the most conducive grass-growing combination) and is a perfect place to visit in the upcoming sunny months.

Within the grounds of the park lie the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line. It’s the one place on Earth you can stand on both the East and West of the world simultaneously, and the views of London are unrivalled in the South East.

Greenwich town centre has an abundance of traditional pubs, some of which lie along the banks of the Thames, and its own brewery. Meantime Brewing Company run tours for those interested in their beers, all of which are delicious for those interested in that sort of thing.

The recently refurbished Cutty Sark provides more tourist attraction, and nearby are some newly opened restaurants, including Nando’s and GBK.

History and modernity in South London

Cinemagoers will find themselves well catered for – there is a huge Odeon and the o2 centre is just a short bus journey away. There is also a Picturehouse, which regularly runs independent films that would be impossible to see elsewhere (and it’s got leather seating in some screens which is a real treat).

As far as nightlife is concerned, there are several bars, such as Desperadoes in the town centre, that stay open relatively late. Central London is a short train journey away, and night buses run back to Blackheath – just a short walk back to Greenwich.

One bus journey will get you to the o2 and its Inc Club for all those wanting a big night, and there are regular gigs in the centre’s smaller Indigo centre to conflict the megastars appearing in the neighbouring arena.

The National Maritime Museum is the leading maritime museum in the UK and is free entry for those who wish to gain an insight into Britain’s naval history. The building itself is stunning, and parts of the attached University of Greenwich were recently used as sets in the film Les Miserables.

Greenwich resident Azra Glover, an 18 year-old student, has lived there her entire life. She can barely control her affection for the borough:

“I couldn’t imagine living in a better place. It’s got a great mix of traditional tourist attractions and places to socialise. It’s so easily accessible from Central London and I can’t imagine living in a better place.”

Greenwich is certainly one of London’s most attractive boroughs, rich in history and in tradition. Recent refurbishments and builds mean the town is also well-equipped to provide everything you need for a night out, and getting into Central couldn’t be easier if just stopping off on the way into London.

To find out more about the area, read The Greenwich Post or a local guide.