Home to one of the best panoramic views of London, Greenwich Park is a much loved favourite of families in the area and visitors alike. Dating back to Roman times, it is the oldest of all the Royal Parks and houses the Royal Observatory, a beautiful enclosed flower garden, cafe, pond, the world famous Prime Meridian Line and Santa’s reindeer (ok, real Fallow and Red deer, official owner unknown).
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
The park that keeps on giving! My children have all learned to walk in this gorgeous park. It offers such a brilliant amount of space for running, hiding, cart-wheeling and scootering. The wide, flat paths are a leaner cyclist’s dream and the autumnal leaves never seem to run out, no matter how many we throw. The cafe has been refurbished and the queues can be long but they are generally worth it. I would always bring a picnic in the summer to avoid the throngs. It took me almost 8 years of living in London before I ventured into the lovely flower garden (no dogs, bikes or scooters allowed). It’s now become a firm favourite of ours and no trip is complete until we’ve checked on Santa’s reindeer at the back of the park. There are lots of slopes for the more adventurous scooter fanatic and the hills are perfect for rolling down.
The toilets are right in the middle of the park and are kept to a good standard. For an amazing view of London, be sure to stand right next to the Prime Meridian Line and Royal Observatory. You can see from one side of London to another (if you can get past all the tourists with selfie sticks!). The playground has recently undergone refurbishment and is brilliant for kids up to around 10. It’s a great space (at the bottom of the park – near The Maritime Museum) with all sorts of things to climb on and swing from. The boating lake is an excellent spot to splash Granny from. I have been visiting Greenwich Park for almost 20 years. I’ve meandered hand-in-hand with my childhood sweetheart, waddled round trying to induce labour and have pushed many children up the hill in their buggies and yet I still find something new almost every time I visit. It’s a day trip all in itself or somewhere to nip to for toddler-tiring-out purposes. It’s my idea of a perfect park.
Address: Greenwich Park Office, Blackheath Gate, Charlton Way, Greenwich, London, SE10 8QY.
Playground: Yes, a really great one that’s just been done up. Suitable for all ages.
Cafe: Yes, at the top of the park in the Pavilion. Serves a range of cakes, stone-baked pizzas, sandwiches, hot meals and drinks and provides a welcome retreat from all the bike riding and scootering. It also has a lovely garden with benches and an upstairs with a view of the park. www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/food-and-drink/the-pavilion-cafe.
There is the Park View Coffee Cabin, selling bacon butties and posh hot drinks as well as veggie and other hot options. www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/food-and-drink/coffee-cabin.
At the bottom of the park you’ll find the White House Bakery, home to a freshly baked, bakery inspired menu of breakfast pastries, through to wraps and cakes. www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/food-and-drink/white-house-bakery. Indoor and outdoor tables available for loading up on treats before climbing the hill.
At the top of the hill, you can head to the South Building of the Royal Observatory for Organic and Fairtrade tea and coffee, fresh soup, stew, baguettes, toasties and cakes in their nice bright cafe with sun terrace and views. www.companyofcooks.com/locations/our-locations/greenwich-park.
Finally, here is a snack hut down in the playground which serves tuck-shop type goodies as well as a sausage van selling hot dogs by the Observatory and an ice-cream van that often visits the top of the park.
You definitely won’t go hungry in Greenwich Park!
Toilets: Yes, in the middle of the park and down by the playground.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: The paths make it brilliantly buggy and wheelchair friendly although less mobile people may find some of the hills difficult to climb. For a flatter park experience, use the Blackheath entrances to the park. It’s a trek up the hill from Greenwich to the Observatory.
Parking: Limited Pay and Display inside the park. You can park on the roads at the top of the park (Blackheath side) for free at the weekend but be careful, the traffic wardens are very vigilant and will catch you out if you overstay your ticket or park in the wrong place.
Train: Blackheath, Greenwich, Maze Hill.
DLR: Cutty Sark, Greenwich.
Tube: North Greenwich (then catch the 188 bus).
Bus: Full information about local buses that serve Greenwich Park can be found here: www.rmg.co.uk/visit/get-here/by-bus.
Phone: 0300 061 2380.
Email: [email protected].
As an integral part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site, it shares its enviable spot with The National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College. It offers 183 acres of family fun from scooting down the smaller slopes in summer, to sledging down some of the white knuckle runs created by children in the winter. There is plenty of room for a picnic with friends, tennis courts for the more active, and a fabulous children’s playground filled with swings, slides and climbing frames. There really is something for all generations to enjoy. Why not enjoy an ice-cream by the boating lake or a cappuccino in the cafe, bakery or coffee cabin whilst soaking up all that is fabulous about this beloved local gem. Greenwich Park is accessible by car, tube, bus, train, DLR and boat.
Review by Helen Hamston