Housed in an impressive grade II Georgian house, Manor House Library is a small, friendly library situated next to Manor House Gardens. Ideal for adults and children, it stocks a good basic selection of children’s books, popular adult literature, factual books, papers, magazines, CDs, films and computer games.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS
This is one of my favourite places to bumble with my little people. The library is relaxed and often quiet(unless there has been a sudden downpour and everyone from Manor House Gardens has run in seeking shelter) so it’s a great place to gently discover the world of books with your little one.
This is the library I went to in my early motherhood daze and got to grips with the basics of children’s books:
1) For your baby’s first books flaps are really important. Flaps distract your baby from just wanting to eat the book!
2) Julia Donaldson has written a lot . . . I mean a real LOT of books . . it is the law that every other book you pick up will be by her, just with another illustrator!
3) If you are reading to your little one do expect other little people to just adopt you and expect you to read to them too. You can get quite a gathering! Bigger kids will be listening but trying hard to pretend they are not.
My top tip is make sure you sign your child up as a member then you won’t get late fees – you’ll just get a letter if you’ve held on to them for a seriously long time.
There are lots of activities – craft, reading (strangely enough!) and rhyme time activities also worth checking out.
There is a buggy park outside (with accessible door with a big button that toddlers will love! I know I’m writing a review about a library and I’m highlighting a button outside but I promise you your little one will be impressed!). There are stern posters asking you to leave your buggy outside. This is a good idea because if everyone bought buggies in you wouldn’t be able to move. I’ve gone in with a baby in a pram half expecting to be told off but no one did. In fact, the staff have always been nice and contribute to the welcoming relaxed feel of the library.
With the library, the children centre on the ground floor and Manor House Park you can bumble in a very small area and be entertained.
I also like this space as an adult – despite being children friendly it’s also great for getting some quiet time as a grown-up. They stock good basics, not the place to go if you are after specialist obscure stuff but it has a fair enough selection for this size.
Basically, a real gem of space and just what you need from a small friendly local library.
The children’s books are in their own room so kids are free to make a noise (and basically be children without disturbing adults that are after some peace). There is a great selection of books for them, nicely laid out so you can all explore at leisure.
Address: Manor House Library, 34 Old Road, Lee, London, SE13 5SY.
Playground: No, but right next is Manor House Gardens which has a playground!
Cafe: No café inside, however a stone’s throw from the library is the café in Manor House Gardens.
Toilets: Yes, accessible and with baby change facilities.
Pram/wheelchair/mobility friendly: Yes, lifts available to enter the building from the side. Buggies need to be left downstairs during busy times.
Parking: Free parking but limited spaces, additional meter parking on the road. Free after 7pm and at the weekend.
Train: 10-15 min walk from Hither Green, Lee and Lewisham stations.
Bus: 273 stops on Manor Lane or 122, 178, 261, 321 all stop on Lee High Road and it’s then a short walk.
Phone: 020 8314 7794
Email: [email protected].
Monday 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m.
Tuesday 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m.
Wednesday 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m.
Thursday 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m.
Friday 9.00a.m. to 7.00p.m.
Saturday 9.00a.m. to 6.00p.m.
Sunday 10.00a.m. to 4.00p.m.
There are computers for public use, rolling 24 hours TV news (with subtitles so as not to disturb the readers). There is a quiet study area downstairs which is great for when you need to concentrate.
Review By: Mel Merritt.