Manor Park, which sits between Hither Green and Lewisham feels very wild and private and is almost divided into two. One end is the ‘Meadow’ where it’s mainly wild grass, mature trees and plants plus big wide steps down to the Quaggy River where you can watch the fish (or paddle if you’re brave).
Frequently confused with Manor House Gardens, you wouldn’t know this little oasis existed unless you’d been in; back in the day it was a pig farm. It’s smaller than its neighbouring parks and has more of an intimate, pocket-park type feel.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
It’s a must visit park if you’ve got kids that need to burn energy and want to explore. It feels more secluded than the likes of Manor House Gardens, definitely isn’t as busy and in my opinion, has a better play park with lots of space. What really sets this park apart though is the new Arts Café. It’s better than any other park café we have in Lewisham. The owners couldn’t be more welcoming and lovely. The menu, whilst not extensive, is good and most things are freshly made. They run family themed workshops and events on weekends e.g. finger knitting and the cafe is also available for parties (www.lewishamartscafe.uk). They also maintain the toilets and always ensure they’re clean and usable – not like some other parks in our area. Can’t recommend this park enough – safe, very natural and tranquil and perfect for kids and families!
Address: Manor Park, London, SE13 5QZ.
Playground: Yes, a bit more suitable for older children (age 5+).
Cafe: Yes, the lovely Arts Cafe sells drinks and snacks and runs wonderful creative events. www.lewishamartscafe.uk. They also have a small room to hire for parties that opens out into the playground.
Toilets: Yes, with a ramp and accessible facilities.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Yes, nice wide smooth paths, step free access to the cafe, playground and loos.
Parking: No – street pay and display or limited free parking in some resedential streets. Free on-street parking after 7pm and at weekends (check signage to make sure).
Train: Hither Green.
DLR: Lewisham and then a 20 min walk or 273 bus.
Bus: 273 stops right outside.
Phone: 020 8318 3986 (Glendale Grounds Management).
The grass can be quite long in the summer but its paths are well kept, as are the flower beds, and it’s always really quiet. The other end has a big fenced in play park with climbing frames swings, merry-go rounds, etc. It’s slightly geared towards older kids but is never busy, has lots of room to burn energy and feels very safe. Benches mean parents can have a seat and watch the kids’ every move. The Arts Cafe is fantastic. It’s open 11-5 Tuesday – Sunday and many say it is the best park cafe in the area by far. It’s totally geared to families; the sandwich/coffee menu is delicious, there’s lots of seating inside but they also set up kids cushions and chairs outside in the shade and play jazz to create a lovely atmosphere.
They have clean and well-kept toilets and baby changing facilities. There are three entrances to the Park: Wearsdale Road Entrance (closest to Lewisham), Manor Park Entrance (off Manor Park) and Longhurst Road Entrance (closest to Hither Green Station).
Review by Anna Wicks