Published 26 May 2016
Area Guide for Greenwich
Located a reassuring distance from the hustle and bustle of the inner city, but no more than 25 minutes away from central London, Greenwich is a leafy, green neighbourhood with many cobbled streets at its heart, and an abundance of space, attractions and amenities.
Attracting a diverse group of residents, with its mix of culture, art, independent cafes, local boutiques and riverside setting, Greenwich is fast becoming the go-to place for those looking for just a little bit more from their London lifestyle.
Greenwich has a very intimate ‘villagey’ feel with many of its landmarks in the centre of town nestled close to one another. Nowhere is more than a short stroll away in this compact setting and there always seems to be something interesting going on.
The tranquillity of green spaces
The greenness of Greenwich comes to life in Greenwich Park, one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, offering an expansive and well-maintained space to explore. A former hunting ground of Henry VIII who was born in Greenwich, the Royal Park is one of the largest single green spaces in south-east London. It has a massive children’s playground, boating lake, London’s longest herbaceous border and an enclosure dedicated to a herd of red and fallow deer.
Walking through Greenwich Park to Blackheath is the perfect Sunday outing, particularly if it leads to a pub for Sunday lunch. Or you could simply relax by the waterside with a drink at one of the many historical pubs. But there is another walk to consider, one that actually takes you under the Thames. Located near the Cutty Sark, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel links Greenwich to Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to walk through.
History is on your doorstep in Greenwich and the pride in the past can be seen everywhere. Arguably the most striking example is the Cutty Sark, the world’s last surviving tea clipper, which now stands majestically in dry dock by the river. Originally built in Scotland (its name comes from a Robbie Burns poem), the Cutty Sark has been lovingly restored and carefully conserved.
Attractions such as The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Royal Observatory and Queens House, all are well-connected by public transport, cycle routes or accessible by foot. Why not climb to the top of the hill to the observatory and take in the beautiful views of Canary Wharf and the City of London? The Royal Observatory is home to its famous Prime Meridian, the standard of time measuring across the world. Or in the south-east corner of this green expanse sits the Deer Park, where there are paths leading to special viewpoints from which you can enjoy watching the herd of fallow and red deer that reside there.
Dining in Greenwich
Greenwich boasts an array of acclaimed independent eateries. Recommended in the 2014 Michelin Guide, Inside restaurant offers carefully crafted cuisine that’s conveniently located in your neighbourhood. Their website calls it a “modern European restaurant”, and TimeOut London describes how their dishes “manage the tricky line between comfort food and fine dining”. The Greenwich-based restaurant offers a set dinner menu, which helps with the budget, and different set lunch menus, as well as a la carte if you prefer.
Nestled beneath an elevated section of the Deptford Bridge DLR and haloed by pop art-esque impact lines in red, orange and yellow, a red double decker bus protrudes from the side of The Bird’s Nest pub. Big Red Bar & Pizzeria is a novelty establishment with traffic-stopping appeal! The unique venue offers tables both inside the bus and on the heated terrace outside it. Plus, an unloved lorry that’s now filling up with future bookings such as bands, comedy, bingo and art installations.
If you’re longing for the balmy shores of the Mediterranean, you can still enjoy the flavours close to home while you await summer’s arrival. The Hill serves a varied Mediterranean menu with a self-proclaimed Latin American twist, bursting with seafood delights, pizzas, pastas and much more. The former pub in Greenwich, now transformed into a warm and friendly eatery, also features a beautiful, secluded outside area for enjoying the sunshine, when it decides to appear. Managed by two brothers from Ecuador, they pride themselves on cooking with good quality, fresh ingredients and making sure their customers are enjoying themselves.
For more options, Sticks n’ Sushi has wonderful sushi and yakitori straight from the grill, while Peyton & Byrne serves up diet-defying pies, sausage rolls and salads. If you fancy an authentic London dish going back over 200 years or more, pop in to Goddards at Greenwich for traditional pie and mash. For those less meat pie-inclined, they also feature vegetarian dishes on the menu. There are other excellent restaurants dotted around with a deliciously diverse range of cuisines including Thai, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin American as well as traditional British fare.
If you’re serious about your beer, then Greenwich is for you. As you might expect in such a historical setting, many of the pubs have traditional or maritime roots including the Cutty Sark, Gypsy Moth, Trafalgar Tavern, Richard I, Old Brewery and Greenwich Union. Many have cosy interiors and sunny outdoor seating for the summer months, and some have their own micro-breweries. There is also a good selection of wine bars and the Theatre of Wine shop runs regular tastings featuring both traditional and unusual wines.
Greenwich in the movies and arts
Don’t be surprised if you spot a film crew in Greenwich as Hollywood has not been slow to feature locations from the royal borough in a wide range of movies including Les Miserables, Pirates of the Caribbean, The King’s Speech and, perhaps unexpectedly, Thor :The Dark World.
Off the screen, Greenwich has had its own theatre for over 150 years so treading the boards is well established here. Performing a mix of classic and contemporary productions, the Greenwich Theatre is particularly involved with supporting young and emerging artists. Film lovers should head for the Greenwich Picturehouse, a great venue for blockbuster and indie movies, while Up the Creek is London’s longest established comedy club.
Near to North Greenwich tube is the O2 Arena, one of the world’s foremost music and live entertainment venues. There’s plenty to keep you entertained locally but you are also only a short journey away from the West End theatres and nightlife.
Creativity is everywhere in Greenwich and it’s peppered with galleries where exhibitions are regularly taking place. The old Royal Naval College building houses the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the only conservatoire of its kind in the UK. The same building is also home to the University of Greenwich, which offers a wide range of degree subjects and has strong links to the scientific community. In addition, Greenwich has a considerable choice of primary and secondary schools both in the state and independent sector.
Greenwich Market and shopping
Shopping in Greenwich is a satisfying combination of local independent stores, small boutiques and a sprinkling of well-established national chains. But the focus is very much on the much-loved Greenwich Market, which is set within a World Heritage site. The centre of the market is filled with endless stalls offering crafts, vintage clothes, hats, cards, jewellery, antiques and all sorts of “collectors’” items while the fringes feature independent shops. The market is also a food-lovers heaven with street food from virtually every country in the world ready to tempt. The market is open every day except Monday.
Property market data in Greenwich
Have a look at the latest property market data provided by Zoopla. Here you can find the latest average values by property types and value trends.