Greenwich Park in London

Thursday, 8 June 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Greenwich Park from the observatory © Mx. Granger

Greenwich Park from the observatory © Mx. Granger

Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south-east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed (in 1433), it covers 74 hectares (180 acres), and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. It commands views over the River Thames, the Isle of Dogs and the City of London (Simon Jenkins rated the view of the Royal Hospital with Canary Wharf in the distance as one of the top ten in England).

The park is open year-round. It is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. In 2020, it was awarded a National Lottery grant to restore its historic features, build a learning centre, enhance the park’s biodiversity, and provide better access for people with disabilities.

The park is roughly rectangular in plan with sides 1000 metres by 750 metres and oriented with the long sides lying NNW to SSE. In what follows this direction is taken to be N to S for ease of exposition. The park is on two levels, with a number of dips and gullies marking the transition between them. The lower level (closest to the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and, beyond them, the Thames) lies to the north; from there a steep walk uphill reveals the southern part – a flat expanse that is, essentially, an enclosed extension of the plateau of Blackheath.

Roughly in the centre, on the top of the hill, is the Royal Observatory. At the northern edge is the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House, and beyond those Greenwich Hospital. To the east is Vanbrugh Castle. To the south is Blackheath and in the south-western corner is the Ranger’s House, looking out over the heath. To the west lie the architecturally fine streets of Chesterfield Walk and Croom’s Hill (Pevsner 1983).

Greenwich Park northern gates © Rept0n1x/cc-by-sa-3.0 Greenwich Park Pond © SunDawn/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0 Lodge at the southern entrance © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-4.0 Royal Observatory © Kjetil Bjørnsrud/cc-by-sa-3.0 Greenwich Park from the observatory © Mx. Granger
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Lodge at the southern entrance © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-4.0
On the lower level of the park there is a popular children’s playground (north-east corner, close to Maze Hill railway station), an adjacent boating lake, & a small orchard (‘The Queen’s Orchard’). There is also a herb garden (close by entrance to Greenwich town centre).

On the upper level, there is an extensive flower garden complete with large duck pond, a rose garden, a cricket pitch, many 17th-century sweet chestnut trees with gnarled, swirling trunks, tennis courts, a bandstand, Roman remains, an ancient oak tree (known as Queen Elizabeth’s Oak, associated with Queen Elizabeth I) and an enclosure (‘The Wilderness’) housing some wild deer.

Nestling just behind the Observatory is the garden of the former Astronomer Royal, a peaceful secluded space which is good for picnics and also sometimes used by theatre groups (Midsummer Night’s Dream, etc.). On the opposite side (i.e., just south of the Wolfe statue) is the Park Café. There is another, smaller café by the north-west gate, and a snack bar in the children’s playground.

It is possible to park (pay and display) in areas along the main roads entering from Blackheath. Cycle routes criss-cross the park (as do runners, roller-bladers, dog-walkers, etc.). Until 2020, other road traffic (cars and motor-cycles) could use the park road linking Blackheath and Greenwich at peak periods on weekdays.

Read more on RoyalParks.org.uk – Greenwich Park, VisitLondon.com – Greenwich Park and Wikipedia Greenwich Park (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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