Sometimes it feels as if London is not a big city at all, but just a collection small villages bound together. Some of them are a proper escape from the hustle and bustle, others less so, but each area has a strong identity and sense of community.
One of my favourite London areas, with an actual countryside village feel to it, is Blackheath in South east London, near Greenwich. It only takes 25 minutes to get there on the train from Victoria, and yet, when you’re there, you feel like you couldn’t be further away from all the noise and the crowds.
The main feature of Blackheath is, of course, the Heath. Everything else is built around it, with a beautiful old church in the middle. In the summer it’s the perfect place for a picnic (coincidentally it’s one of the first parks I ever visited in London!) and during the colder months it’s a lovely place for a crisp walk followed by a hearty pub lunch.
Speaking of pubs, there’s quite a few to choose from… I’ve tried three so far, and my personal favourites are The Railway just by the train station (go figure) and The Princess of Wales, which feels like a true local gem, a bit further along the heath. The latter seems to be quite popular with families, though they also show a lot of the popular sports games too. Another pub that I’d love to visit (it’s next on my list!) is the Hare and Billet, which looks like the perfect cosy spot after walking around the heath. Their Sunday roast menu especially looks so lovely!
Food wise I’m sad to say that Blackheath is quite riddled with chains, although some of them are a bit smaller and more local. I usually stick to the pubs for food (my favourite is the The Railway!), but if you’re craving pizza you could try Bianco43 or the local brewery Zerodegrees, or if you just want something sweet, there’s the South London bakery chain Boulangerie Jade or the Blackheath branch of Gail’s Bakery to choose from.
You could easily spend an entire day exploring this little corner of London, from whiling away hours in one of the cute pubs to exploring the charity shops and doing long walks on the heath. If you have the time, it’s also worth it to walk to the nearby Greenwich and visit its vintage shops and markets, as well as witness one of the best views over London from the top of Greenwich Park.
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