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Greenwich & Isle of Dogs - SE London

Well it's always worth knowing a local, that way you get to see things you probably wouldn't get to know about otherwise.

There was me thinking avoid Greenwich ("home of Greenwich Mean Time") like the plague coz it's always teeming with tourists ...

However, as well as the usual tourist attractions in and around Greenwich, like the market, Naval Museum, Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark etc., there is other stuff that maybe isn't as well known (or maybe it's just that I'm a bit dim and didn't know about it...).

Anyway, I'd been pestering a friend to show me what else Greenwich had to offer and sure enough there's lots.

First stop the park. Large and lovely and great views of London and the Thames from the top.

As well as the view there's the observatory if you can be arsed to queue to get in (which I couldn't, it was meant to be a walk after all).

Exit the park at the top end to stroll around Black Heath which has an old church and nice villagey bit (sorry I'm rubbish at north south east and west).

Or for something a little different, head back down into Greenwich and use the foot tunnel under the Thames to get to the Isle of Dogs.

The foot tunnel experience is an interesting one. You get in a lift which takes you down, down, down ... walk under the river, then get in another lift which takes you up, up, up ... Both lifts staffed by cheerful operators (who deserve danger money for being in the dark all day!).

Out the other side, and Canary Wharf which looked not so big from the other side, looms large and dominates the skyline.

However, there is an oasis of loveliness in between, in the form of Mudchute Farm.

A quite surreal experience to see sheep grazing against the back drop of skyscraper financial institutions in the middle of the city.

Strange looking creatures like the Polish Bantams (which apparently come from Italy), with their curly perm feathers ...

Goats, pigs, rabbits, horses, ponies, cows, llamas... A most excellent facility that gives city folk the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals, and is also a great conservation space.

There's also a shop, café, and garden centre, equestrian centre, education centre ... in short, plenty to keep both adults and children occupied for a while.

Once you've had enough of the great outdoors, you can check out the nearby Docklands Museum at West India Quay to get the lowdown on the history of the port, river and folk of the area.

OK, I'm cheating a bit coz I didn't do all these things on the same day. But, if you have the legs for it and start early, it's possible.

London skyline from Greenwich Park
View from Greenwich Park


Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Royal Observatory, Greenwich


Isle of Dogs - Canary Wharf & Mudchute Farm
Isle of Dogs - Canary Wharf & Mudchute Farm


Polish Bantam Chicken
Polish Bantam, Mudchute Farm

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