diamond geezer

 Monday, April 27, 2015

Outer London Day Out (SE)

I've been meaning to do this for ages. A brief rundown of the most interesting places to visit in London that aren't in the middle. All too often tourists and the media focus on central London, and on places to eat and drink, so I'll have none of that. Instead I'm going to attempt to bring together as many sightseeingworthy places as I can, covering essentially zones 3 to 6 (with some outer zone 2 thrown in for good measure). If I miss out anything good, let me know and I'll try to add it, the idea being that this builds into a comprehensive list for anyone to refer back to. I'm going to divide up the suburbs into four quadrants, so expect this to take the rest of the month. If I've been and blogged about it, I'll link to that. And if you're ever bored in the future and in need of inspiration, simply click back to April 2015 on this blog and hopefully something from the list will take your fancy. Because there's more to London than pop-up restaurants in Shoreditch and shopping at Westfield.

Greenwich: If you can't make a day out out of Maritime Greenwich, you're doing it wrong. Top draws are the Cutty Sark tea clipper (10am-5pm, £12.15) and the world famous Royal Observatory (10am-5pm, £9.50) [blogged], the home of time, which includes London's only planetarium (£7.50) [blogged]. Alternatively there are several free attractions to see, top of which is the National Maritime Museum (10am-5pm), a multi-galleried repository of all things seaworthy. Across the grass is the Queen's House (10am-5pm), with its photogenic Tulip staircase, and don't miss the Painted Hall (10am-5pm) with its exuberant early Georgian ceiling. Additional tourist info can be found at the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, near the entrance to the Foot Tunnel. Or for a quirkier more dainty experience, give the Fan Museum a go (11am-5pm, £4, closed Mondays) [blogged].
North Greenwich: Forget the O2, and walk downstream to watch the wildlife in the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park (10am-5pm, closed Monday & Tuesday).
Woolwich: If you hurry you can visit the overlooked Firepower Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich Arsenal (10am-5pm, £5.30, closed Sunday & Monday) [blogged] before it's forced to vacate the site at Christmas 2016.
Eltham: Just wow. Eltham Palace is an amazing building, an amalgam of Art Deco mansion and Tudor moated hall (from 10am, £13, open Easter-October and school holidays) [blogged]. English Heritage opened five new rooms earlier this month, so even if you've been before, you haven't quite.
Green Chain: For a dozen fine walks around Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley and Lewisham, including strolls to Severndroog Castle (£2.50, 12.30-4.30pm, Tue, Fri, Sun) [blogged], the Thames Barrier and Lesnes Abbey, check out the Green Chain website (or buy the official pack so you can do the lot).

Bexleyheath: Perhaps unexpectedly, it's perfectly possible to fill an entire genteel day out in Bexleyheath. William Morris lived here in an Arts and Crafts home of his own devising, the Red House (£7.20, mid-Feb to October-ish, closed Monday & Tuesday) [blogged], now watched over by the National Trust. Close by is Danson House (noon-5pm, £8, April-October, closed Saturday), a sumptuous Georgian villa, while a short distance down the A2 is Hall Place (10am-5pm, £8) [blogged], a creaking Tudor house in extensive gardens.
Crossness: Sir Joseph Bazalgette's Crossness Pumping Station (£6, 10.30am-4pm, occasional Sundays) [blogged] is a Victorian engineering marvel, next open on June 21st.

Crystal Palace: The original glass exhibition hall burnt down in 1936, but Crystal Palace Park remains full of plenty to explore, including a maze, a free museum (11am-4pm, weekends) and the legendary model dinosaurs.
Chislehurst: Even if it's raining out, you can explore some of the 22 miles of tunnels at Chislehurst Caves (£6, 10am-4pm, closed Monday & Tuesday) [blogged] on a 45 minute lamplit tour. An underappreciated gem.
Orpington: The Roman remains at the Crofton Roman Villa (£1.50, 10am-4.30pm, April-October, Wednesday, Friday, bank holiday Mondays and the first Sunday of the month) [blogged] are a rare suburban bargain.
Downe: Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution whilst living at Down House (£10.60, 10am-6pm, closed winter weekdays) [blogged], now open as a museum to the great man courtesy of English Heritage. You owe it to your genes to visit at least once.
Westerham: A short distance across the border (by 246 bus) explore Quebec House (£5.20, March to October-ish, closed Monday & Tuesday) or even Churchill's Kent home at Chartwell (£13, 10am-5pm)[blogged] (bus on Sundays only, March-October).

Croydon: The Museum of Croydon (10.30am-5pm, closed Sunday & Monday) isn't worth going out of your way for, but the Croydon Airport Visitor Centre (11am-4pm, 1st Sunday of the month) on Purley Way might be.
Shirley: Shirley Windmill, now mid-housing estate, is open to the public on the second Sunday in May and the first Sundays of June to October (1pm-5pm)
Coulsdon: The Downs to the south of Purley and Coulsdon are some of the finest rambling territory in London [blogged], especially the finger-ridge of Farthing Downs.

Forest Hill: Possibly London's most eclectic museum, the Horniman Museum (10.30am-5.30pm) houses a collection of stuffed animals, musical instruments and ethnological treasures, plus some fine gardens to wander outside. Head off via Dulwich Park and you'll soon reach...

Dulwich: The Dulwich Picture Gallery (£5, 10am-5pm, closed Mondays) [blogged] was the world's first purpose-built public art gallery. It's small but perfectly formed (and attached to a surprisingly pastoral village).

Brixton: Recently restored, Brixton Windmill takes some finding, but opens for guided tours generally on the second weekend of the month from April to October (2pm-4.30pm). Or head to Brockwell Park for the Lido, the walled garden, the fine views over London and (Sundays only) a ride on the very miniature railway.

If you have any further thoughts on places you'd go out of your way to visit, especially for those three inner boroughs, please add them in the specific comments box. Strictly no food and drink, no shopping and nothing from Zone 1. And I might add them later.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Wed 19th - Sun 23rd October
Bloomsbury Festival
It's free to visit the Foundling Museum this weekend.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards