South East London always seemed like a fairly grim place to me – substandard transport links and decades of association with lower income community groups gave it an image of being a run-down area. But Greenwich and Blackheath, along with adjacent areas like Dulwich, prove that there are places in this part of town where affluent young professionals (Greenwich is just across the river from Canary Wharf) and yummy-mummy types are in abundance.
Yesterday (quite appropriately, the first day of BST) saw us drive to SE10 via Clapham, Forest Hill, and Catford, and it was clear to see by contrast that this area had maintained a lot of its Victorian (and earlier) architecture, with almost the whole town centre still in white stone. The market at the heart of Greenwich has all of the typical craft items and London-oriented merchandise, along with a wide selection of food, which pulls in the tourists there to see the Mean Time line, the Cutty Sark and the Maritime museum, as well as locals out to stock up their fridges and gift bags.
Most visitors can probably get a day out in Greenwich at a stretch – there’s only a couple of hours’ shopping to do, and most of the historical attractions cater to niche markets, but it’s a pefect place to lounge around on a lazy Sunday, primarily because it’s such an aesthetically pleasing area. We had lunch at the Bar du Musée, and went for a stroll across the Thames path, before heading back to the car (look, a car-friendly city day out!) for an afternoon of patio landscaping.