Greenwich Royal Park
Greenwich Park is London’s oldest Royal Park and it was once the hunting ground for King Henry VIII. It was landscaped for Charles II by André le Notre, who also designed the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. It is the home of the Old Royal Observatory and offers stunning views across the River Thames to Docklands, Canary Wharf, The Millennium Dome and the City of London. Relatively small in size at only 183 acres, the Royal Park of Greenwich may be dwarfed by the larger parks in London such as Hyde, Regents and Richmond, but it is certainly not overshadowed for beauty. Its dramatic contours, as it rolls and climbs, the elegant bandstand, delightful flower gardens, open-air summer plays and childrens' events, boating lake, The Wilderness with its deer - all make for a delightful haven from London's hustle and bustle.
The land that forms the park was originally walled off by James I in 1619, and was formally laid out in the early 1660s to plans drawn up by Andre le Notre. Local people were allowed in from 1705 and by the mid-18th century the Greenwich Fair was and the park was open to the general public. Some of the original features of the landscaping, such as the original walls, boundary ditches and the le Notre's giant grass steps, have been eroded by time although remnants remain. Many of the trees in Greenwich Park are genuinely ancient, though Queen Elizabeth's Oak has long fallen and many were felled or damaged badly by the hurricane of 1987. A massive replanting scheme followed.
Within the Park is the impressive statue to General James Wolfe. Wolfe joined the army when he was fourteen years old and served in many campaigns, rising to the rank of Major Colonel. As part of the expeditionary force to French Canada in 1759 Wolfe played a vital part in the capture of Louisberg before leading the attack on the capital, Quebec City. He was mortally wounded while leading his troops to victory in a battle which effectively sealed the fate of France's Canadian Empire.
Daily from dawn until dusk
Greenwich Royal Park
+44 (0)20 8858 2608
Nearest Tube / Rail Station
53, 177, 180 & 286
Access to Greenwich Park from Charlton Way, Maze Hill, Park Vista, Crooms Hill or King William Walk.