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London - Off-the-Path Gems

Old Mar 6th, 2012, 12:25 PM
  #21  
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VICTORIA PARK

Another gem that is off radar for most foreign tourists in the East End is Victoria Park - a k a Vicky Park and People's Park. I went to Victoria Park one Sunday in February - a nice warm day and the park was jammed with locals - including many families with kids - including a United Nations of ethnicities - all in all a very colorful sight.

Victoria Park was voted in London's favorite park by Time Out in 2008 and got the same award in 2011 from the People's Choice Awards.

So more for people watching than a really neat interesting park itself, head for Victoria Park, which is also bordered by a canal with houseboats on it, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Park,_London


Londonlink web site says about the park:
<One of London's best kept secrets, Victoria Park is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon. The city's first public park, it was opened in the East End in 1845 after a local MP presented Queen Victoria with a petition of 30,000 signatures. The aim was to make it a kind of Regent's Park for the east and it originally had its own Speakers' Corner. The landscape has changed little over the years, with countless varieties of trees adorning the skyline: oaks, horse chestnuts, cherries, hawthorns and even Kentucky coffee trees. The park is split in two by Grove Road. The smaller, western section contains the most picturesque of the park's lakes with a fully functioning fountain and the imposing Dogs of Alcibiades, two snarling (if weather-beaten) sculptures. Retreat to the quiet of the Old English Garden, a floral haven brimming with flowers and shrubs, peek into the deer enclosure and let the kids run off some energy in the children's playground.>
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Old Mar 6th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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great thread, thanks!
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Old Mar 6th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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For very helpful, timely, funky info try tiredoflondon.com
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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we did a walk around Bermondsey and Rotherhithe recently, following the route described in this walk. Plenty of interest and off the beaten track

http://www.infed.org/socialaction/be...nt_version.htm
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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I also enjoyed my several walks thru Rotherhite - along the Thames, seeing the old warehouses now converted to posh flats or condos or offices - a real neat Victorian brick wonder - south side of Thames just down from Tower Bridge.
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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I think the website latedaytraveler was referring to is this:

http://www.tiredoflondontiredoflife.com/
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Old Mar 7th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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enjoying all this info, thanks.
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Old Mar 8th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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thanks all for those web sites - always looking for more out of the central London places - I really do not linger much any more in central London where foreign tourists seem to dominate but much prefer to explore the outer skirts - real London and real neighborhoods of all ethnicities.
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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ELTHAM PALACE

One of the most bizarre and fun places I have visited in outer London is Eltham Palace, which is definitely not your usual old stately house. Built next to the ruins of old Eltham Palace, one of Henry VIII's childhood homes, the new Eltham Palace was built by the mega-wealthy Courtland clan in the 1930s adjoining the ruined Eltham Palace and intact medieval Great Hall from that palace.

And any pretenses to re-create an old Tudor house or whatever were given up and you see an ultra-modern, for its time, mansion - known as a gem of 1930s Art Deco.

There is a surprise at every turn in Eltham Palace - the first one being that you have to don slippers at the entrance to protect the intricately tiled and wooden floors.

Stephan Courtland was kind of a Renaissance man and some of his gadgets and if I recall right, an airplane, hang about in the house.

Anyway for something really really different head to Eltham Palace, in New Eltham in southeast London - a short enough walk from the New Eltham train station (or is it Eltham train station - I do forget - Eltham station and New Eltham station are on different Overground train lines from London so be sure which is which!


http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/d...e-and-gardens/
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Eltham and Mottingham, both 1⁄2 mile>

from the English Heritage site - Eltham not New Eltham train station or Mottingham - I walked from the house to Mottingham via the Ring London footpath or whatever they call it - through a horse pasture.
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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PalenQ--We called it "Ally Pally" when i lived in North London.

If in the area of Alexandra Palace, take a bus down via Muswell Hill to Priory Road and head East (check amap) i love the village-like atmosphere of Crouch End. I think it's gotten "yuppieified" (hasn't nearly all of London?) since we lived nearby.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 04:34 AM
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caliNurse - thanks! Love that name Crouch End! Putting it on my list.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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CHISLEHURST CAVES

A really off-beat thing for foreign tourists is to trek out and thru the famous Chiselhurst Caves, located in the far southeastern suburbs of the London megalopolis - not far from the Chiselhurst train station in the leafy village of Chiselhurst.

Though I have not taken the tour in recent years it still remains a good memory - trekking through these historic ancient caves, where our tour guide said some episodes of Doctor Who have been filmed.

So for something really different head underground at Chiselhurst!

http://www.chislehurst-caves.co.uk/
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Thanks, PalenQ. Hadn't heard of this before!!! The caves sound fantastic for a "day out" with my two adventurous grandsons, come May.

Here's an interesting article which includes a photo of an outer area of Crouch End (outside the High St) . I think that is "Ally Pally" in the hillside in the distance
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...ondon08.london

oops, here's the article
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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I am glad you enjoyed Eltham Palace. It was on my list for my next trip but don't know of many people that have been.
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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CaliNurse - thanks loads for that article - will go to the area next time in London!
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 09:23 AM
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http://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/

HATFIELD HOUSE
Though not off the path for Brits Hatfield House, one of England's most historic ancient stately homes - for 400 years now the home of the same blue blood family and where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood and where she learned that she had ascended to Queen - is rarely on the radar of Americans it seems.

And though not really in London proper it is a short train ride north of town - to the sweet smallish village of the same name - Hatfield - a name made notorious several years ago when it was the seen of a horrific train crash - just south of the current station I believe.

Anyway Hatfield House is known not only for its historical associations but also as a lived in house in immaculate state inside and out. It is most famous I believe however for its legendary Elizabethan Knot Garden and gardens in general.

So for something a wee bit out of London in the iconic small village England head for Hatfield House.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 12:10 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormwood_Scrubs

A DAY ON THE SCRUBS1

Well if not for a day how about a few hours exploring one of London's largest open common spaces - the 200-acres of Wormwood Scrubs, a k a The Scrubs, which may dredge up a notorious connotation to some Brits because of its association with the notorious HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, where a day on The Scrubs could literally turn into years on The Scrubs!

The Scrubs is on the northweatern edge of central London - bordered on the north side by the main rail line from Paddington to The West and on the south side by the prison and nearby Hammersmith Hospital - along with the prison having a grim IMO Victorian look and residential areas leading to the Acton towns, which also border the Scrubs on the west. (The Who I believe hailed from the Actons-shepherd's Bush area and I believe in one of their songs called something 'an East Acton type of thing'.

Anyways walking west The Scrubs turns into a rather wild place you kind of wade through at places or at least did a few years back when I trudged thru it to East Acton.

At the far northweast corner of The Scrubs is the Old Oak Common railway repair shops - a vast jumble of tracks and sidings and train sheds.

On the southweast corner you can still see the remains of the once infamous Tent City, run by Barnaby Jones as a place for low low budget travelers to stay the night in large tents erected here for several years - I myself stayed there several times - a real scuzzy place it were for sure! But Barnaby had a great heart and put up with a lot of xxxx - remains of some of the permanent buildings were still there a few years back.

So there you have it - one place way way off the radar of tourists and for good reason but a place that holds some interest as well.

At the western end you can hop the Tube back to London from East Acton or Acton stations.


On the eastern area are sundry things like the Linford
Christie stadium, with a world-class track (should be humming during the Olympics I would think!, many soccer pitches and a pony centre where kids can ride, yup, ponies!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 12:14 PM
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http://locusmeus.com/tent-city-

london.htmlhttp://locusmeus.com/tent-city-london.html



some travelers' odes about their stay at Tent City!
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