Blackheath

Beautiful Blackheath
Festivals, cafes and kites

Blackheath stretches across the very top of south east London from Greenwich Park into the cosmopolitan, pretty village. It’s often a bit breezy across the Heath so it’s a favourite spot for kite flyers, wind-skateboarders and dogs.

It’s always been a great meeting point for crowds – Wat Tyler’s revolting peasants gathered here in 1381, for example. Nowadays it’s home to fun fairs, a music festival, lots of weekend football pitches and the start of the London Marathon.

There’s an exciting urban myth that Blackheath was named that way because it was a plague pit in medieval times! All wrong, sadly –  it was probably called Blackheath after the colour of the soil, which is nowhere near as exciting.

Today it’s a busy hub of café-culture and home to an excellent Sunday Farmer’s Market, where you can find lots of lovely locally grown vegetables to go with your Sunday roast.

The London Marathon
Where do I start?

Every April thousands of runners crowd onto Blackheath to start the London Marathon.

Blackheath and Greenwich Park are both starting points and runners begin streaming across the heath and up the hill in Greenwich Park as the sun comes up – it’s very exciting. The course spears off to Woolwich before turning around on itself and reaching Greenwich town centre around ten in the morning.

Thousands and thousands of runners curl around the prow of Cutty Sark before heading off towards the Tower of London and Docklands.

The London Marathon gets bigger and bigger every year and started way back in 1981 when Chris Brasher ran the New York marathon and came home inspired to set up a similarly amazing event.

A Happy Heath
Festivals, fitness and fireworks

If you want to see the best free fireworks display in London you’ll need to head for Blackheath in the first week of November.

Over 80,000 people get together for a spectacularly explosive display that blows the blue touch paper off anywhere else.

Blackheath does more than set fire to stuff though. It’s a popular venue for weekend football, plus summer picnics and evening walks. And In between the fitness frenzy of the London Marathon and the fireworks fever of Guy Fawkes night, there’s a new summer music and food festival.

OnBlackheath features some of the best musicians and chefs around in a weekend of outdoor entertainment. 2017 dates are 9th & 10th September.