Eltham

Eltham Palace
Childhood home of Tudor royalty

Eltham is just a couple of miles from Greenwich town centre and home to a thriving local community, Tudor and Art Deco architecture, where Bob Hope and Boy George were born and where one of the greatest children’s writers of the last century lived.

Henry VIII loved Eltham, he really did. He spent his childhood years at Eltham Palace, which remained one of his favourite palaces throughout his life.

In fact, Henry was a real local boy – he was born in the Tudor palace of Placentia, in Greenwich, which used to be on the riverside site where the Old Royal Naval College now stands.

There’s nothing much left of the Palace of Placentia these days, although, if you find a piece of really ancient looking red brick on the riverside, that might just be a bit of wall.

But you can definitely go to Eltham Palace – the Great Hall that Henry knew is still there but it’s now attached to the stunning Art Deco House that Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built in the 1930s, which you can also visit. The Great Hall is beautiful and so are the fantastic grounds and house itself – you can even see the special room where their pet lemur used to sleep!

Eltham Lodge
Historic golfers and classical elegance

If you’d visited Blackheath in the early 1600s you would have been more than likely to come across some wildly dressed groups of excitable men hitting small projectiles with sticks!

They were the Blackheath Goffers, the forerunners of golfers everywhere today and, more interestingly, of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club. And no, that’s not a misprint – they were Goffers, an appealing name that only became ‘golfers’ at a later date.

The club is widely acknowledged as the oldest golf club in the world and is still going strong today. You should play a round some time!

The course is also home to the Eltham Lodge, which is not only one of South East London’s most elegant and historical venues, but an excellent spot for a fairy tale wedding.

Get in touch for all the details!

Well Hall Pleasaunce
A little lunchtime haven

Edith Nesbit, world famous author of The Railway Children, Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet liked to have a beautiful place to write, which is one of the reasons why she moved into a house at Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham, in 1899.

She almost certainly wrote those lovely books for children at the house, which is sadly gone now. Well Hall Pleasaunce is still there though, and just as pretty, if not prettier than when Edith lived there.

It’s a little haven of formal gardens, ponds and woodland which was also the grounds of a 16th century manor house. There’s still a Tudor Barn there, which has been renovated and transformed into a comfortable restaurant and heritage cafe.

It’s a great place for a Sunday morning stroll through nature followed by a big roast lunch!

Severndroog Castle
A hidden treasure in London's ancient woodland.

Built as a memorial to Sir William James by his widow in April 1784, Severndroog Castle is a place of amazing history and now a visitor attraction and events venue.

The castle was officially reopened to the public on 20 July 2014. There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to be a part of the Severndroog Castle Preservation Trust which is a vital organisation crucial in the restorative work taking place on the castle.

Gorgeous views across London are on offer, with features in seven different counties clearly visible.

Avery Hill Park
A Magnificent Hothouse
Avery Hill Winter Garden

A lovely spread of parkland with lots of glorious trees and the Winter Garden, now part of the University of Greenwich.

The Winter Garden is the second largest Victorian glasshouse in the UK after Kew Gardens’ Temperate House. It forms part of one of the most extensive and expensive garden arrangements ever constructed as part of a private house in England.

It’s slightly foxed now, but still filled with tropical trees and plants from around the world. There’s also a rose garden, a children’s play area and an outdoor gym.

More Green Spaces
Open air in Eltham
The Tarn

There are lots and lots of other green spaces to walk and relax in all over Eltham. Oxleas Wood is ancient and has Severndroog Castle at its centre, with commanding views and peaceful places to sit and contemplate.

Well Hall Pleasaunce is elegantly Victorian, the Tarn is full of butterflies and wild birds and Avery Hill is a great spot for afternoon walks and morning strolls.

The Green Chain walk runs through Eltham Park South where there’s also a children’s playground and a pretty picnic area.

Eltham Arts
Winter Festival

Eltham Arts is a community organisation which encourages involvement and participation in the arts in Eltham for people of all ages and backgrounds and promotes Eltham as a creative and artistic community.

They support existing arts groups and encourage development of new art groups and projects. Eltham Arts also organise a Winter Festival of arts every autumn, which includes music, exhibitions, tours, drama and events for children.