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 and Gardens, 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 and Gardens – 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!