(Previous entry from Liberty Travel, where Megan wrote a 4-part series on her favorite London neighborhoods)
When people think of London the first things that pop into their minds are major tourist attractions like Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster. They probably aren’t thinking about the less obvious places around London that are well worth checking out. During my time studying in the city, I made it my goal to really get to know not just my own neighborhood, but surrounding neighborhoods as well. Here are some of my favorite places in South London.
Greenwich: It’s not every day that you can be in two places at once. But if you head to Greenwich that’s exactly where you will be. Make your way up the large hill leading to the Royal Observatory and feast your eyes on the Prime Meridian, the line dividing Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Not only is this a cool thing to say you did, it’s also an ideal photo-op, as you straddle your legs over the line.
For those who are slightly less flexible, Greenwich is also rich in Tudor history. You’ll be happy to learn that both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich. When you’re done with the more adventurous activity of the day, make sure to pack a picnic and eat on he lawn below the Conservatory or browse the many boutiques in the neighborhood.
Richmond: When a friend of mine mentioned she was spending a lazy Sunday going to Kew Gardens, I decided to tag along. Located in Richmond (Zone 3 when you’re going by the Tube), it’s just far enough from the hub of Greater London to make you feel like you are in the country. Just a few steps from the platform you will see the entrance for The Royal Botanical Gardens which houses a massive collection of exotic flowers and plants.
Our first stop in Kew Gardens was The Palm House, a stunning architectural greenhouse on the outside and quite the plant maze inside. One thing we didn’t do, which I wish we did, was walk across the treetop walkway that takes visitors to a tree canopy. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, I recommend tagging along on one of Kew’s free walking tours.
Wimbledon: Whether you’re a tennis fan or not, Wimbledon is a must-see if you find the time. The suburb is still located in Greater London, so it’s not difficult getting there. Once you enter the grounds, there are daily tours offered where you can get up close and personal with the famous courts. At the end of the tour, there’s a little museum where you can see how tennis fashion has evolved over the years. There’s also a huge statue of Andy Roddick, so that alone was worth a trip for me.