A secluded, hidden gem in Greenwich that is great for Days Out!
Many people know of the fabulous green spaces that Greenwich and Blackheath have on offer – Greenwich Park, the expansive openness of the heath itself and the formal courtyards of the Old Royal Naval college.
But wait, there's more! A small, but perfectly formed, hidden gem that’s frequently overlooked, tucked just to the east of the park itself: East Greenwich Pleasaunce. This little green space packs a big punch, making it a great destination for playing, dog walking and lunching.
Like most things in the area, the Pleasaunce is steeped in history. It was formerly the cemetery for the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich – founded in 1694. More recently, it’s been used to contain the remains of sailors who fought at the Battle of Trafalgar and in the Crimea, as well as war graves from the First and Second World Wars. Then, in 1926, it was passed into the hands of Greenwich Council, who continues to ward it to this day.
Under the care of Greenwich, the space is truly reflective of it’s name (the word ‘pleasaunce’ is thought to derive from French and means ‘a secluded garden’ or ‘enclosed plantation’ designed to delight its users). The park is full of interesting flora and fauna and has a dazzling array on display. You can spot everything of mature plants to the springtime daffodil beds, as well as wildflowers, birds and the community orchard.
There's more to do then just lounge and take in the scenery, the space offers the following to its visitors:
Pistachios in the Park: No need to pack a bag full of snack for the kids or lunch for everyone, this local café offers refreshments at reasonable prices. A number of tables and chairs are available in the park for those that don’t want to nestle into a picnic blanket.
Playground and Ball Area: This section of the park is a dog-free zone and is a great place to allow the little ones to run around in order to get the sillies out.
Arboretum: Have a stroll through the beautiful and diverse collection of trees – explore the grounds and see how many you can identify!
Super Dog Friendly: With the exception of the playground area, feel free to bring your fuzzy friends with you to explore the grounds. You’ll find lots of fellow dog owners doing the same.
Table Tennis: There is an outdoor ping pong table you can use for free – just ask at the cafe for bats and a ball
Finding the park is easy, the main entrance to the Pleasaunce is on Chevening Road, which is off Woolwich Road. There is also a smaller gate via a footpath at the corner of Halstow Road and Ormiston Road. The nearest railway station is Westcombe Park, just a few minutes’ walk from the park. It’s open daily from 9am to 6pm.
Insider Tip: The park fills up pretty quickly on the weekends, if your preference is for quiet time then we would recommend visiting on a weekday. When you’re all done soaking up the ambiance then take a stroll over to the river and have a walk up the Thames Path – here you’ll find some fantastic pubs, restaurants and great views over London.