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Living in Vanbrugh Park: South London’s Quiet Retreat - Essential Living

Living in Vanbrugh Park: South London’s Quiet Retreat

Blog London Lifestyle
02.07.20

Earning its name from the architect and playwright, Sir John Vanbrugh, Vanbrugh Park has a broad history. You don’t have to wander far to stumble upon a park, historic monument or period building. If you want to experience the quieter, more rural side of London, living in Vanbrugh Park could be for you.

The south-east London area is largely residential, owing its charm to the leafy surrounds, including the expansive Blackheath Heath and Greenwich Park. Although Vanbrugh Park doesn’t have its own station, you’ll be within walking distance of Maze Hill and Westcombe Park, both of which connect to King’s Cross in 35 minutes.

We’ve wandered the area to find the cosiest pubs, coolest boutiques and quiet hangouts.

The Royal Standard

Dating back to the 1800s, The Royal Standard is one of the area’s most established pubs. Located on the corner of Vanbrugh Park and Stratheden Road, the pub is a convenient place to stop during a stroll through the area. You can also bring your furry four-legged friend along after a walk through one of the many surrounding parklands.

The pub boasts a large beer garden at the back, which is a blissful suntrap during the summer months. Sit back and unwind with friends over a local London craft beer and al fresco pub grub lunch. Visit on certain nights for pub quizzes, live music or themed performances.

Address: 44 Vanbrugh Park, London SE3 7JQ

Phone: 020 8858 1533

Email: enquiry@royalstandardblackheath.co.uk

Follow: @royalstandardblackheath

Boulangerie Jade

Inspired by the patisseries of France, Boulangerie Jade is a confectionery dream. Inside, the counter is always neatly arranged with rows of fresh pastries, cakes and tarts. Expect all the French classics like buttery croissants, pastel-coloured macarons, chocolate éclairs, and elegant strawberry tarts. If you have less of a sweet tooth, the patisserie also serves a savoury menu of sandwiches, quiches and toasted brioche.

Everything is baked fresh on the day using only the finest French flour and butter, for a truly authentic taste. The cosy atmosphere makes this the perfect choice for a weekend treat.

Address: 48 Vanbrugh Park, London SE3 7JQ

Phone: 020 8858 2244

Email: christophe@boulangeriejade.com

Follow: @boulangerie_jade

Greenwich Park

Among London’s Royal Parks, Greenwich Park is a quiet retreat easily reached from Vanbrugh Park’s main road. Spanning 182 acres, this sprawling green space offers numerous routes for runners and dog walkers. It’s one of the largest parks in south-east London, making it a good place to escape to when you need some peace away from the city.

During the summer months, the park attracts a mix of tourists and locals. Take a romantic stroll with your other half, find a quiet spot to read a book, pitch up with your friends to enjoy a picnic, or visit the Royal Observatory.

Address: Greenwich, London SE10 8QY

Phone: 020 8854 8888

Email: greenwich@royalparks.org.uk

The British Oak

Historical Victorian pub The British Oak offers a relaxed neighbourhood vibe. The busy events calendar of quiz nights, open mic, stand-up comedy and live music means there’s always something different happening.

The no-frills traditional interiors, log fires and classic British pub food menu make this a cosy retreat during the winter months. Throughout the sunnier weather, enjoy a pint or cocktail in the pub’s large beer garden.

Address: 109 Old Dover Road, London SE3 8SU

Phone: 020 8305 1781

Email: britishoakpub@gmail.com

Follow: @britishoakblackheath

Vanbrugh Castle

Sir John Vanbrugh designed and built Vanbrugh Castle for his family, leading to the area being named after him. The architect was renowned for building Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, but his own residence is far less baroque; instead, it draws on medieval influences.

Since construction back in 1718, the Grade I listed castle has seen many people pass through its doors over the years. Most recently, the castle was used as a school in the 1970s by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The stunning castle comprises 2.5 acres of ground, with numerous grand rooms and an underground private annex. The roof terrace offers expansive views over south-east London, including the neighbouring Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory, and Blackheath Heath.

Address: 121 Maze Hill, London SE10 8XQ

Voewood

Independent boutique The Voewood sells luxury womenswear, handmade jewellery and home décor. The store always has a refreshing mix of unique ornaments and accessories, whether you’re looking for a gift for a friend or something to decorate your apartment.

Products reflect British and French style, from shabby chic to minimalistic designs. Some of the regular brands you can find here include hand-printed clothing brand One Hundred Stars, REN natural skincare, eco-friendly Frenchic Chalk Paint, and Dutch ceramics brand &K.

The boutique hosts regular workshops and events including meditative learning and craft sessions.

Address: 13 Old Dover Road, Blackheath Standard, London SE3 7BT

Phone: 020 8293 7988

Follow: @thevoewood

The Wilderness Deer Park

For those seeking nature in the city, The Wilderness is a thriving parkland within Greenwich Park, bordered by the Heath. The fallow and red deer who now roam here used to have full reign over the park until they were confined within The Wilderness for sanctuary.

The parkland is also home to an abundance of other wildlife, including nesting birds, bats, foxes, and wood mice. In the summer, as the flowers bloom to life, you can regularly sight a colourful flutter of butterflies and hive of bees. Garden enthusiasts can also delight in the many ancient trees and sprouting fungi within the park.

Address: The Wilderness Park, Greenwich Park, Blackheath Gate, Charlton Way, Greenwich, London SE10 8QY

Living in Vanbrugh Park

With its charming history and abundance of green parklands, Vanbrugh Park is an attractive place to live. Experience the quieter side of London life, whilst still having the vibrant social scene of Greenwich right on your doorstep.

Not sure where to live in south London? Read our guide on the best places in the area.

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