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Blackheath area guide

Looking to explore Blackheath? Discover all the best things to do, see, eat and drink in SE3

Blackheath Area Guide 2018
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Blackheath was part of London's first conservation area and, really, it's a jewel in the heart of the borough of Lewisham. While the incessant traffic that whizzes along the A2, which bisects the greensward, taints the otherwise idyllic atmosphere, the area is one of those rare spots in the capital that's retained its villagey authenticity.

This bucolic air is maintained in part because of the lovely old All Saints Church and its surrounding green pastures, but also because of the attractive cafés, independent boutiques, restaurants, bars and historic pubs, which spill out on to the heath when the weather permits. Then there are the area's architectural delights: the Georgian houses of The Paragon, the Arts & Crafts Mary Evans Picture Library, Span homes from the 1960s and the exceptional North Several development (1969). On the Greenwich side of the heath is the Ranger’s House (1723), which is open to the public.  

In fact, Greenwich, with its rich history, winding streets and riverside views, is just a thirty-minute-walk, which makes Blackheath the perfect spot to kick off or end a weekend of exploring. 

Recommended: London by area

Things to do in Blackheath

Bookshop on the Heath
Things to do

Bookshop on the Heath

Second-hand bookshop selling rare and antique books, modern titles, maps, prints and gifts

Royal Observatory
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Royal Observatory

Home to the world's Prime Meridian, visit the country's largest refracting telescope and the Astronomy Centre. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants in Blackheath

Restaurant at Hand Made Food
Restaurants

Restaurant at Hand Made Food

Hand made food? It’s the least you can expect from a restaurant where it’s £29.50 for three courses. But the hands making this food belong to Guy Awford, who puts them to good use by making high end food served in a homely setting. Set in a converted space above a deli-cum-café of the same name which used to be someone’s home, there are shelves lined with books and vases, exotic items on the walls that look like souvenirs from someone’s travels and endearing staff who seem genuinely pleased to see you. That said, the food is of a standard you’d struggle to replicate in your own kitchen. A starter of smoked mackerel with celeriac and horseradish remoulade was creamy, crunchy and deeply flavoursome, while another dish featured a few slices of stunningly tasty duck ham cured by the restaurant itself, paired with segments of blood orange, chunks of walnut and a chicory and kohlrabi salad. It quickly becomes clear that this food is made with heart as well as hands. I could go on by describing the perfectly cooked pheasant breast that followed, or the roast cod that had a gorgeous golden crust, or the vibrant dukkah dip served just after we sat down so that our immediate hunger was sated, but there’s no point: you won’t be able to try these dishes because the menu here changes every week. There’s wine too, of course, all natural and organic and carefully sourced, which comes as no surprise from a place that puts so much care and attention into everything it does. In fact, the o

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Age Exchange Cafe
Restaurants

Age Exchange Cafe

A very fairly priced, not-for-profit cafe run by the Age Exchange charity, which helps care for the elderly and those suffering with dementia. At the cosy cafe you can get a variety of sandwiches, toasties and jacket potatoes. Free wi-fi is available too.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buenos Aires Café
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Buenos Aires Café

Is there a better spot in London for an Argentinian steak joint than this, right on the edge of Blackheath? Gazing through the big windows, that could be the pampas out there, where those famously flavoursome cattle are raised. The interior is promising too: small, intimate, a little higgledy-piggledy. With all the framed images on the walls, from photos of celebrities (the Queen, Rod Stewart) to a pencil sketch of Lionel Messi, it’s pleasingly unpretentious too, like a restaurant in La Boca. This down-to-earth vibe was reinforced by the presence of pizza and pasta on the menu, alongside the classics, and the chalked-up soup of the day: ‘mixed vegetables’ is all it said. No shame in that. There was shame, however, in a starter of sweetbreads that were caked in charcoal. Our polite complaint was met with what seemed like suppressed annoyance. A steak also went unfinished – we had wanted medium (not maximum) rare. A pizza genovese would have been fine if it wasn’t so soggy underneath, and for £14.70 too. The best part was the bread, a robust French-style loaf. The heath was looking very bleak as we left – the pampas it ain’t.  

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Zerodegrees
Restaurants

Zerodegrees

A sunken restaurant and two-floor bar on the edge of Blackheath.  

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Pubs in Blackheath

Hare & Billet
Bars and pubs

Hare & Billet

A Blackheath favourite, this warm and friendly pub mainly sells local and small breweries, with twelve rotating Keg taps. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
The Old Brewery
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The Old Brewery

Located in nearby Greenwhich, this slick and stylish pub is set within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Princess of Wales
Bars and pubs

Princess of Wales

With a villagey feel, this popular local pub has been lovingly restored while maintaining its Victorian heritage. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
The Crown
Bars and pubs

The Crown

A stylish contemporary watering hole offering traditional pub food with a patio and wine bar upstairs. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars

Hotels in Blackheath

The Clarendon Hotel

The Clarendon Hotel

The Clarendon overlooks historic Blackheath and Greenwich Park as well as views of London and offers a village atmosphere just 15 minutes' from central London by train. It is ideal for visiting the O2 Arena, Canary Wharf and the Excel Exhibition Centre in Docklands.All the rooms at The Clarendon feature an en suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and free breakfast and WiFi.The hotel offers the Meridian Restaurant, Nautical Chart Bar and first-rate room service.There is a car park at the front and back of the hotel with limited space, along with local car parks and on-street parking nearby. The property is equipped with electric car charging facilities.Great bars, restaurants and boutique shops surround The Clarendon Hotel.The nearest train station is Blackheath, reaching Waterloo and central London after a 20-minute journey. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich Park is 16 minutes' walk away.

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Doubletree By Hilton London - Greenwich

Doubletree By Hilton London - Greenwich

Located in Royal Greenwich, DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich is just 15 minutes’ walk from the historic ship The Cutty Sark, and the National Maritime Museum. A gym area is available on site, and rowing, boat excursions and sailing can be enjoyed in the local area. Central London can be reached in 20 minutes by train.Free WiFi is provided in each air-conditioned room at DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich, as well as a flat-screen TV, en suite bathroom and tea/coffee making facilities.The on-site restaurant offers an a la carte menu incorporating locally sourced ingredients. Wines, cocktails and champagne can be enjoyed in the hotel’s bar, and afternoon teas and light lunches are also available.The O2 Arena entertainment venue can be reached in 30 minutes via public transport, and Greenwich Market and observatory are only 1 mile away.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Premier Inn London Greenwich

Premier Inn London Greenwich

Just a 15-minute walk from Greenwich Park, Premier Inn London Greenwich is 200 metres from Deptford Bridge DLR Station. The modern hotel offers air conditioned rooms and a traditional restaurant.The colourful rooms each have a flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi access. All rooms have a large work area and tea/coffee facilities, and the bathrooms feature a hairdryer and shower.An all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is available daily, including cooked and continental options. The restaurant serves hearty evening meals, and the bar offers fresh coffees and light snacks.

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De Vere Devonport House

De Vere Devonport House

This Georgian-style hotel is next to the National Maritime Museum, and overlooks Greenwich Park and the River Thames. Buses to O2 Arena stop very close by.Bright en suite rooms have a flat-screen TV with Sky satellite channels, tea/coffee and desk space. Each room has free Wi-Fi access.Greenwich Train Station and DLR train link are about 600 metres away, for access to Central London in about 20 minutes.The hotel serves dinner each night, and bar snacks are available until about 22:00. There are 14 meetings rooms, and plenty of outside space for fresh air.Set in London's historic Greenwich, De Vere Devonport House is next to the University of Greenwich. Bars and restaurants are within walking distance. London City Airport is 9.6 km away.

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Bars in Blackheath

Le Bouchon
Bars and pubs

Le Bouchon

A French style wine bar that serves more than 100 different wines, many available by the glass or carafe. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Champagne + Fromage
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Champagne + Fromage

One of three locations of a small chain specialising in — yep, you guessed it — Champagne and cheese. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The perfect weekend in Blackheath

Visit: Blackheath Farmers' Market
Shopping

Visit: Blackheath Farmers' Market

Held every Sunday and located in the car park of Blackheath station, drop by for fine farm produce and fresh fish. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Explore: Blackheath
Things to do

Explore: Blackheath

If the weather permits, head to the heath and make yourself an epic picnic, fly a kite or just go rambling. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Eat: Restaurant at Hand Made Food
Restaurants

Eat: Restaurant at Hand Made Food

High-end food from celebrated local chef Guy Awford with a menu that changes every week. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Drink: Hare & Billet
Bars and pubs

Drink: Hare & Billet

Pop in for a leisurely pint and sample one of the multitude of small London breweries being represented.  

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars