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Charlton and Woolwich area guide

Keep busy in SE7 with Time Out's guide to restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do in Charlton and Woolwich

Peter Burke

One look at Woolwich Road, and it’s a wonder anyone ever ventures further east than Greenwich Peninsula, but travel in the same direction by train, and you pass through Charlton, where the attractiveness of this strip of south-east London becomes more readily apparent. The whole hillside (marketed as ‘Charlton Slopes’) is filled with family-friendly period streets – not as head-turning as those in nearby Greenwich and Blackheath, perhaps, but a tempting alternative. And a lido. The historic hub is Charlton Village – not an estate agents’ marketing ploy, it was once a bona fide hamlet. Old bits and pieces survive (including Blackheath Rugby Club – the world’s oldest); the star turn, though, is Charlton House, one of the finest surviving Jacobean mansions in Britain. 

Restaurants in Charlton and Woolwich

Restaurants

Cattleya (Chu & Cho)

A short walk from Charlton station gets you to this diminutive establishment no larger than a living room, where daring diners will relish the chance to cross continents in one meal. It was run as a Spanish restaurant for nearly a decade, but the new Thai owners now serve a range of eastern nibbles (prawn toast, fish cakes, satay chicken) alongside standard tapas fodder such as jamon serrano, calamares and boquerones. The Thai mains are good: we opted for a deliciously rich and spicy phed phad cha: sliced duck breast with red peppers, fresh chilli and a sprinkling of Thai basil. Desserts run from the likes of banana fritters to chocolate-dipped churros or fresh mango with sweet rice and coconut cream.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
The White Swan
Bars and pubs

The White Swan

Community pub that serves food and is fighting to stay open in the ever evolving economic climate.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Things to do in Charlton and Woolwich

Thames Barrier Information Centre
Things to do

Thames Barrier Information Centre

Gleaming silver and 520 metres across, the Thames Barrier has been variously called a triumph of modern engineering and the eighth wonder of the world. It's certainly one of the capital’s most dramatic landmarks. The shiny silver fins, lined up across Woolwich Reach, are indeed an impressive sight. Built in 1982 at a cost of £53million, the Thames Barrier has already saved London from flooding some 80 times. It is regularly in action for maintenance purposes – the website has a current timetable. The Thames Barrier Information Centre is on the south side of the river and boasts an interactive model of the barrier and an eight-minute video about its construction, as well as close-up views of the real thing along with a pleasant café with riverside picnic benches. The north end of the Thames Barrier sits adjacent to the Thames Barrier Park.

Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Charlton Lido
Sport and fitness

Charlton Lido

After an extensive, £2 million refurbishment, this 50-metre pool was reopened to the public in early 2013. The facility is fully heated and has two sun terraces, with a café, gym and fitness studio also on the site. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Bars and pubs in Charlton and Woolwich

Dial Arch
Restaurants

Dial Arch

Situated in the heart of the historic Royal Arsenal Riverside complex,Dial Arch is both a fantastic destination venue and a fortunate local, serving the very best, locally sourced produce. British classics are served alongside Mediterranean flourishes with an extensive and well-planned wine selection.The Period features have been lovingly restored to an exeptionaly high standard, sweeping you into a high-end, sophisticated pleasure paradise. The Staff are attentive and friendly providing all with exeptional service and great quality food and drinks.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Woolwich Equitable

The Antigallican Hotel

The Antigallican Hotel

The Antigallican Hotel is just a 5-minute drive from the famous O2 Arena. It is a charming Victorian building, which includes a pub, only a minute's walk from Charlton Rail Station.Rooms have a TV as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. Some rooms include private bathrooms, while others have use of shared facilities. There is free Wi-Fi available in the common areas as well as in most of the rooms, and reception is manned 24 hours a day.Guests can make use of self-catering kitchen facilities and a dining area.Greenwich Village, with the famous Greenwich Observatory and National Maritime Museum, is less than 10 minutes’ drive away. There are regular trains to London Bridge and Charing Cross from the nearby Charlton Rail Station.

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Bars and pubs

The Star

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