In a previous post I mentioned discovering South London Prints at Herne Hill Market, and in particular, a print of the view over London from Blythe Hill. Now I’ve lived in south London most of my life but I’d never heard of Blythe Hill and it prompted me to ask – where are the best views over London from the south? There are numerous buildings which have great views – not least the Shard, but I decided to restrict it to freely accessible, public places and this is what I came up with.
1. Greenwich Park
Next to the Observatory, by the statue of General Woolfe is south London’s iconic view, looking over the historic buildings of Maritime Greenwich and over the Thames to Canary Wharf. A UNESCO world heritage site and our answer to north London’s Parliament Hill Fields – only much better!
2. One Tree Hill
No, nothing to do with that teen drama on Channel 4! This hill lies in Honor Oak SE23 and if you access this nature reserve from Honor Oak Park, you climb steeply up steps (not wheelchair or buggy accessible) till you reach the wooded summit, finding firstly a gun emplacement from WW1, a beacon and then, by the benches, a fabulous view over the City and West End. Said to be the favourite view of Queen Elizabeth 1 who picnicked here.
3. Norwood Park
I must have driven past this park, on Salters Hill SE19, a million times but never realised what a good view it has. Although not as high as some of the other points, it has an uninterupted view over London and a metal plaque highlights some of the most notable buildings.
4. Telegraph Hill
The closest big hill to central London, the Upper Telegraph Hill Park, Drakefell Road, New Cross SE14 gives a good view over central London and on the day I visited, I could see the Wembley arch clearly.
5. Shooters Hill
Although it’s over 10 miles from the centre, the height of 132 metres gives it the advantage of some wide panoramas. The best views are from various points on roads: Shooters Hill itself near the hospital, Occupation Lane (no vehicle access) and Condover Crescent (all SE18), and Castlewood Drive SE9. To get the best view of all you’ll have to wait for Open House Weekend when SeverndroogCastle in Oxleas Wood is open to the public.
So these are my top 5, but other views can be had from Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19, Sawyers Hill in Richmond Park, Ringmore Rise in Forest Hill SE23 and of course Blythe Hill Fields near Brockley View SE23. Happy viewing!