I was born in Catford but moved away when I was five due my Dad’s work taking us out of London. Growing up in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Leeds for University was alright but I was so excited in 2007 to come back to London. Most of my family are Londoners so moving back was good for so many reasons.
I went back to the borough of my birth and spent three years living just off Lewisham High Street. Transport links were excellent which is very important to a geek like me, and the rent in the area was/is relatively low for a newcomer to expensive London. In 2010 my boyfriend and I had decided to move in together and we wanted to look for somewhere different to live. We both love the river and so began our search in the Tower Hill/Wapping area, but the rent was too high in the end for our budget. Then my boyfriend suggested Greenwich as an alternative and I got very excited.
I love Greenwich, always have, but thought it would be far too expensive for us so I didn’t even consider it. My parents used to take me and my brother to the park when I was tiny and I have a home video my Dad took of the family on a trip to the park from 1986. I have no real memory of these trips but I am filled with nostalgia every time I watch my brother on the swings of the children’s play area that still sits five minutes walk from my house. :-).
Back to the future…
We found a place in the Maze Hill part of Greenwich that was within our budget and in a perfect location near the train station. I was a bit suspicious of the rent level as it seemed too perfect to have found the right kind of flat so soon for the right price. We went to view it of course and saw why the flat was cheaper than most: old-fashioned (but scrupulously clean) carpets and textured wallpapered walls. The flat was also cheaper than others in the area because it didn’t include white goods or furniture. We saw this as a plus however because we were excited about putting our home together and going to IKEA to buy stuff! After umming and erring over it for a couple of weeks we viewed the flat a second time at the beginning of June and decided to take the plunge. We were so pleased – our first home together!
We have been in the flat for nine months now and I don’t think we could be happier. We have our own furniture, a decently sized home and enough space for the two of us (until we get the cat). We are round the corner from one of the most beautiful parks in London, fifteen minutes from town, and the Thames is a short walk away.
I also really enjoy living in East Greenwich as it is fairly residential and doesn’t have loads of tourists like the town center does. The local architecture is Victorian and gorgeous and there is a nice mix of families, old folk and young professionals (horrid phrase) on our street. You can also see Canary Wharf out of our living room window, awesome.
My ten top tips for Greenwich are:
- The Trafalgar Tavern for a nice pint and wonderful views outside and in.
- Efes Meze for wonderful local Turkish food.
- Go to Greenwich Park for the view (I could write a 10,000 word blog about the park).
- Greenwich foot tunnel for exercise, Victorian engineering and lovely views from Island Gardens.
- 129 bus route, a local route for local people.
- The O2 for Cineworld (and the slutty teenagers that dominate the area).
- Walking through the Old Royal Naval College, any time of year, day or night – beautiful.
- The DLR because trains that run without drivers are totally cool at any age.
- Mudchute Farm for tranquillity and peace and stunning views of the Wharf (technically in Tower Hamlets).
- Greenwich Market for lovely stalls and slightly over-priced hot food for the tourists (I would go before 2013 and the new hotel).
I love Greenwich!