The Landscape Guide

Greenwich Park and Blackheath, SE10

Le Nôtre is reputed to have drawn the plans for Greenwich though he did not visit the site. The remains of his formal avenues can be seen but his design has been overlain by subsequent planting in the English landscape style. The park is on a hill which rises behind Wren's Royal Palace. The hill is crowned by the former Royal observatory and there are wide views over the Thames and London. Between the palace and the river (King William Walk) a setting for the tea-clipper 'Cutty Sark' has been designed by GLC parks department. South of the park, on high ground, is Blackheath, an almost treeless expanse of grass with a fringe of Georgian and Victorian buildings. It was formerly a 'wild' heath, like Wimbledon Common, but has been reclaimed for playing fields. While visiting Greenwich Park, it is interesting to see William Kent's design for the Royal Barge in the National Maritime Museum (Kent also worked at Chiswick House).

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