Things to do in Greenwich, a short walk from Deptford Landings
Did you know that the first recorded mention of Deptford was in 1293, as Depeford? That name means ‘deep ford’, referring to the mouth of River Ravensbourne, now known as Deptford Creek. Deptford was officially established as one of the principal naval yards by Henry VIII in 1513, and along with Greenwich, became one of the major centres for shipbuilding in Britain.
As two major areas of the London Docklands, Deptford and Greenwich share a rich and fascinating maritime history, with neighbouring populations shaped and grown around these hubs of trade, shipbuilding, and naval operations. And with Greenwich just a short walk from Deptford Landings across Deptford Creek, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Greenwich, including a selection of bars, restaurants, museums and attractions.
The Old Joinery
This film location studio has recently opened a bar and café, with local Brockley Brewery beer on draught, and rotating kitchen residencies featuring the very best local street food. The Old Joinery has also built the Boatyard, one of the coolest outdoor food and drink spaces in the Greenwich area. With covered seating and heaters, you can chill out to some live music or a DJ set, sipping on one of the venues in-house cocktail creations – strawberry and basil daiquiri, anyone?
Oliver’s Jazz bar
Like Deptford, Greenwich is well known for its plethora of excellent pubs. Oliver’s is no exception. The bar showcases the very best local jazz musicians each evening from 9pm, and host three weekly jam sessions for whoever wants to join in. Hidden away just off Nevada Street, its cosy and intimate atmosphere makes it feel like you’ve just been let in on some local secret.
Toca Social, at the O2
Opened in late July 2021, Toca Social is the world’s first interactive football and dining experience. Using innovative tracking and ball delivery technology and with a variety of football-based games to choose from, there are options to suit all abilities and ages, for groups of up to 12 guests. Michelin-trained chef Ross Clarke has designed a menu with creative twists on modern Americana, with burgers, double shell tacos, tempura tofu nuggets, and lots more.
Goddards at Greenwich
Goddards at Greenwich specialises in the most traditional of London meals: pie, mash and liquor. Established in 1890, Goddards says that its recipes have not changed since the day it opened. You can go down the traditional route with a handmade mince pie, or choose from a alternative selection including chicken, lamb, veggie, and vegan options. Want the truly authentic experience? Go for the pie, mash and eels.
Heap’s is a bit of a London institution. First opened in Smithfield in 1991, and famed for the Simply Sausages range of gourmet sausages, chef and butcher Martin Heap opened Heap’s café in Greenwich in 2008. Teaming up with master chef Vincenzo Carbonara, they set out to develop a simple but brilliant hot food menu featuring all the best produce from Heap’s. Their beef burger is top quality, as is the classic sausage and mash. And for the fire breathers among us, there’s the Lethal Lucifer – a spicy jumbo sausage served in a hot dog brioche bun. Why not grab a Mr Heap’s English Pork Sausage hot dog, some charcuterie and some artisanal cheeses, and take it across the road to…
… Greenwich Park, the ideal spot for a picnic near Deptford. Greenwich Park is brimming with history. It has 6th century Anglo-Saxon burial grounds, a Roman Temple, underground tunnels, ancient graffiti, and a WW2 bomb shelter – and that;s just scraping the surface. The park is home to some of London’s most beautiful views, with the iconic City of London skyline visible over the Thames.
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Greenwich Park is also home to the Royal Museums Greenwich. One of these is the Royal Observatory, the place where time began. Well, that’s not strictly true, but it was here that astronomers originated the Greenwich Prime Meridian: the longitudinal line which served as a reference point for the creation of Greenwich Mean Time. Indeed, most time zones around the world were based on this.
As well as being able to stand astride the Meridian Line on the eastern and western hemispheres of the world, you’ll learn about the stars in the Peter Harrison Plantetarium, with shows and science sessions for kids, or more in-depth astronomy courses and community events available too. You can learn too about John Harrison’s revolutionary clocks, which kept time at sea and, for the first time, allowed ships to accurately determine their longitude at sea. This greatly reduced the risk of ships and crews being lost at sea.
Royal Maritime Museum
Speaking of the sea, a short walk from the Royal Observatory is the Royal Maritime Museum. This fascinating museum honours Greenwich’s maritime history, with displays of navigational instruments used by the likes of Francis Drake and Chrisopher Columbus, delves into the history of pirates, the origins of global trade, and explores how our historic connection to the sea helped to shape the modern world. You can see JMW Turner’s painting, the imposing and controversial The Battle of Trafalgar, before viewing the ornate uniform Admiral Nelson was wearing when fatally wounded in that very battle – complete with bullethole.
A visit to the historic Greenwich Market is a must, as it’s one of the best things to do in Greenwich. Established in 1737, this buzzing London market is a haven for people looking to buy from talented local artists, craft makers, jewellers, potters, and many more. You’ll also find furniture and bric a brac stalls, and vinyl-lovers and antique-hunters are well covered too. There are more than 40 market food stalls, all selling tasty – and sometimes unusual – street food from all around the world: make sure you try the ramen burger!