Towns like Dulwich, Greenwich, and Richmond were historic villages engulfed by the capital as it expanded – but retained most of the village characteristics.
When visitors come to London, a lot of them spend their vacation time in the crowded city center. They don’t know several small towns look like villages around London.
And they are pretty, quirky, with a lot of attractions and are very close to Central London. These are places with a lot of charm that’s worth seeing.
Here are Three of Small towns in London or Villages in London
Dulwich is one of the few places located in Greater London but managed to maintain its village-like atmosphere. It’s a fantastic place to visit, live, or hang out for a few days and weeks.
There’s a lot to do and many green parks to escape to if you are looking for somewhere tranquil.
Dulwich is a hidden gem that doesn’t get the attention it massively deserves. The town offers the beauty of an excursion into the countryside. To put it another way, Dulwich is still a village with many beautiful 18th-century houses.
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It’s very easy to travel from Central London to Dulwich. The journey only takes 15 minutes on a National rail train from London Victoria or London Bridge.
Anyone who wants to shop in unusual and independent shops should go to Dulwich. The area also has many small bookstores. Go to the Village Books or the entire Lordship Lane. And ransack through thousands of books on shelves.
If that is overwhelming, then go to the Rye Books. This small bookshop will mesmerize anyone with a knack for book hunting.
Dulwich Park is fantastic. It is a great large suburban park that was created in 1890 and has several different gardens: – the Dry Garden with plants from a Mediterranean climate, the Winter Garden has cypress, conifers, and many other plants, and the American Garden, or a Spring Garden with plants that prefer a not hot nor cold type of climate.
There are lots of things you’ll like about Dulwich park. Whether you want to play some sport, do some photography, watch, and enjoy the wildlife, or sit quietly in a peaceful place.
You can also join the fitness enthusiasts, who usually work out on the exercise equipment which is along the pedestrian path.
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The park also accommodates some eclectic artwork or sculptures. The large lake is undoubtedly beautiful for many Water sport activities. You can hire the paddle boats for a little human-powered sailing on the lake.
The wooden walkway that crosses the lake provides a perfect platform for watching the waterfowls that live on the lake. There’s something there for everyone.
When you need a change of environment, stroll across from the Old College entrance and down to the beautiful Dulwich Picture Gallery. The Gallery is a place of interest and beauty with a splendid collection of paintings.
Maybe finish off the day in one of the many cafes, restaurants, and high-end stores. They are all in a short walk from each other.
The history of Greenwich is fascinating. Early Greenwich started as a Saxon fishing and farming village. It was also known as a green port village where ships and boats docked.
The place still feels like a village without any farming activities. To put it another way, Greenwich feels like it is in the United Kingdom countryside. It is just a few miles from Central London.
There is a lot to see and so much stuff to do. But Greenwich is somehow less promoted as a top tourist destination than Central London.
It is one of the best towns to visit for anyone who wants a mix of village and town feel. It offers something different from the hectic central London atmosphere.
Greenwich is well connected to public transport. You can take a Tube, an overground train, Dockland Light Railway, and a London bus.
Alternatively, you can get there by jumping on a boat from Charing Cross Pier, Tower Pier or Westminster Pier, and honour the maritime town history.
The only problem you will have when you get there is to decide where to start. If you want to understand Britain’s many and long encounters with the world at sea, go to the Royal Navy at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
From there, you’ll find the Cutty Sark, the last world-famous surviving ship, which was built in 1869 to bring tea to Britain from China as fast as possible.
You can’t miss the famous National Maritime Museum which is located just minutes from the Cutty Sark. There are many fantastic attractions with historical importance in Greenwich. You’ll never get bored.
Greenwich has many green parks dotted around than any other part of London. The most notable one is the 183 acres Greenwich Park, which used to be a hunting ground for the British Royals. It overlooks the River Thames and has a rich history that dates to Roman times.
It’s a protected park, but even today you can still find herds of deers, rare birds and other wildlife roaming freely in the woodland area.
The park has a fantastic mix of 17th-century landscape and breath-taking gardens. If you like the fragrance of fresh herbs in the mornings, then the gardens must be top on your visit list.
There’s a lot more in Greenwich Park – like the historical Queen Elizabeth’s Oaktree which dates to the 12th century.
The Royal Observatory was built in 1675 is set at the top of the hill in the park. Straddle the historic Prime Meridian Line that divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth at the Royal Observatory. And discover why it is a reference line for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
If you want to have the best view of Central London and beyond, there’s no need to be high in a capsule on the London Eye. Just go to the hilltop of Greenwich Park, you’ll get a fantastic view that stretches across the city.
Greenwich is the place where you find the entire museum dedicated to fans. Greenwich’s Fan Museum is in a building that was built in the 18th century. Its collection of over 3,500 fans is predominantly antique, many of which on display date from the 11th century.
If you are a lover of old fashion and design, this is the place for you to satisfy your desire with an offer of a free cup of tea on some days.
There is a market in Greenwich where you can find some hidden and quirky gems. The market is also full of books, antiques, and other collectible items.
Richmond is a place rich in natural beauty and great history and with so many attractions. It’s a gorgeous town with a lovely village feel. Richmond has so much to offer, and interestingly few people know about its many attractions.
This small town is located only 10 miles Southwest of Central London and well connected to London public transport. It will take you just around 20 minutes from Waterloo railway station to reach Richmond.
There are excellent transport links throughout the town, and London Heathrow airport is just 10 miles away. And the famous River Thames flows onward through Richmond.
There are many attractions with a wealthy historical background. To mention a few, the Hampton Court Palace, which is a 16th Century Royal Palace is in Richmond. The Kew Gardens – one of the most beautiful botanical gardens you’ll find anywhere in the world.
The area has some great hotels and guest houses in beautiful and quiet locations.
The Ham House and Gardens is a beautiful Stuart house right in the heart of Richmond. Richmond Park is among the largest Royal Parks in London. In the WWT London Wetland’s Centre, you’ll see some beautiful birds and other wildlife from all over the world.
You will not feel bored, but peace. So many of Richmond’s tranquil places will make you enjoy your visit without feeling like a tourist. But the town has unique local events and many things to do – you will have many choices.
You can decide to browse or buy things from many exclusive shops and great weekly markets. The Orleans House Gallery does art and cultural exhibitions throughout the year.
Walking along the River Thames in the mornings will stimulate your stamina and allay the fatigue. It’s a magic feeling you can only find while strolling in the countryside or village.
Richmond Park is an excellent place for quiet activities but it’s even a perfect playground for horse riding enthusiasts.
You can take a river trip to visit Hampton court palace, or take the Hammerton’s ferry from Ham House Marble Hill house – a charming Palladian villa.