Mention Blackheath and most people will think of the bustling town centre known locally as ‘The Village’, located just south of the open heath. However, a lot of locals will tell you that if you want to live in Blackheath, the best place to be is on the north side of the heath in the lesser known Westcombe Park. Neville Grant of The Westcombe Society explains:
"Westcombe Park gets two parks for the price of one – the heath itself, and, just over the road from Maze Hill, the glorious Greenwich Park, where Henry VIII cavorted with Anne Boleyn, and Queen Elizabeth the First picnicked beneath Elizabeth Oak, now, alas, since the 1987 storm, horizontal – but still there!
Of course, the Park also houses the Old Royal Observatory, built during the reign of Charles II, overlooking the National Maritime Museum and Queens House, built by his grandfather James 1st for his queen, Anne of Denmark; and of course, the river – never forget the river….
Westcombe Park is as quiet and private a place as you could wish for: its tree lined streets contain a great variety of houses, from grand Victorian edifices to smaller family houses, & modern flats.
It’s one of the South East’s best kept secrets, mostly because everything is so convenient. It’s on major bus routes to the O2 (where you can hop on a Jubilee Line tube at North Greenwich and be in the city or Westminster in less than 20 minutes) and it also has two stations, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park, great for getting out into Kent, or commuting into London Bridge or Charing Cross, again within 20 minutes or so.
And yet there are all the shops and services you could want on your doorstep, both in Trafalgar Road, and around the Standard (named after the Royal Standard public house which has been there since 1848).
Westcombe Park is conveniently placed halfway between the shops of Trafalgar Road and the Standard – where you can find Simply M&S, cafes, pubs, banks, dry cleaners, and traditional shops, including a highly regarded butcher’s and cheese shop, hardware store, a florist’s and many others.
The area also boasts a number of schools – Halstow and Invicta Primary Schools, and John Roan Secondary School, a former ancient Grammar School. There are also a number of other schools, including Blackheath High School for Girls, a Steiner School, and several other private schools including Pointers.
As well as being a short walk to Blackheath Village, Westcombe Park is also a neighbour of historic Greenwich, where you’ll never be short of something to do, and also sits directly next to the A2, in case you’re looking to travel further afield.
Westcombe Park has a local community centre, in Mycenae House. Situated in attractive gardens in Mycenae Road, a stone’s throw from the Standard, Mycenae House is the focus of over sixty local societies, ranging from Jazz to to Judo, from Bridge to Yoga.
Westcombe Park is one of the few areas of London where you get a real sense of community, nurtured by the Westcombe Society, a local group dedicated to “fostering a sense of community”. The society publishes an award-winning (and free!) community newspaper called The Westcombe News and organizes over a dozen community events every year – teas for senior citizens, Children’s Nearly New Sales, Easter Egg events, a famous Christmas Bazaar, Quizzes, meetings, summer picnics you name it.
The word “community” says it all."
The Westcombe Society