While staying in halls has its perks and wonderful sides, living a bit outside the city centre is also an opportunity as a student. I live in Greenwich, in south-east London, which means that my neighbourhood feels very different from the city centre. My commute is a bit longer, but after testing the many routes into London (train, bus, tube, ferry(!)), I found my optimal tube-route from North Greenwich, which on average takes me to LSE in about 40 minutes. I can definitely live with that.
Now, let me show you my neighbourhood in Greenwich.
- Greenwich park
About 10 minutes from where I live, you can find Greenwich park. Being a Norwegian, I am used to being surrounded by nature – and I often seek out the park to get my share of green (and the great view of the concrete jungle in Canary Wharf). The park holds a lot of surprises. Only a few weeks ago I was made aware of a flock of deer wandering in a more hidden corner of the park. In the middle lies Greenwich royal observatory, that has played a significant role in the history of astronomy and navigation. It is best known for the location of the ‘prime meridian’ – Greenwich meantime.
- Greenwich market
I pop down here at least one Saturday every month, to have a snack from the international food-market or to browse through art, toys, clothes and other oddities.
Not only in Greenwich, but this one is my favourite. I’m suffering from the book-buyers disease, which means that any bookshop is dangerous territory for me – Waterstones is like walking into heaven. They have a café on the second floor that I go if I need a change of scenery. They also host evenings with local writers from the area.
Walking through Greenwich park, you will end up looking over a huge heath and suddenly you’ll think you’re in the English countryside. This tiny little centre holds most of my favourite restaurants, pubs and shops. The best steak I have ever had is from Buenos Aires Café, where they serve (you guessed correctly) Argentinian food.
- The Thames foot-tunnel
I had no idea that it existed, but it is actually possible to walk under the Thames. If you look carefully, you will see two of these buildings on each side of the river. They take you deep down, under the river, and up on the other side.
In conclusion: there is a world beyond zone 2 (tube-zones, for those who wonder). It doesn’t look like the London you’ve seen before, but that’s where the fun begins.