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South London’s highest point with some incredible views, Shooter’s Hill in Greenwich is home to historic castles, ancient woods and pretty parks. Depending on your source, Shooter’s Hill name either came from the area being used for archery practice in the 1200s or from the highwaymen that use to congregate on the peak here, surveying which carriage to rob next. The name is also fitting for somewhere that housed lots of anti aircraft artillery during WWII.
Here is our guide to the top things to do in Shooter’s Hill, South London:
Severndroog Castle, Shooters Hill
The main reason for our initial visit to Shooters Hill (other than the views) was to see Severndroog Castle, a majestic gothic grade II listed 18th century folly. It was built as a memorial to Commodore Sir William James who died in 1783, organised by his wife Lady James of Eltham.
Severndroog Castle was restored and reopened at the turn of the century after being boarded up for decades – it is now also a popular wedding venue with a small cafe and outdoor dining area located on the ground floor.
The interior and 360 degree views from the top are said to be wonderful – unfortunately, when we visited in July 2020, Severndroog Castle was closed due to covid19 so we were unable to visit but we plan to return again and actually go in next time.
Shooters Hill Best Viewpoints
Shooters Hill surely has to be a contender for some of London’s best panoramic views and certainly some of the best viewpoints in South London. There are several hilltop vantage points looking towards the city – the only challenge is that most of the viewing spots in Shooters Hill aren’t readily located on grassy hills or recreation hills but in fact more on roads and random housing estates.
The best Shooter’s Hill viewing points that we could find were:
The best viewpoint is at the very top of Occupation Lane in Shooter’s Hill, near Eagle’s Park. Note this is a private road so it is more of a gravel track. If you arrive at the foo of Occupation Lane, it feels like you are going into a car-park but carry on until you reach the hiller aspect and look back to see the view.
Condover Crescent, Moordown and Brent Lane
Several streets in a housing estate also all have fantastic views looking over South London towards the city. You can make out Canary Wharf, the Shard and many other iconic buildings of the London Skyline.
Shooters Hill A207
The main thoroughfare in Shooters Hill is a b*tch to cycle up on the way to Severndroog Castle but look back and you’ll see why it is all worth it.
London’s highest point?
Is Shooter’s Hill London’s highest point? Well, yes and no – it is definitely South London’s highest point, clocking in at 132 metres high above sea level (this would explain all the incredible views mentioned above overlooking the city). However, as for being London’s highest viewpoint, it appears that Hampstead Heath just pips it to the post at 134m (North Hill in Highgate comes in third, at 129 metres above sea level).
Shooter’s Hill Water Tower
Built in 1910 in a gothic revival style, Shooter’s Hill Water Tower is a grade II listed local landmark which can be seen from miles around – the distinctive tower is located next to a row of terraced houses and unfortunately cannot be visited by the public.
Deriving from the Saxon word for Oxen, Oxleas Woods is one of the last few remaining ancient woodlands of London, which date back over 8,000 years! A Site of Special Scientific Interest, Oxleas Woods cover 77 hectares in area and is very popular with walkers and exercise enthusiasts.
Whilst hilly in places and one of the highest points in London (given Shooters Hill geography), there are lots of spots to sit down for a breather on a bench and low lying areas too like the Oxleas Meadows.
Shooter’s Hill Green Chain Walk
The 50 mile Green Chain Walk consists of 11 sections that goes between Nunhead / Crystal Palace Park in South London and Thamesead. The Shooters Hill section of the Green Chain walk takes in both Oxleas Woods and Severndroog Castle.
A reward for making it to the very top of Shooters Hill (not so easy on a bike!) is Eaglesfield Park, located at the summit and offering incredible views of the nearby area and Kent (although not of downtown London, like the other vantage points mentioned before).
Eaglesfield Park also has a pond home to lots of wildlife and a popular playground area for kids.
Shooters Hill – Nearby Things To Do
A family friendly historic house managed by the English Heritage that combines elements of a royal palace from the 14th to 16th century that fell into disrepair before being restored and lovingly added to in the 20th century.
The heart of London’s historic shipping and maritime trade, with an abundance of old artillery barracks and buildings dotted all around. Woolwich also has a busy high street with lots of retail stores (and randomly, it is home to the UK’s first ever McDonalds!)
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- Things to do in Camden, North London
- A Guide to Trinity Buoy Wharf
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- Columbia Road Flower Market, London guide
- Crystal Palace Park – London dinosaurs
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