Bromley may not be the most popular district of London amongst tourists but it’s one of its major metropolitan centers and the largest borough by area. Easily reached by train, it’s one of the chosen shopping destinations for Londoners, as well as a quick escape from the crowds. Even though it is more relaxed and quiet than the center of London, Bromley has plenty of attractions to visit and activities to do. Here are some of the best things you can do in Bromley:
1. Visit Down House
What’s so special about a house? Well, this particular house was nothing less than the family home of Charles Darwin. It was there that Darwin wrote “On the Origin of Species”, the book that shaped a whole new world. In Down House, you’ll be able to wander through the gardens where Darwin’s ground-breaking ideas came to him and to see his and his wife’s recreated room. You’ll have the chance to get an interactive multimedia tour around the house and immerse yourself in the place where Charles Darwin grew old and wiser.
Address: Luxted Rd, Downe, Orpington BR6 7JT, UK
Price: from 7.10 GBP
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm.
Contact: +44 0168 985 9119
Website: Down House
2. Go to Crystal Palace Park
This park has a very rich history. It was built and designed to be the location for the enlarged Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition in 1851. The main purposes of the place were to impress and educate, but also to lure foreign eyes to marvel at its beauty.
The park hasn’t failed to serve those purposes until today and it’s considered one of the most important parks in Britain. It has recently become the home to the National Sports Centre and it has plenty of things to see, from model dinosaurs dating back to the Victorian age, to a children’s farm and a maze. It is definitely a must-see.
Crystal Palace Park
Address: Thicket Road, London SE19 2GA, UK
Opening Hours: 7:30am-9:30pm
Website: Crystal Palace Park
3. Explore the Chislehurst Caves
These man-made caves date all the way back to the thirteenth century and have been the focus of archaeological studies for more than a century. It is considered that they were made by the Druids, Romans, and Saxons, and they have been used for different purposes throughout the years. These caves were dug and used as chalk and flint mines; they were an ammunition depot and a mushroom cultivation site; they were an air raid shelter which grew into an underground city with thousands of residents during the World War II; they were used as a concert venue where artists such as David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd performed. These caves have been, done and seen many things, and are now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. Don’t miss it.
Address: Caveside Cl, Old Hill, Chislehurst BR7 5NL
Opening times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Prices: from 4 GBP
Website: Chislehurst Caves
4. Shop at the Glades
Located right in Bromley town center, The Glades is a medium-sized shopping mall where southeast Londoners go to for a stroll or a shopping spree. It has all the large stores like M&S and Debenhams, a great choice of restaurants and a relaxed atmosphere, which allows you to shop comfortably. It’s also a great place to avoid the rain and browse through a variety of popular shops.
Address: High St, Bromley BR1 1DN
Opening times: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Thurdays: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Website: The Glades
5. Get some fresh air at Church House Gardens
These beautiful gardens are the perfect place to spend the rest of your afternoon after you’re done with your shopping at The Glades. With landscaped walks through old trees and a canal side walk, this is where you should go to if you’re looking for a chance to get in contact with nature. The gardens have a recently enlarged play area for children with sand pits and slides, where both the big and the little ones can have fun. As it is very hilly, it is a great place to get some exercise with a beautiful view.
Church House Gardens
Address: Church House Garden Lodge Church Road, Bromley BR2 0EG
Website: Church House Gardens
6. Discover Crofton Roman Villa
The Crofton Roman Villa is the ideal place to visit for the archaeology lovers. The house is said to have been occupied from about AD 140 to 400 as the center of a farming estate of about 200 hectares (500 acres). In its roundabouts, you’d find farms surrounded by fields, meadows, and woods.
What remains of the ten rooms out of the 20 that it used to have, can be visited today, through a guided tour offered by an archaeologist. During your visit, you’ll have the chance to handle some of the Roman finds that have been discovered in the house and get access to graphic displays of the excavations. There are also activities for children.
Crofton Roman Villa
Address: Crofton Rd, Orpington BR6 8AF
Opening times: Wednesdays & Fridays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
Prices: from 1.50 GBT
Contact: [email protected]
Website: Crofton Roman Villa
7. Wander around Jubilee Country Park
As a local nature reserve, you can expect to find beautiful woodlands and meadows where a variety of species get to live in a natural environment in this park. The Jubilee Country Park has 25 hectares (62 acres) of wildflower meadows, hedgerows and ancient woodland for you to explore.
Jubilee Country Park
Address: Thornet Wood Rd, London BR5 1DA
Website: Jubilee Country Park
8. Lose yourself at High Elms Country Park
High Elms is also a local nature reserve but larger. This park has 100 hectares (250 acres) of woodland for you to lose yourself in, plus a 60-hectare (150-acre) golf course. At High Elms Country Park you are free to enjoy the beautiful woodlands, formal gardens and wildflower meadows, but there’s also a nature center and a pretty nice café for you to have a relaxing time with friends and family.
High Elms Country Park
Address: Shire Ln, Orpington BR6 7JH
Website: High Elms Country Park
9. Get a farm experience at Christmas Tree Farm
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Last but not the least, why not visit a farm while you’re in Bromley? After all, the place is the most rural borough of London! Christmas Tree Farm is a must for animal lovers on sunny days. You can feed llamas, pet rabbits, and bird watch. If it sounds good to you, imagine how it sounds to children? It’s one of the most loved places in Bromley to which adults come back to so that they can recall their best memories. Don’t miss the opportunity of creating some yourself.
Christmas Tree Farm
Address: Cudham Rd, Downe, Orpington BR6 7LF
Contact: +44016 8986 1603
Opening times: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Prices: from 2 GBP
Website: Christmas Tree Farm
So, if you’ve already explored the most popular parts of London, why not get yourself on a train and visit Bromley? It definitely has something for everyone and little chance of disappointing.
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