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Telegraph Hill Parks

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published July 11th 2012
If you have ever driven through New Cross on the New Cross Rd (A2) you have probably considered driving faster, although it's rarely possible on that congested stretch of road. Despite the best attempts of the locals and the faded grandeur of the Deptford Town Hall, it is not a pretty sight.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley
Bunches of Buses on New Cross Road

If you are unlucky enough to live in the area and have to walk along New Cross Rd to catch public transport, you will be well familiar with the earth shaking roar of traffic. Bunches of buses (they all come at once). Howling heavy goods vehicles. Tranches of trucks. Clouds of cars.

Try to ignore the noise and the filthy fumes will get you anyway. Or the dust and grit blown up and blasting your face as turbulent traffic tears by.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Walking Along New Cross Road

There is a bright side to life here. The Guardian no less, has suggested that the time is ripe for a move to New Cross - even if their picture is actually of neighbouring Deptford. There were howls of outrage in the story comments from locals for the author daring to mention the A2's noise, and suggestions that the reporter should visit rather than use Google. While the opposing view was succinct: Move to New Cross? I'd rather take a wire brush to my scrotum.

What the locals did to counter the critics was to bring out their secret weapon: Telegraph Hill.

Once known as Plowed Garlic Hill, Telegraph Hill is a short walk from New Cross Rd, and is home to two parks. The lower park on Erlanger Rd is hugely popular with families, having an adventure playground with slide and a play club. It is overlooked by houses and has sweeping lawns an attractive pond, and ornamental garden.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Erlanger Rd, Looking Down to New Cross. Lower Park on Right

If you continue walking across Kitto Rd you will enter the second (higher) park crowning the 30 metre hill. A short walk past tennis courts will bring you through the trees to commanding views of north and west London. During winter the views are even better when the trees are bare, but it is quite spectacular at any time.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Views of BT Tower and North London

There are no houses here to overlook the park, just, trees, and a large expanse of grassy park to relax in. It's not a huge area, but is shaped so that it feels much larger, and it's a massive contrast to the hustle and bustle found at the bottom of the Hill.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Panoramic Views From Telegraph Hill

For those of us who enjoy solitude, the lower park does a wonderful job of attracting noisy families and happy children. We can just sit atop our hill with a book or music, and daydream. Enjoy the view. Have a picnic. Walk the dog. Or have an intimate time with someone special.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Wondering About High Rise Life

And if you feel inclined to explore, take a stroll through to the southern end of the park. Last time I looked it was a little overgrown and mysterious. Continue out of the park and you will encounter a very different world from New Cross Road.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
Daren Bread Sign from the Thirties. Avignon Road.

Of course there are still terrace houses, they aren't easy to escape in London. But there is a calmer ambience. The air is cleaner. You can hear the birds. And the buses don't come in bunches.

new cross, telegraph hill, brockley, new cross gate
You Never Escape Terraced Housing
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Why? Escape the noise of New Cross and see London
When: 8 am till sunset every day
Where: Kitto Road, London, London Borough of Lewisham, United Kingdom
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great photos. Novel topic.
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (score: 3|6091) 3684 days ago
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