South London College is in Woolwich, South London, and part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a vibrant and exciting place with plenty to see and do when you are not studying. Whether you prefer museums, galleries, theatres, sports, libraries, history, bars, clubs, markets, parks, shopping, restaurants or have other interests, SLC is surrounded by activities and attractions that will help give you memories to last a lifetime!
London is, of course, a major city. We advise that you spend some time familiarising yourself with your surroundings. To help do this we recommend you use a London street map. There are numerous available from bookshops & online (eg. A-Z, Collins, Philips etc).
What follows will give you an idea of the local attractions and facilities available to students at South London College.
Culture and places to see
London is home to a vast array of museums including the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Museum of London, British Museum and Transport Museum. Other locations of interest include St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the historic Tower of London, while you can gain a marvellous view across London from the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel found near The Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre and Waterloo Station.
SLC is very near both the Greenwich Heritage Centre and Firepower Royal Artillery Museum, found in the historic Royal Arsenal site and right next to the famous River Thames. The Heritage Centre is dedicated to telling the fascinating history of Greenwich from the earliest times to the present day through a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions. Open since 1820, the Firepower Museum reveals the powerful and dramatic story of artillery, scientific discoveries made through warfare and human stories of courage and endeavour.
Nearby is Eltham Palace, childhood home to King Henry VIII; dating originally from 1305, the Art Deco house is now known as a masterpiece of modern design. Elsewhere can be found the National Maritime Museum, charting the history of Britain’s relationship with the sea, the Royal Observatory, with it’s planetarium, timekeepers and telescope, and The Queen’s House, home to an outstanding fine art collection. And don’t forget the world famous Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper and fastest ship of her time!
Eating and drinking
In the area surrounding SLC you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants with food from many cultures at a reasonable price. Apart from British cuisine, you can choose locally from African, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Nepalese, Turkish and Vegetarian to name but a few. Catering for every taste, you should be able to find something you like!
There are a variety of regular events held in the city. You can, for example, enjoy a free firework celebration to welcome the New Year, the pageantry of ‘Trooping the Colour’ to celebrate the Queen's Official Birthday in June, the famous Notting Hill Carnival in August, the Thames Festival in September or The Lord Mayor’s Show in November.
Greenwich itself hosts the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival in June, a Comedy Festival in July as well as the Greenwich Summer festival in July and August. Here you can enjoy a wide variety of music, food, boutique stalls, dance, comedy, theatre and much, much more. There is always something going on in London for you to enjoy.
While SLC houses its’ own library, Woolwich Library in Wellington Street is just a few hundred metres away as well. There are also a further 11 libraries in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, as well as the British Library at King’s Cross. Joining the local library provides you with access to a range of information & resources for study and recreational purposes, and is usually free!
Music and Nightlife
When it comes to live music in London, the scene is well and truly alive. From watching major artists at famous concert venues like the nearby O2 Arena, to seeing unsigned bands playing gigs at your local pub, there is a huge variety of events you can choose to attend. Make the most of live music in London and catch an unsigned band before they hit the big time!
Locals and tourists alike also enjoy the world famous club scene in London. You can enjoy dancing on a Friday or Saturday night whatever your taste in music in clubs such as the IncClub or Proud2. Expect huge live acts every weekend, celebrity DJs, VIP guests and the world's biggest clubland names at Proud2's unrivalled, Las Vegas-style clubbing experience. We are also just a short journey from the centre of London, where all the best bars and clubs are to be found.
Performing Arts and Cinema
London is a leading light in the theatre world and the Greenwich Theatre in Croom’s Hill is one of London’s premiere Off West-End theatres, featuring a rich programme of theatrical and musical performances.
Greenwich Dance and the Laban Conservatoire are key venues for dance and music, while the Blackheath Halls, St. Alfege’s Church and Old Royal Naval College are also places to enjoy a varied line-up of performances. If comedy is more your style, then Up The Creek is a well-known setting for stand-up comedy that puts a smile on your face, and the club also includes a bar and Thai food.
There are also 3 main cinemas in the area – the Greenwich Picture House, Cineworld at the O2, and Odeon, Greenwich, all providing an opportunity to keeping up with the latest releases in the film world.
Locally, the Waterfront Leisure Centre is just a short distance from SLC. The centre boasts an array of leisure activities including a state-of-the-art gym facility, a 25 metre fitness pool and a leisure pool with a range of fun slides and features to entertain both youngsters and adults. In addition, there is also a multi-use sports hall, an indoor 5 a-side pitch, and squash courts to satisfy the competitive needs of centre goers. The centre also has 3 studios and Riverfront Suite overlooking the River Thames. There are also a further 15 public leisure centres in the area offering a wide range of activities for people of all abilities, as well as private gyms such FitSpace.
SLC is found in a creative as well as a business area in London where there really should be something for everyone! The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain are just a few of the enormous national galleries free to visit in the centre of London.
In Greenwich, the Blackheath Gallery provides a showcase for extremely talented artists from the UK, mainland Europe and elsewhere around the world. The Warwick Leadlay Gallery specialises in fine art, prints and antique maps, while the A & C Gallery provides showings for artists from different continents and countries as well as local artists, with an emphasis on variety in ideologies and styles. There is also the Ranger’s House that houses the Wernher collection, over 700 pieces of art purchased by a local wealthy diamond merchant.
If you want to see more of London, why not take a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour. This costs from about £15-£25 per person and allows you to see many magical sights of London in one day, including all the famous landmarks.
You can also explore the River Thames too with a River Roamer ticket, enabling you to hop-on-hop-off, costing around £14 – Woolwich is one of the destinations for this service!
Full information about travelling in London by bus, cycle, river, taxi, train, tram, tube or by walking can be found at the Transport for London website.
Of particular is the fact that Greenwich is a World Heritage site and home to the Prime Meridian of the World! Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from the Prime Meridian. Based at The Royal Observatory, the first purpose-designed scientific building in England, the meridian itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth - just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres. Since 1884, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich has served as the reference line for Greenwich Mean Time by which the world’s time is measured. Before this, almost every town in the world kept its own local time.
The Royal Observatory is located in Greenwich Park, an open green space measuring 183 acres and home to deer, foxes and birds as well as a popular meeting place for people! The park also borders Blackheath, another open green space popular for kite flying and other activities. Royal Arsenal Gardens is also close to SLC and a little further away can be found the Thames Barrier, the world’s second largest flood barrier that serves to protect London from exceptionally high tides and storm surges.
If open space is what you enjoy, major parks include Hyde Park, Regents Park (with it’s open air theatre), St. James’ Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, Clapham Common, Richmond Park and Hampstead Heath – in London you are spoilt for choice!
Also in Greenwich can be found Greenwich Market; this unique covered market with its vibrant atmosphere and commitment to showcasing designer crafts, is fondly regarded as one of London's best markets. Discover original artworks and handcrafted toys, fashions and handmade jewellery, delicious fresh produce and mouth-watering food-to-go. Greenwich Market has it all under one roof. The many market shops and adjacent pubs are open all week.
Nearby is also the Fan Museum, home to a collection of more than 3,500 predominantly antique fans from around the world, dating from the 11th century to the present day. Its collection and fans on loan from other collections are displayed in changing themed exhibitions in which fans are presented in their historical, sociological and economic contexts.
Directly next to SLC is Gordon Square where ‘Big Screen Woolwich’ can be found. This is an open space with a giant TV screen showing popular events; the Square also hosts a range of dance, music, theatre and other activities throughout the year. Adjacent to SLC and Gordon Square is the main shopping area in Woolwich. In London’s West End can be found the famous Oxford Street, Regent Street & Covent Garden, providing an essential shopping experience for all visitors looking for something special.
Whatever you wish to do, you can always visit the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre in Pepys House on the Old Royal Naval College site – the same building also houses the Discover Greenwich Exhibition Centre.
The London Experience provides activities and attractions that will give you plenty to explore and do, and, as said above, will help give you memories to last a lifetime!