A Phantom cannot live by Greenwich alone. In order to fully appreciate just how fabulous our town is, we need to leave it. So today, I want to ask your advice.
Have you ever got to about 2.00pm on a Sunday afternoon, when you’ve finally done all the things you meant to do at the weekend and you suddenly find yourself with half an afternoon? (Yeah, yeah, I’m sure there are some workaholics who dream of such a problem, but stay with me.) It’s too late to do a day trip, or even, occasionally an afternoon trip. You want somewhere really different you can visit in a couple of hours. But your mind goes blank. There’s not a single place in the universe you can think of to visit, not a single activity to do. And no, I don’t believe it’s just me.
Now, obviously, your first stop at a time like this is Ianvisits but by the time you get to this point in the day, it’s probably too late to do an actual one-off event.
My plan for this year is to make a big long list of interesting places, attractions and things to do that are within a very short distance of Greenwich for just such moments. I was going to do it by myself, but thinking about it, this would be more varied and – let’s face it – just better – if everybody here suggests their personal favourite places.
I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s interesting. A city like Canterbury, a Roman villa like Lullingstone, go-kart racing, strange tumuli, London things, weird stuff, like the shell grotto in Margate (or the equally nutty Mad Hatter’s Tearoom, also in Margate, where it is forever Christmas, sometime between 1870-1945), the only constraints are that they have to be visitable in a shortish amount of time.
In order to entertain people that have more powers of organisation than me, I’ll open it out to being things that are visitable in a whole afternoon, or the odd day trip.
I don’t mind what mode of transport you need to get there – walking, cycling, train, car – whatever, just make the journey doable in an hour and a half tops. If I manage enough suggestions, I’ll try to set up some sort of database thingy for days out from Greenwich (most days out features try to get people to go to it…). I might even make it a wiki if I can work out how the hell to do it. But in the meantime, I’d just like to cull a few ideas from you, even if only so I have something new to do of the odd Sunday half-afternoon.