Things to do in London Borough of Bexley, Greater London
Facts and Figures:
Bexley has a population of around 218,000 in an area 11 miles wide and 7 miles long (18 km by 11 km). It is the 7th largest London borough by area and is very environmentally aware, having one of the highest recycling and composting rates in London.
Former Prime Minister Edward Heath lived in Bexley as a child and Bexley was his first parliamentary constituency as an MP. Other well-known Bexley residents include singer Kate Bush and author Roald Dahl.
Although Bexley has a charter dated 814AD, it remained largely unoccupied until the 19th century. The word Bexley, means "clearing in the box wood" and until the railway arrived, it was little more than a rural community. It still remains one of the least populated boroughs of London and has more than 1500 acres of parkland and 200 parks and green spaces. These include Lesnes Abbey Woods and the Erith Marshes bordering the Thames.
The high point of the borough is Shooter's Hill from where the land drops down to the old Thames port of Erith. Bexley Heath, with its old windmill, bordered Watling Street and has some fine houses around the edge of the heath. It also boasts an old parish church and a modern shopping centre with a landmark clock tower which commemorates the coronation of King George V.
The borough is represented by three Members of Parliament for the constituencies of Old Bexley and Sidcup; Erith and Thamesmead; and Bexleyheath and Crayford.
Danson Park is the setting for many annual summer events in Bexley. The impressive Palladian mansion called Danson House was built around 1764 for a wealthy sugar merchant and its 12 acre lake is the centerpiece of the 200 acre park which was landscaped by Capability Brown
Another historic attraction in the Borough of Bexley is the Jacobean Mansion known as Hall Place, which has award-winning gardens bordering the River Cray.
The 12th century Lesnes Abbey was built by Richard de Lucy and is worth a visit. Those who appreciate architecture will enjoy the Red House on Bexley Heath, built in 1859 in the Arts and Crafts style for William Morris and is now managed by the National Trust.
An unusual local attraction is the David Evans Silk Centre which tells the story of silk and demonstrates hand-silk printing.
If you really want to get away from the city for a day, visit Woodlands Farm on Shooters Hill in Bexley. It is a 90-acre community farm dedicated to conservation and education.
Bexley has no underground lines but it has three railway lines which meet at Dartford. The North Kent line runs from west to east; the Bexley Heath line runs nearest to Central London and the Dartford Loop Line serves the southern part of the borough.
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