"It didn't take long at all to decide this was the place for us", Mr and Mrs P recall the moment they arrived and stood on the doorstep of this detached two bedroom house created from a Grade 2 Listed former workshop. As they took in the view from the entrance gate, the outlook across Blackheath towards the boutique shops and restaurants on Royal Parade and the famous All Saints Church was almost enough to seal the deal on its own.
"Sitting here on Bonfire Night is possibly one of the nicest things to do. We get what feels like our very own private fireworks display: the heath is lit up; it's buzzing with people; and we get to observe it all from the comfort of our own home".
Known today as Eastnor Cottage, the Victorian building has a heritage reaching further back through the land it occupies as a curtilage to the Georgian property next door, and also a history of multiple uses unearthed by local historian research, from boy's school to Bakelite stethoscope factory. It was also one of the first acquisitions of the Blackheath Property Trust in 1938 to "save" it from the increasing urbanisation of the area (although calling Blackheath "urbanised" seems very out of tune with the reality of its village lifestyle).
The current owners have been delighted residents since 2015 and undertook a thorough refurbishment after buying the property from the family of the previous owner who'd lived here since the 1960s. As you enter the building you walk straight into a large, open-plan space with a breakfast kitchen at one end and the living area at the other, all thoughtfully put together with some nice interior touches including a projector screen that disappears into the ceiling to be as discreet as possible. A procession of windows along most of the room's length includes a circular bay where a door opens onto the very private and very quiet shared garden.
Moving into the second half of the house, you'll find two bedrooms and a bathroom, all with views over the gardens and all with the same attention to detail as before. Running the entire length of the house above the accommodation is a vaulted attic space that swallows up an extraordinary amount of personal belongings, although minimalists and loft-lovers might want to explore the possibilities of removing the ceiling to create an arching double-height interior (subject to consent).
The heathside setting makes for a really special location and everything is within a few mins walk at Blackheath Village. Here, independent businesses have been famously favoured to create a truly thriving and individual centre where you'll find: a weekly farmers market; fantastic pubs like The Prince of Wales and Hare & Billet; one of South East London's first micro breweries at Zero Degrees; and a flurry of cafes, shops, coffee houses and restaurants including a personal favourite of the owners, Buenos Aires Argentinian Cafe, and a personal favourite of ours, Handmade Food.
Maritime Greenwich – a UNESCO world heritage site – is a picturesque 20-minute walk through royal Greenwich Park that takes in sweeping views of London – from Canary Wharf to St Paul's Cathedral – as you descend through ancient trees and a 17th century landscape. Once you arrive, you'll find a bustling riverside scene of shops, cafes and bars along with the wonderful market hall and other outdoor markets.
Culture vultures are also well taken care of, with comedians testing out new work at Blackheath Halls; concerts, drama performances and art exhibitions at The Conservatoire; one of London's foremost off-West End stages at Greenwich Theatre; and a mix of independent and mainstream films at Greenwich Picturehouse.
For public transport, Blackheath station has direct trains to London Bridge in as little as 12 mins, as well as well as Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Victoria and is just one stop from Lewisham for connections to Charing Cross and Victoria, as well as the DLR to Canary Wharf, Stratford and City Airport. You'll also find plenty of buses passing through the village and across the heath that connect with the South East and Central London.
Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, London, SE3