But it’s got palaces by the Thames. The grandest 1930s Art Deco mansion in the country.
Pretty country estates aside the river Wandle and the river Cray. Hill top villas.
AND London’s most haunted historic house!
So wherever you live in London, you’ll want to head south to check out these historic houses.
They’ve all got big grounds, perfect for a humungous family and friends day out with a picnic.
What could be better?
AND they are nearlly all easily accesible on quick trains from Victoria or London Bridge.
1. Morden Hall
Morden Hall is a National Trust property by the river Wandle in Mitcham.
The lovely riverside grounds include an adventure playground and old mill. And although the National Trust can’t afford to keep the house open, they have lots going on in the park.
It’s a lovely place for younger kids. Especially under 7s.
Do take bikes – or scooters – so you can whizz up by the river Wandle to Dene City Farm.
To find out more – and get transport details – read about our day out at Morden Hall.
Morden Hall is free.
2. Hall Place
Hall Place is one of south London’s secret gems.
It’s a lovely Tudor country house with beautiful gardens by the River Cray in Bexley.
There’s a very small musuem but kids can also enjoy the Butterfly Jungle and the Owl Centre.
Hall Place is run as a local charity and it’s £30 for a family ticket. But only £15 with an NT card.
It’s less than a mile from Bexley station. Trains from Charing Cross, London Bridge & Cannon St.
For older kids with boundless energy, combine with a trip to nearby Joydens Woods, where they can really run wild. Although, to do both I would drive.
3. Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace was Henry VIII’s childhood home.
But most of the Tudor palace has been replaced with a superbly glamorous 1930s mansion.
Run by English Heritage, there’s loads for kids to do inside and outside at Eltham Palace.
There’s a handy family review of Eltham Palace here from Pigeon Pair & Me.
It is a bit pricey – £37 for the family – but free with an English Heritage Card. We do have a card and use it lots, as means we can keep going back to places without gagging at the price.
Eltham station is 10 minutes walk. Direct trains from Victoria, Charing Cross & London Bridge.
4. Down House
Down House was Charles Darwin’s country house.
It’s set in the most beautiful countryside. And hard to believe you’re inside the M25.
You can find out all about Darwin inside – with lots of kid friendly activities – and then explore the gardens and surrounding countryside.
We go everywhere on public transport but Down House is hard. There are buses but not frequent.
5. Danson House & Park
Danson House is a beautiful Palladian Villa in Bexley.
It’s set in the popular Danson Park which has a lake, children’s playground and splash park.
The park is a mile from Bexleyheath station, with direct trains from Victoria & London Bridge.
You can only visit the house – grand rooms & Victorian kitchen – on Sundays.
But the National Trust’s Red House is just 5 minutes walk so you could combine the two.
6. Red House
The Red House was William Morris’s south London home.
Beautifully decorated, it doesn’t quite qualify as a historic house with a big garden.
But is included here as right next to Danson Park above, and the National Trust do run loads of family activities at weekends and on the holidays.
7. Charlton House
Little known Charlton House is actually one of London’s finest early Stuart houses.
It doesn’t have fancy exhibitions but has most of its historic features.
And is almost locked in time with bucketloads of atmosphere.
Oh and be warned! It is one of the most haunted houses in London!
Charlton House is on the edge of Charlton Park which has walled and sensory gardens plus plenty of space for bike riding and football.
10 minutes walk from Charlton station. Direct trains from Charing Cross, London Bridge & Canon St.
It does get hired out so worth ringing ahead to check opening times.
8. Queen’s House
Any list of south London historic houses has to include the Queen’s House at Greenwich.
But it often gets missed ‘cos everyone piles into the Maritime Museum.
But it’s free. Has loads of art and a very cool staircase.
And you can whizz round without boring the kids.
Before enjoying Greenwich park for the rest of the day.
Take the DLR or overground to Maze Hill (closer than Greenwich) or our summer fave, the boat!
So there you go …
… some really amazing historic houses in south London that you probably didn’t know about!
Do go and explore. And for more ideas across the city check out these lists …
I would love to hear about your trips. Do pop over to Family Fun London on Facebook and tell me all about them.