Greenwich Park and the city on the hill


View of the Queen’s House and Canary Wharf from Greenwich Park. All photos by Rashmee Roshan Lall


“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac

At least once a week we amble through Greenwich Park, a couple of hundred acres of green space with a history that reaches back through the arches of the years. Hundreds of years. Once upon a time, this space, owned by the Abbey of St Peter at Ghent in Belgium, was proof of the closeness of England’s connection to Europe.

Today, it shows its age in the gnarled trees. But the Park also has more sprightly features. It has a bandstand, a children’s playground, a pond and a beautiful flower garden.

Then there is the fine view from the top of the hill. Unlike us, Saaya, the dog doesn’t pause to take in the vista that lies before us but romps deliriously through the grass. Sometimes, she rushes through a clump of tall grasses and Her Lowness (she’s a dachshund) can hardly be seen.

During the pandemic, the Park has become a haven.

One day, we saw two young people practising dance, while a third filmed them. Students, we thought. Perhaps the videographer is helping with the dancers’ portfolio or doing their own. Or perhaps all three are professional performers and simply using the vast outdoor arena offered by Greenwich Park to practise an act coming soon to a venue near us.

In the Park, there is some fairly massive modern public art. But the sky is the real canvas and the trees are the ornament, the architectural feature, the Park’s heart and lung.