In my case one of these is Crystal Palace, or rather Upper Norwood as it was prior to the migration of Caxton’s glass masterpiece to it’s heights. Much of the visual appeal of the area architecturally dates from this era and the Victorian love of folly, grandeur and solidity. Where else in London do you find dinosaurs, sphinxes, a gorilla and a big television antenna oddly redolent of the Eiffel Tower? In the vicinity are a Palace, a fine Georgian art gallery, two quirky museums, and more open space than most other parts of London (including a remarkable cemetery). In addition there are views from Central Hill that can only be bettered by Parliament Hill but for my money the southern view is more interesting. Travel back before the Victorians and you have a fancy Georgian Spa, Charcoal burners, gipsy encampments and royal jousting. It also has a bit of a French vibe, due to a long history of eminent French residents (including Pissarro who painted quite a lot of pictures of the area and Victor Hugo).
Here are my 'top tips' within the area:
You can stuff your East London.. we’ve got saurs!