London - Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace is a town in London and also used to be a large glass and steel building which stood on the top of Sydenham Hill.
The Crystal Palace was a huge steel and glass building designed by Joseph Paxton to house the Great Exhibition, Prince Albert's brainchild for "bigging up" the British Empire to the rest of the world. It was erected in Hyde Park and closed in 1851. Parliament closely voted not to retain the Palace as a permament feature in Hyde Park and it was later transported to the top of Sydenham Hill. The surrounding area, still known to many locals as Upper Norwood, is now known as Crystal Palace. The palace itself burned down in 1936 in still unexplained circumstances.
Crystal Palace Railway Station is served by overland trains from two major London stations, Victoria and London Bridge. Direct trains also go south to Sutton and West Croydon.
There are rumours that Crystal Palace will be added to the Jubilee Tube (underground) line in the future, and the tramline through Wimbledon and Croydon is also mooted as a future development. If they happen then look forward to significant timelines into the 2010s.
Crystal Palace is well served by many bus routes and is served by a main bus station. For those who like to party late into the night in Central London the number 3 bus runs all night throughout the week, from Oxford Circus through Trafalgar Square and Brixton to Crystal Palace.
- Crystal Palace Park. While the original Crystal Palace is no longer there, the park is a lasting reminder of the grandeur of the scheme. There is a wide range of things to see and do, including a hedge maze, a sports centre with Olympic-sized pool, a boating lake, fishing, an athletics stadium and an open air concert bowl by a lake among other things. The park is a great place for a walk and also for cycling around.
- A key attraction is the dinosaur park, with impressively large Victorian concrete and cast iron dinosaurs scattered around the park, which were possibly a source of inspiration for Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park! http://www.cocgb.dircon.co.uk/cry_pal_park.htm. The dinosaurs, built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in the early 1850s to meet the emerging passion of wealthy Victorians for fossils and paleontology, were then unique. After falling into a state of disrepair in the 1980s and 1990s they were splendidly renovated using a Lottery grant in the early 2000s. The dinosours were designed by the victorians on their idea of what one would look like.
- Amongst the best food to be found anywhere in London is Tamnag Thai, 50-54 Westow Hill (http://www.tamnagthai.com/index.htm).
- A Torre, Westow St.
- The White Hart, 96 Church Road, SE19 2EZ(Corner of Church Road and Westow St), ☎ 020 8768 1001. Mon-Thurs 12:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-0:00, Sun 12:00-22:30. Really great pub with great mix of seating, specialist nights, interesting beers, great modern british pub food, and a nice outdoor area. Different nights including live music, quiz nights. Mixed crowd. Relaxed weekend daytimes, can get busy in the evenings. Decor is a mix of traditional, industrial/modern and quirky/shabby chic. Friendly staff.(533500,170457)
This page was last edited at 23:48, on 9 September 2008 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Stacy Hall, Patrick Callaghan, Jim Logan and Evan Prodromou, Wikitravel user(s) Nzpcmad, Huttite and Steeev and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.