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Glebe Travel Guide

Glebe: History, location and things to do

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Just three kilometres southwest of Sydney's CBD, Glebe is one of Sydney's charming inner city suburbs, nestled between universities and with its leafy lanes lined by Victorian terraces and modest cottages, Glebe has a lively bohemian vibe that is simply unequalled. Several well-known Australians hail from Glebe, including Australia's first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton, comedian Charles Firth of "The Chaser's War on Everything" and architect William Robert Guilfoyle.

Visitors to Glebe can lose themselves in vintage clothing stores, pleasant pubs, coffee shops, cosy bakeries and more. Dining options are plentiful and diverse. Explore Japanese, Nepalese, Thai and Korean restaurants, relax in a pleasant café, grab a drink in a trendy wine bar or spend the evening sampling cocktails in the hottest clubs in the neighbourhood. Stroll through Bicentennial Park, where you can enjoy a barbecue or play in the fields. Glebe lets you leave the glamour of the city behind and just focus on good times, good friends, good music and good food.

Originally inhabited by the Cadigal people, Glebe stretched alongside Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham. The Aboriginal population began to decrease as the European population expanded, and the stretch of land was christened The Glebe after the Latin word that meant clod of earth, glaeba. Governor Phillip granted the land to the Church of England, which was later forced to sell the land off. The gentry built large estates along Glebe Point, and working class families built along The Glebe. As professionals moved in, the 400-acre peninsula developed a fashionable air, but before long, the Depression hit.

Glebe became quite populated, and its popularity with the wealthy declined. As the lush estates were demolished, it developed a shabby feel. In 1969, the Glebe Society was formed. The Glebe Society vowed to restore the once-vibrant community's cultural and historic significance, and it has more than succeeded. According to the Australia Council of National Trusts, Glebe has the most Victorian cottages and terraces in the country. The trust has recognized Glebe's historic value and declared it to be an essential component of Australia's heritage. The State Heritage Register lists no fewer than 10 addresses while dozens more buildings are listed individually and in groups on the National Register.

Glebe boasts fashionable flair with its Bohemian vibe gives it plenty of character and style. Its weekend markets are some of Sydney's best known and most popular and feature vintage fashions, jewellery, accessories, books, CDs, gourmet food, furniture, secondhand goods, arts and crafts, candles, fresh produce and more. The suburb is small, but it still features exciting festivals, art shows, fairs and more. Visit the city's art galleries, attend the Shakespeare festival, take a craft workshop or attend the Glebe Record Fair. There is always something to do here. Relax with a massage at your favourite spa, sample a caramel mousse at a patisserie, browse the shelves of the used bookstores or sip an espresso at one of Glebe's many cafés. You will never run out of options.

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