Greenwich in East London is one of London’s oldest boroughs and, as a result, it also has countless things to do. Here are my top 7! Maritime Greenwich is a World Heritage Site (meaning it is of special cultural significance). So here I am Exploring Greenwich:
Time. (Royal Observatory and Meridian Line)- £9.50**
Quite literally the home of time. How else are you going to find out what it feels like to stand on 0:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)?
- Standing on the meridian to have a photo
- The view- stunning views over Greenwich, you can see as far as Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf and St Paul’s Cathedral!
- Flamsteed House; designed by Sir Christopher Wren (designer of St Paul’s Cathedral). This house contains exhibitions on the history of time.
- The camera Obscura- A real time darkroom with a replica of the original camera; a moving projection done using mirrors. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk through Greenwich again without wondering if someone is watching me from that room!
Cutty Sark – £13.50**
Get seasick? No problem- this vessel is land bound!
I enjoyed my somewhat brief visit to the Cutty Sark (I was too excited to try and see everything Greenwich has to offer in one day!) Built in 1869, the Cutty Sark was one of the last ever tea clippers to have been built and during her time, she sailed the distance to the moon 2.5 times!
‘Cutty Sark’ refers to the old Scottish word for ‘nightgown’ and comes from the poem ‘Tom O’ Shanter’ by Robert Burns. She has been on display and open to the public since 1954 but within the last ten years, two fires have broken out aborad.
- The collection of figureheads- below the hull of the Cutty Sark is one of the biggest collection of boat figureheads in the world. A lot of these figures are the only part of the ship that remains, and often, the only record of their existence.
- The chance to see the hull of the boat
Royal Naval College – Free
Although originally constructed as a hospital, for over 100 years, it was the Royal Naval College. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
- Chapel- built in 1798, it was largely destroyed by fire but after extensive renovations in the 1950s, it is reopen to the public free of charge.
- Painted Hall- It has been described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’!
Queen’s House – Free
Home to the prettiest set of stairs in London, the Queen’s house is so much more than a feat of architecture. Full of paintings and tiled floors, you can almost imagine that Queen Anne is about to walk through the doors. (Anne is my middle name 🙂 great name…) The tulip staircase (pictured below) is the first self supporting geometric staircase to have been built in Britain!
**Unfortunately this is closed until 2016 due to refurbishment for its 400th anniversary**
Greenwich Park – Free
Sunny day? Why not grab lunch and chill out in this Royal Park? One of the eight royal parks, it is also the oldest (dating all the way back to Roman times)!
- The views from the top of the park
- Tumuli- thought to be saxon burial mounds!
National Maritime Museum – Free (apart from special exhibitions)
This museum is probably the largest maritime museum in the world. Spanning 3 floors, the museum was created in 1934 and also contains the largest maritime library in the world.
- A special audio tour of Turner’s largest masterpiece
- See the uniform that Nelson was wearing when he was shot at the battle of Trafalgar.
Wish you’d seen something else?
How to get there: All of these places are a short walk away from the Cutty Sark station on the DLR (accessible from a number of different tube lines).
**You can buy a ‘combo ticket’ for the Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory priced at £18.50