With its rich maritime history, legacy in astronomy and time, and vibrant riverside venues, it’s little wonder that Greenwich remains enduringly popular with visitors and locals alike. From the famous Cutty Sark to the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Market, here are a few of our favourite places to visit in Greenwich.
Once the world’s fastest ship, with a dramatic history owing to its years spent sailing across the great oceans, Cutty Sark is now the world’s only surviving tea clipper. Visitors can gain an insight into what life on the ship was like, while staying on solid ground on Greenwich’s harbourside; the ship has been raised three metres above ground, enabling people to peer up at the hull from beneath, as well as to explore the ship within, where exhibits tell the story of its past.
The Cutty Sark Theatre
There aren’t many theatres like the Michael Edwards Studio Theatre, which is atmospherically located within the lower hold of Cutty Sark, where the tea would have been stored more than a century ago. A diverse offering of performances are hosted within this stand-out space, from drama and music to comedy and lectures.
The Royal Observatory
One of the greatest reasons to come here is the chance to stand at the exact point marked by the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Meridian Line since 1884. But established as far back as the 17th century, The Royal Observatory was also where scientists first mapped out the stars for ships to navigate the seas. This legacy in both time and astronomy can be explored by visiting the site’s top attractions, which include the Peter Harrison Planetarium.
National Maritime Museum
As the world’s largest maritime museum, the National Maritime Museum encompasses 10 free galleries, which among them showcase a staggering collection of historic artworks and maritime artefacts. And this isn’t all there is to see within this space; Above and Beyond interactive flight exhibition, which is open throughout the summer, gives visitors a taste of space travel.
Stop by Greenwich Market to peruse arts, crafts and food made by independent traders, alongside antiques, fashion and jewellery. Each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the focus is on antiques and collectibles, while Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday bring in the craft-makers and designers. To add to the market vibe, events like Music in the Market are regularly hosted.
From this riverside setting, it’s easy to set out on a Thames Cruise. The City Cruises River Red Rover enables ticket-holders to cruise up and down the river throughout the entire day, while stopping off at riverside sights along the way. The MBNA Thames Clippers are the fastest fleet on the river, linking many of the great attractions.
As one of London’s Royal Parks, the vast, verdant space of Greenwich Park is visited by millions of people each year. And no wonder, with a history that dates back to Roman times, views across the Thames, and a series of cultivated horticultural spaces, such as The Rose Garden, The Herb Garden, and The Queen’s Orchard. Outdoor concerts and family events take place throughout the year.
Emirates Air Line and Aviation Experience
The Emirates Air Line cable car takes passengers on a panoramic ride across the Thames, from where many of London’s most famous landmarks can be seen. This ride can be combined with the thrilling Emirates Aviation Experience flight simulator; here, anyone can try their hand at take-off and landing in an Airbus A380 or Boeing 777.
Image credits: Cover photo © Visit England. Cutty Sark © Visit England. Greenwich Clock © iStock / scholes1. The view from onboard Cutty Sark © Visit England. The Millennium Dome © Visit England.