Cutty Sark

Greenwich attractions


A few kilometers from London's Tower Bridge, the Thames makes one last loop. There, on the Isle of Dogs, is Greenwich. Two things made the city known worldwide. It is the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The world owes both to the Royal Observatory.

Greenwich Pier

Greenwich Pier


Also of interest are the National Maritime Museum, the associated Queen's House, the Old Royal Naval College and the beautiful and spacious Greenwich Park. The cargo sailing ship Cutty Sark, which found its last berth in Greenwich, is reminiscent of Great Britain's seafaring tradition. Other tourist attractions include St Alfege Church, Greenwich Market, the Emirates Air Line Cable Car and the O2 Arena. One by one, we present these urban attractions. They are almost all in the center of the familiar and tranquil-looking London borough.

Royal Greenwich Observatory

The Royal Observatory is located on a hill in Greenwich Park. England's rulers recognized the usefulness of an observatory very early on. As early as 1676, the original construction of the observatory was completed with the Flamsteed House. It was the workplace of the royal court astronomers.

Greenwich-Royal Observatory


Greenwich-Royal Observatory


Greenwich - Stand with your feet in two hemispheres


Greenwich - Stand with your feet in two hemispheres 


Flamsteed House now serves as a museum for astronomy and astronomical tools. The prime meridian line and the prime meridian clock make the observatory special. In the courtyard of the observatory, visitors love to stand with both feet over a metal rail embedded in the floor. This means that they are in the western and eastern hemisphere at the same time. At night, a green laser beam marks zero longitude. The largest telescope in Great Britain is on display in the adjacent courtyard, the Meridian Courtyard. 

Another special feature of the observatory is the Time Ball. The red signal ball was installed in an elevated position and clearly visible from the Thames. The sailors used the ball to adjust their ship chronometers. One hour after noon, at exactly one o'clock Greenwich Mean Time, the ball, clearly visible from the Thames, falls down. Five minutes beforehand, he is pulled to half the height of the fall and after another three minutes into the top position. 

Observatory admission price: Adults £ 16 (approx. 17,00 euros)

Greenwich - Time Ball at Flamsteed House


Greenwich - Time Ball at Flamsteed House


Greenwich Shepherd Clock


Greenwich Shepherd Clock 


The official Prime Meridian clock and important British linear measures can be seen outside the site. The Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock was one of the first electrically operated clocks. It was installed in 1852. 

From the top of the observatory, visitors can enjoy an overwhelming panorama. There is no better location from which to experience the Thames and the majestic Royal Naval College. To the west you can see the skyline of the City of London, and to the north the skyscrapers of the new financial center loom over Canary Wharf.

Greenwich - the Thames - in the background The Shard


Greenwich - the Thames - in the background The Shard


Canary Wharf - the skyscrapers of the new financial district


Canary Wharf - the skyscrapers of the new financial district 


National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum of Greenwich is said to be the largest museum of maritime history in the world. It was opened in 1937. The collection includes two million exhibits. Among them are strange things, like the clothes Admiral Lord Nelson wore during the Battle of Trafalgar on the day of his death. - The museum moves with the times; part of the exhibition is designed to be interactive; to the delight of children and adults.

Admission is free.

Queen's House

Next to the Naval Museum is Queen's House, the royal residence. It was built for Anne of Denmark, wife of King Jacob I. The queen did not live to see the completion; she died three years after construction began. The building was only completed in 1635.

Queen's House

Queen's House


With the end of the English Civil War in 1649, the royal era in Greenwich ended. The magnificent building was then used as a seaman's school for a long time. Since 1937 it has been part of the National Maritime Museum, which it uses as a picture gallery.

Admission is free.

 

 

Old Royal Naval College

The baroque building complex lies on the Thames. Originally, a royal palace was to be built on its site. However, the client, King Wilhelm III, suffered from asthma. The location would have been detrimental to his health. Based on similar facilities in Paris and Chelsea, a naval hospital for old and wounded sailors was built. There were enough of them.

Greenwich - Old Royal Naval College


Greenwich - Old Royal Naval College


Greenwich - Old Royal Naval College


Greenwich - Old Royal Naval College 


The construction phase lasted 30 years. Up to 2.000 retirees lived in the facility at the same time. It was used as a hospital until 1869. It then found another use as the Royal Naval College. The University of Greenwich is currently using the facility. As part of Maritime Greenwich, the building has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997.

The Painted Hall, the former dining room of the hospital, is famous for its monumental ceiling painting. It is the largest decorative painting in England. The college even has a church. The St Peter and St Paul Chapel, built in neoclassical style, is used for church services and secular music events. The interior of the church is considered exemplary throughout the kingdom of the 18th century.

Greenwich park

The former royal hunting ground was surrounded with a wall in 1433. Deer were released in the park and the royal hunting ground was ready. Tourism advertising describes the 73-hectare complex as London's most beautiful royal park.

Greenwich Park - St. Mary's Gate

Greenwich Park - St. Mary's Gate


Sundays in Greenwich Park

Sundays in Greenwich Park 


The hunting scenes are history. The park is currently used as a recreational area. Water areas, play areas for children, themed gardens and a 200-meter-long perennial border offer a variety of leisure experiences.

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark lies in a dry dock within sight of the Thames. The 85 meter long full ship was the last ship to be built in a series of tea and wool clippers, and it was one of the fastest sailing ships of its time. Since 1954 it has been in a special dry dock near the river. In 2007 the ship burned out during restoration work. The renovation was successfully completed in 2012.

Greenwich - Sailor Cutty Sark


Greenwich - Sailor Cutty Sark


Greenwich - Sailor Cutty Sark


Greenwich - Sailor Cutty Sark 


A circular building stands within sight of the Cutty Sark. It is the south entrance of the Greenwich Pedestrian Tunnel. It connects the place with the opposite Isle of Dogs.

Entrance to the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames

Entrance to the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames


St Alfege

A church has stood in the center of Greenwich for more than 1.000 years. For more than 300 years it has been St Alfege's Church. It is named after the martyr St Alfege, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Vikings kidnapped him in 1012. They murdered him after their ransom demand was not met.

Greenwich - St Alfege


Greenwich - St Alfege


Greenwich Market


Greenwich Market 


Greenwich Market

In the city center is Greenwich Market. It has nothing to do with vegetables and food. Designers and artisans offer their services in the market hall. In addition, retro clothing, hats, antiques and much more are sold. 

Emirates Air Line Cable Car and O2 Arena

The UK's first urban cable car connects Greenwich to Docklands on the north bank of the river. It was built for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. From a height of 50 meters there are good panoramic views of Greenwich, London and the Thames. The view wanders downstream to the storm surge barrier at Woolwich.

Ticket Price: Adults £ 3,50 (€ 4,00)Emirates Airline Cable Car

Emirates Airline Cable Car


The O2 arena is the largest domed structure in the world. Its diameter is 365 meters and the height is 52 meters. The dimensions are pure symbolism. They represent the days and the number of weeks in a year. The twelve yellow, 100 meter high masts represent the months of the year. The hall is a millennium structure.

Greenwich - O2 - Arena


Greenwich - O2 - Arena


Greenwich - O2 - Arena


Greenwich - O2 - Arena 


The building has been used regularly for sporting events and concerts since 2007. A cinema center, restaurants, bars, pubs and shops are part of the gigantic structure. Climbing tours on the roof of the arena are enjoying great interest. The gradient up to a central vantage point at a height of 53 meters is a maximum of 30 percent. 

Tickets for climbing tours are available under “Up at The O2”. Tickets cost between £ 36,00 and £ 39,00 (€ 40,80 and € 44,20).

Greenwich for cruise ship guests

Cruise ship guests take excursions to London from several English ports. This is generally associated with a considerable expenditure of time. It is different when the ships dock in Greenwich. From there, guests can quickly get to central London by public transport. There are a few kilometers of the river between the pier and Tower Bridge. The disadvantage is that only smaller cruise ships sail the Thames and moor on the floating pontoon in front of Greenwich. 

Azamara Journey is in front of Greenwich

Azamara Journey is in front of Greenwich


Update October 2020  

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