I don’t know how an entire year passed before I finally made it to Greenwich. It’s technically within London and a mere 30 minute boat or tube ride away from the city center. Don’t make the same mistake as me and wait so long to visit. It’s the perfect day trip from London.
The one positive about my much delayed visit was having the chance to go while my family was here. My gorgeous flatmate Jessie also joined in the fun. We took the Thames River Clipper from Embankment Pier to Greenwich Pier, an easy thirty minute commute with fabulous views of London along the way.
We arrived around noon so our first stop was the Greenwich Market. You can’t visit Greenwich without stopping here. The variety of food vendors packed into this little market is really impressive and each of us found something to our liking for lunch. After stuffing our faces we wandered through the rest of the artsy stalls and then found our way to Greenwich Park, London’s oldest Royal Park.
At Greenwich Park you’ll find lots of open space with scenic views of the town below and the skyline of London’s financial district across the Thames River. We trekked uphill towards the Royal Observatory for the best views and to see the official Greenwich Mean Time clock and Prime Meridian (0 degrees longitude). Since 1884 every place on earth is measured east or west of here. If you want to nerd out like I just did you can do some extra credit reading at www.thegreenwichmeridian.org or good ‘ol Wikipedia.
We eventually dragged ourselves away from the hilltop views to tour the National Maritime Museum, the largest maritime museum in the world. Did I mention it’s free? All these free London museums have ruined me, I can’t stand the thought of paying for musuems now.
Our final stop of the day was the Old Royal Naval College. It was designed by several well-known architects including Sir Christopher Wren. We stopped into the Chapel and the grand Painted Hall. Both are free and open daily.
We left Greenwich just before dinnertime, although there are plenty of pubs and restaurants including the Greenwich Meantime Brewery to dine at. I hope you can visit if you’re in London. It’s a nice break from the crowds at Big Ben and Oxford Street for tourists and locals alike.
Know Before You Go:
- The Visit Greenwich tourism website has everything you need and more.
- I’ve heard good things about touring the Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper and nowadays a museum in a ship.
- Routes and timetables for the Thames River Clipper are here. We bought our tickets at the pier. You can leave from either Westminster or Embankment Piers in central London.