Synonymous with London’s maritime past, Greenwich lies along the banks of the River Thames in the English capital’s south-east. Many of its buildings and landmarks are designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflecting the borough’s importance in Great Britain’s scientific endeavours in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Things to do in Greenwich
Dominating much of the borough is Greenwich Park, a 74-hectare green space home to a herd of deer and offers elevated views across the River Thames. Perched atop a hill is the Royal Observatory, which was established in the 17th century on designs by Sir Christopher Wren and is the site of the Prime Meridian. In addition to standing with a foot in both the eastern and western hemispheres, the Great Equatorial Telescope is not to be missed.
One of Greenwich’s most popular attractions is the National Maritime Museum, which explores the complex legacy of British exploration and some of its most well-known characters. A short walk from the museum is the Cutty Sark, a beautifully restored 19th-century ship built to transport tea from China to Britain. Onboard, you can learn about life on this legendary vessel and its record-breaking passages.
A popular film setting is the Old Royal Naval College, another Christopher Wren-designed landmark where naval pensioners were housed in the 18th century. See its Victorian Skittle Alley, then wander through the beautifully decorated Painted Hall, which has been described as “Britain’s Sistine Chapel”.
Getting around Greenwich
Greenwich is around 15 minutes’ drive from the City of London and one hour from Heathrow Airport. Regular trains connect to the Greenwich railway station while subways serve the North Greenwich Underground station. Buses travel throughout the borough and riverboats come and go from the Greenwich Pier.