Greenwich, a historic area nestled within southeast London, offers visitors a fascinating blend of maritime heritage, beautiful parks, and modern attractions. As you explore the district, you’ll find sites steeped in history and picturesque views that make Greenwich a must-visit destination when in the UK’s capital. If you simply can’t wait check out the list below
Highlights list if you’re in a hurry to explore Greenwich!
- Visit the magnificent Greenwich Royal Observatory, home to the world’s prime meridian.
- Explore the fascinating National Maritime Museum, housing the largest collection of maritime artifacts.
- Take a breathtaking stroll through the stunning Greenwich Park, offering some of the most picturesque views of London.
- Step aboard the remarkable Cutty Sark, the fastest and most legendary tea clipper ship.
- Marvel at the extraordinary Painted Hall, adorned with the grandest baroque ceiling in England.
- Wander through the vibrant Greenwich Market, known for its liveliest atmosphere and eclectic array of goods.
- Delight in the exceptional architectural beauty of the Old Royal Naval College considered one of the finest examples of baroque style.
- Indulge in the tastiest street food and culinary delights at the popular Greenwich Food Market.
- Enjoy a memorable river cruise along the Thames, showcasing the most captivating panoramas of the city.
- Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating stories of the area on a guided tour, offering the most comprehensive insights into Greenwich’s past.
Read on below for more info!
Begin your adventure by stepping into the Royal Observatory Greenwich, where you can stand with a foot in each hemisphere along the Meridian Line. Here, you’ll also learn how scientists once mapped the seas and the stars. Afterward, make your way to the iconic Cutty Sark, a well-preserved tea clipper that offers insight into Britain’s maritime history. Don’t miss out on exploring Greenwich Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, where you can relax and take in stunning views of the city skyline.
As you wander through the charming streets of Greenwich, immerse yourself in the local food scene by visiting the Greenwich Market. Home to vibrant stalls offering everything from gourmet street food to unique arts and crafts, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a delightful meal and pick up a special souvenir. Remember to also keep an eye out for the many cultural events, exhibitions, and festivals that take place throughout the year, showcasing the dynamic spirit of this captivating London district.
Greenwich, London, is a beautiful area full of history and exciting attractions. In this section, we will discuss some of the most iconic historical landmarks you should visit while in the area.
Old Royal Naval College
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Royal Naval College boasts a stunning Baroque design and incredible naval history. Once the birthplace of British Tudor monarchs such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, this opulent site is now open to the public. As you walk through the beautifully preserved buildings, you can marvel at the Painted Hall Ceiling and soak up the rich history that lies within its walls.
When you visit the Royal Observatory, you’ll have the opportunity to stand on the Prime Meridian Line, where the eastern and western hemispheres meet. As the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the world, this historic site is an essential stop for anyone interested in timekeeping, science, and astronomy. Don’t forget to check out London’s only Planetarium while you’re there.
The Cutty Sark is a must-see for anyone passionate about maritime history or simply intrigued by life at sea. This magnificent ship is the world’s sole surviving tea clipper and a symbol of Britain’s maritime heritage. As you tour this impressively preserved vessel, you’ll gain insight into the golden age of sail and learn about the Cutty Sark’s rich history.
National Maritime Museum
Continuing your exploration of maritime history, the National Maritime Museum is another unmissable attraction in Greenwich. With over two million artifacts in its collection, this museum offers an in-depth look at Britain’s naval history and sea-faring culture. Exhibits include naval art, ship models, and navigational instruments, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the maritime world.
Eltham Palace and Gardens
For a touch of opulence and glamour, the Eltham Palace and Gardens are a must-visit. This breathtakingly beautiful palace combines Tudor and Art Deco architecture, offering a unique view into British history. The stunning gardens and landscaping surrounding the palace make it a perfect location for a leisurely stroll, allowing you to imagine life in a bygone era.
Greenwich Park and Royal Parks
Greenwich Park, located in southeast London, is the oldest enclosed Royal Park and a part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. When visiting, you’ll be able to enjoy its tranquil Flower, Herb and Rose Gardens and explore the park’s diverse wildlife. The park spans across 183 acres (73 hectares) and rises on the south bank of the River Thames, offering stunning views over the river and London’s skyline.
Deer Encounter in Royal Parks
While you may not find deer roaming Park at Greenwich, several other Royal Parks in London offer the opportunity for deer encounters. Richmond Park and Bushy Park, both located in southwest London, are home to herds of red and fallow deer. In these parks, you can safely observe these majestic animals from a distance, immersing yourself in the rich flora and fauna that make up London’s Royal Parks.
Remember to respect the wildlife and their environment by keeping a safe distance from the deer and not feeding or approaching them. They are wild animals, and your actions may impact their wellbeing and the park’s ecosystem.
Now that you’re equipped with information on Greenwich Park and the chance to encounter deer in London’s Royal Parks, enjoy your time exploring these beautiful and historic green spaces.
Shopping and Dining
When visiting Greenwich, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the bustling Greenwich Market. This lively market is home to a diverse range of stalls, from local independent designers to vintage boutiques. You’ll find unique gifts, handmade crafts, and artisanal food all under one roof. Be sure to sample the delicious street food options and treat yourself to a variety of international dishes.
The Trafalgar Tavern
For a truly memorable dining experience by the river, head to the historic Trafalgar Tavern. This iconic pub offers spectacular views of the River Thames and a quintessentially British atmosphere. Enjoy traditional pub fare, such as fish and chips or a Sunday roast, accompanied by a pint of one of their local ales. History buffs will appreciate the connection to the famous Tea Clipper ships and the fact that the Meridian Line passes just a short walk away.
The O2 and Entertainment
The O2 Arena is a world-class entertainment venue located in Greenwich, London. With a capacity of up to 20,000, it hosts some of the biggest names in music, sport, and comedy. You can catch amazing concerts, thrilling sporting events, and unforgettable live shows in this state-of-the-art venue.
Art enthusiasts should not miss the Now Gallery, a contemporary art and design space located on the Greenwich Peninsula. The gallery showcases a rotating schedule of exhibitions by emerging and established artists. You can enjoy a diverse range of artworks, from sculpture to photography, all in an inspiring and creative environment.
If you’re interested in London’s craft beer scene, visit the Meantime Brewery, an award-winning brewery on the Greenwich Peninsula. You can take a guided tour of the brewery, learning about the history of beer-making while tasting some of their finest brews. Their tasting rooms also offer an excellent selection of beers on tap, so you can find your new favourite drink.
Up at The O2
For a unique adventure, try Up at The O2, a climbing experience on the roof of the O2 Arena. You’ll be guided along a suspended walkway 52 metres above ground level, offering stunning views of the Thames and the London skyline. This exhilarating experience allows you to see the city from a completely different perspective.
For some family-friendly fun, head to the 12-lane Hollywood Bowl located inside the O2. You can try your hand at classic ten-pin bowling while enjoying the lively atmosphere. The bowling centre also features an arcade, making it an ideal spot for an entertaining day out with friends or family.
River Thames Activities
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel allows you to enjoy a unique walk under the River Thames. Connecting Greenwich in the south and the Isle of Dogs in the north, this tunnel is perfect for walks or bike rides, with the opportunity to explore both sides of the river. As an added bonus, you’ll get stunning views of Canary Wharf.
Cable Car Over Thames
For a bird’s eye view of London, take a ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car. Crossing the Thames from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, and The O2. This exciting experience is definitely among the top things to do in Greenwich.
The Thames Barrier is an incredible feat of engineering and a must-see sight along the river. Serving as a movable flood barrier, it protects London from tidal surges and floods. Whether you’re a history buff or just curious about how it works, visiting the Thames Barrier is a great addition to your Greenwich itinerary.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London played a significant role during the 2012 Olympics, hosting events such as athletics, cycling, and swimming. Today, visitors can relive the spirit of the games by exploring the park’s Olympic venues such as the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. The park also offers a range of activities and events, including tours of the Olympic Park, the ArcelorMittal Orbit (it’s not just for kids!), and the Copper Box Arena. Visitors can enjoy the park’s green spaces, waterways, and playgrounds, as well as its cafes and restaurants.
Art and Culture in Greewich
The heart of Greenwich’s artistic scene is the Painted Hall, an architectural masterpiece in the Old Royal Naval College. As you step inside, you’re greeted with breathtaking murals by Sir James Thornhill, spanning over 40,000 square feet of ceiling and walls. The intricate artwork tells the story of Britain’s naval history and its significance in the nation’s legacy.
Greenwich offers a variety of royal museums that celebrate its rich heritage and culture. You can explore stories of discovery, sea voyages, and scientific discoveries that have shaped the world we know today. These include:
- The National Maritime Museum showcases Britain’s seafaring history and treasures such as the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I.
- The Royal Observatory, home to Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the world, where you can stand at the exact point where the eastern and western hemispheres meet.
- The Queen’s House, a former royal residence and now an art gallery displaying an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures.
Portraits of Maritime Greenwich
If you’re interested in exploring portraits that represent the spirit and essence of Maritime Greenwich, you’ll find several galleries and exhibitions showcasing the works of renowned artists. The Portraits of Maritime Greenwich exhibition is a must-visit, displaying the works of many great artists such as Sir Anthony van Dyck, Sir Peter Lely, and Joshua Reynolds. As you admire these striking portraits, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the people and stories that have shaped Greenwich’s maritime history.
As you explore the art and culture of Greenwich, you’re sure to be inspired by its architectural wonders, captivating museums, and timeless portraits.
Getting to Greenwich
Docklands Light Railway
To reach Greenwich, one of the easiest and most convenient options is taking the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Catch the train from either Bank or Tower Gateway stations in central London, and you’ll soon be exploring the historic neighborhood of Greenwich. This journey takes you through unique parts of the city, providing panoramic views along the way.
Another option for reaching Greenwich is by hopping on the Jubilee Line. Board the train at any station on the line and alight at North Greenwich station. From there, it’s a short bus ride or a pleasant walk to the heart of Greenwich. This option is ideal for those looking to explore the area surrounding The O2 entertainment venue.
Emirates Air Line
For a more unique and scenic way to travel to Greenwich, consider taking the Emirates Air Line cable car. The cable car departs from the Royal Docks in East London and travels across the River, offering breathtaking views of the city. Once you’ve crossed the river, simply make your way towards the heart of Greenwich.
Lastly, if you opt for public transport, a variety of buses serve the Greenwich area from locations across London. Check Transport for London’s website for up-to-date information on bus routes and timetables, ensuring a smooth journey to this iconic London destination.
By choosing any of these methods of transportation, you’ll soon find yourself immersed in Greenwich’s rich history, world-class attractions, and stunning riverside setting.
We hope that’s given you some top tips for your trip to Greenwich, check out our London Travel Guide series for plenty more ideas about what to see in London.
FAQs about Greenwich
Greenwich is home to a variety of top attractions, including the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark, and the Old Royal Naval College. Other popular things to do in Greenwich include visiting the Greenwich Market, taking a ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car, and exploring the beautiful Greenwich Park. Whether you’re interested in history, science, or just taking in the stunning views of the River Thames, there’s something for everyone in Greenwich.
There are plenty of free things to do in Greenwich, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. Some of the best free activities include visiting the Queen’s House, strolling through Greenwich Park and enjoying London’s best view, exploring the Greenwich Market, and checking out the Cutty Sark. You can also visit the Royal Observatory for free and learn about the history of timekeeping and astronomy, or take a walk along the Thames Path and enjoy the scenic views of the river.
Greenwich offers a variety of unique activities that you won’t find anywhere else in London. One of the most popular is the Emirates Air Line cable car, which provides stunning views of the River Thames and the city skyline. You can also take a tour of the Cutty Sark, a historic tea clipper that has been fully restored and is now a museum. Another unique experience is visiting the Fan Museum, which houses a collection of over 5,000 fans from around the world. For those who love the outdoors, Greenwich offers opportunities to go kayaking on the River Thames or take a walk through the beautiful Greenwich Park.
Greenwich offers a range of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. Some of the best places to eat in the area include L’escargot, which offers delicious French cuisine in a stylish setting, and the Blackstones Steakhouse, a premiere Connecticut-based steakhouse group. For something a little more casual, check out Meli-Melo, which serves up delicious French and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, or try the Elm Street Oyster House for fresh seafood. Other popular options include Mediterraneo, which offers Italian and seafood dishes, and Pasta Vera, which serves up delicious homemade pasta.
Greenwich Park is a large and beautiful park with plenty of areas to explore. Some of the highlights include the flower garden, which features a wide range of colorful blooms, and the deer park, where you can see a herd of fallow deer. The park also offers stunning views of the city from the top of One Tree Hill, and you can visit the Royal Observatory and learn about the history of timekeeping and astronomy. Other areas worth exploring include the rose garden, the herb garden, and the children’s playground.