What’s New in Greenwich in 2017

What’s New in Greenwich in 2017

What’s New in Greenwich in 2017
2017 is another big year for Greenwich. Here's a list of the top events, exhibitions and more to look out for.

The Queen’s House 400th anniversary in 2016

Queen's House

The Queen’s House recently reopened after major restoration. This beautiful royal villa was designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 for James I’s queen, Anne of Denmark. During the reign of Charles I it was described as a ‘house of delight’ filled with the King’s favourite works of art.

The Queen’s House is Britain’s first classical building and a pioneering masterpiece of 17th-century architecture. In 2016, twenty-two spectacular rooms were filled with over 450 works of art by great European painters such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Gentileschi, Canaletto, Hogarth and Turner. The Queen’s House is free to visit with the exception of the highly recommended guided tours.

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Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity at the National Maritime Museum

Emma Hamilton

3 November 2016 – 17 April 2017

Today Emma, Lady Hamilton, is most famous for being the lover of Admiral Nelson, however her story is one of female power and achievement in a man’s world. Born into poverty in 1765, she rose to be a muse for famous artists, an influential ambassador’s wife, and a European cultural icon before facing prison and dying in destitution.

This exhibition will trace her spectacular career from rags to riches, and will explore the obstacles and social barriers for a woman of her time, many of which still resonate today.

Group rates are concession: £8.64 and adult: £9.32

For bookings contact booking@rmg.co.uk or call 020 8312 6608

Image© Emma as Circe c.1782; George Romney 1734–1802; Tate; Photography © Tate, London 2016.

Star Wars Identities at The O2

Star Wars Identities

18 Nov – 3 Sep 2017

For almost 40 years, audiences around the world have followed the adventures of Luke and Anakin Skywalker, cinema’s most famous father and son duo. Now you can see your favourite characters like you’ve never seen them before, explore what makes you who you are and discover the Star Wars hero hiding inside you!

The stunning collection of some 200 props, models, costumes and artwork from the original Star Wars films, an interactive identity quest and insightful scientific content, all work together in STAR WARS Identities to follow the dramatic journeys of the characters and help you create your very own Star Wars identity.

Visitors will develop a better understanding of what makes the characters of Star Wars who they are, and at the same time explore their own identity with one question: What forces shape you?

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Rendezvous Tall Ships Regatta 2017

Rendezvous Tall Ships Regatta 2017

13-16 April 2017

Over the Easter weekend in April 2017, Greenwich will host the start of the Sail Training International Rendez-vous Tall Ships Regatta 2017. The regatta marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, and it will see a fleet of around 40 large Class A and B Tall Ships set sail from Greenwich to Quebec, Canada, via Portugal, Bermuda and Boston.

Following the success of the Tall Ships Regatta 2014, which attracted 1.1million visitors, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is welcoming back a fleet of Tall Ships to the river Thames. The ships will be anchored at two sites in the borough, which will also be the locations of Tall Ships Festival villages – the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site in Greenwich town centre, and the Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich.

The festival runs from Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 April, with a huge Parade of Sail taking place at around 5pm on the Sunday. The Parade of Sail will see around 40 huge Tall Ships and a number of smaller Class C and D ships sail down the Thames in convoy.

The Tall Ships will leave Greenwich after the Parade of Sail on 16 April 2017, crossing the Atlantic and arriving in Quebec on 18 July 2017.

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Franklin at the National Maritime Museum

John Franklin

July 2017–January 2018

An epic story of Arctic endeavour that ended in tragedy, this exhibition will tell the story of Sir John Franklin’s famous 1845 expedition to the Northwest Passage, in the wake of the recent discovery of Franklin’s flagship, HMS Erebus. New archaeological evidence presented for the first time will give clues to the mystery of what went so tragically wrong when 129 men lost their lives in the ice.

Group rates will be available in 2017.

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Exploration Challenge, Greenwich

A new way to explore Greenwich for groups looking for an alternative to the traditional guided tour. Combine problem solving and fun trivia with sightseeing landmarks with the aid of an iPad. In the Exploration Challenge, your group will be split into teams and challenged to visit nine landmarks around Greenwich.

Once they get to one of the locations, they will automatically receive a number of missions related to that spot – group pictures, code hunts and fun trivia. While travelling to the landmarks, the groups are also bombarded with fun missions on their tablet to further boost their score.

Duration: 90 mins and can be customised.
For further details and to book, contact Green Hat People: londoncity@greenhatpeople.com

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Two new hotels are opening their doors in the area this autumn. Novotel’s towering new Canary Wharf Hotel offers 313 contemporary bedrooms, including 26 suites, and nine innovative meeting rooms featuring the latest technology and natural daylight. Breath-taking views and excellent cuisine are on offer at Bokan: three cool dining and drinking options on the hotel’s top three floors. A state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre has the latest gym and pool facilities. Opening 28 November 2016.

Good Hotel at Royal Victoria Docks is a floating luxury hotel recently arrived from Amsterdam. It’s a place where people meet, connect, stay, relax – but above all, contribute to a better future for long-term unemployed locals, who will get a custom-made hospitality training and a chance for a new future. Good Hotel offers premium luxury and contributes to the development and education of less advantaged communities. It’s a short walk from ExCeL London and Emirates Air Line cable car, and an easy trip to Greenwich. Opening November 2016.


MBNA Thames Clippers confirm delivery of two new vessels for summer 2017
MBNA Thames Clippers have confirmed the largest fast passenger ferry order for a UK shipyard in over 25 years. Two new 170 capacity passenger boats will be built at the Wight Shipyard Co on the Isle of Wight, and will join London’s growing river transport network in summer 2017.
When the two new fast ferries join the MBNA Thames Clippers’ river bus service in central London they will add 14 per cent additional capacity to the company’s network. They swiftly follow the addition of two boats in late 2015, in total adding an additional 30 per cent capacity in two years.

MBNA Thames Clippers will become the biggest commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters when the two newly confirmed boats enter service. The company will have 17 high speed catamarans serving 21 piers across London from Putney in the west to Woolwich in the east. 2017 will also see the extension of MBNA Thames Clippers’ route to include new piers at Battersea Power Station and on the eastern side of Canary Wharf.


Free coach parking at The O2 with MBNA Thames Clippers
Receive free coach parking at The O2 when you pre-book Daily River Roamer, Single or Return tickets on MBNA Thames Clippers, and save 25%. Park and Glide is specifically designed for coach groups travelling to London in style and comfort on the river to any of their Greenwich and central London piers and back again.  The offer is available for a minimum of 20 passengers per coach, or 15 passengers per minibus.

thamesclippers.com/sightseeing-leisure/group-sales  Call 020 7001 2201 to book.

London City Cruise Port Opens 2019
Greenwich will soon be welcoming more international cruise passengers to its shores as London’s first ever cruise port is set to open in 2019.  Located in a prime location on the banks of London’s river Thames the cruise port is equidistant between the UNESCO Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and Greenwich Peninsula.  London City Cruise Port will accommodate vessels up to 240m in length and 8m draught.  It will be London’s most central cruise port with alongside port facilities, giving visitors a world class welcome and proximity to major maritime attractions and exclusive experiences in the most cultural and historic hubs of Greenwich and London.



Other Events

Painted Hall Ceiling Tours –Spring 2017
The Painted Hall is currently closed as the Old Royal Naval College prepares for an ambitious conservation project. Over 2 years, a team of conservators will work on 3,400 square metres of painted surface, bringing new life and vibrancy to paintings obscured by decades of deterioration.

From next spring visitors will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to access a special observation deck and see the vast Lower Hall ceiling at close quarters. Tours begin in Spring 2017.


Greenwich + Docklands International Festival – June 2017
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) is London’s leading festival of free outdoor performing arts (theatre, dance, and street arts), an annual 9/10-day celebration of extraordinary outdoor events that transform people’s lives. Events take place across Greenwich and East London.
The Festival is committed to breaking new ground in outdoor performance and raising the ambition, quality and diversity of outdoor work produced in this country, with a particular focus on the commissioning and development of outdoor work led by Deaf and disabled artists and artists from diverse backgrounds.


On Blackheath – Summer 2017
OnBlackheath is delivers an unforgettable two days of music, food, and family entertainment within an atmosphere that feels communal, inclusive, creative, welcoming, surprising, and offers an escape from the working week. The festival takes place on Blackheath in south east London and previous artists include Grace Jones, Madness, Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers and Squeeze.


Greenwich Music Time, 4-7 July 2017
Greenwich Music time is a six day series of outdoor concerts, taking place in the magnificent surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College, overlooking the Thames, lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf.  The festival has seen headline artists like Tom Jones, Gipsy Kings, Goldfrapp, Jamie Cullum, Seal, 10CC and David Gray. This year’s stars are Cliff Richard, Alexander O’Neal, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Little Mix and The Jacksons.


Greenwich Comedy Festival – July 2017

Greenwich Comedy Festival takes place in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum with even more legendary line-ups in the Big Top and Apple Top venues. Each year thousands of comedy-fans flock to this iconic location to laugh at hilarious shows in sublime surroundings complete with bars, gourmet street-food and music.

The line-up in 2016 included the provocative Reginald D Hunter, British Comedy Award winner Nina Conti, one-liner maestro Milton Jones, lo-fi genius David O’Doherty, self-styled German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn and many more.