Getting around Greenwich on foot is incredibly easy, because it’s very compact and everything is close together. For example, walking from Greenwich Pier to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park only takes fifteen minutes. That’s about as far as you’re likely to go if you’re only here on a day trip.
On the way to the Royal Observatory you’ll pass the entrances to Cutty Sark, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Market and the National Maritime Museum. See how close everything is? That’s more than enough for a whole day in one easy walk.
Cutty Sark is amazing, and sits in a fantastic glassed-over dock next to the river Thames. The ship has been raised over three metres, which means you can walk beneath the hull. It’s very impressive, all burnished copper and gold.
The Old Royal Naval College was originally designed by Christopher Wren, who also did the Royal Observatory and, of course, St Paul’s Cathedral. It was built on the site of the old Tudor palace where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born. Go and take a look inside the Painted Hall and the Chapel – they are absolutely amazing!
Just across the road is the National Maritime Museum where you can see all sorts of naval artefacts and gadgets. You can even see the uniform Lord Nelson was wearing when he was shot and killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. There’s a little hole in the shoulder where the bullet struck.
There’s an exhibition about Samuel Pepys, the brilliant diarist, who was also a bit of a rogue. His famous diary covers the plague, the restoration of Charles II, the Great Fire of London and his various romantic entanglements.
Then it’s eight minutes to the top of the hill and the Royal Observatory. The Meridian Line runs through the courtyard – stand with a foot in each hemisphere! Just outside the Observatory there are some of the best views in London, all the way from Canary Wharf to the Shard and the London Eye. It’s beautiful.
And don’t forget to stop by Greenwich Market on your way back down the hill! It’s recently had a new roof a refurbished floor and a lot of love and attention. They’ve got arts and crafts and vintage and hats and jewellery and gifts and bric and brac and lots and lots of food. Come and see!