• Visitor notice: Due to COVID-19, many attractions, restaurants, pubs, theatres, public spaces and other venues have temporarily closed or have changed their practices to maintain public and staff safety. Planned events may well have been cancelled. We advise that you check carefully before you travel. For more information on the national lockdown, click here
  • What’s New for Greenwich in 2021

    What's On for the Royal Borough of Greenwich in 2021
    Home to the Meridian Line and Greenwich Mean Time, Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, The Queen’s House, The O2, Icon Outlet at The O2, Emirates Air Line cable car, Old Royal Naval College, Eltham Palace and Gardens, Ranger’s House, Greenwich Market and Greenwich Park.
    Greenwich Comedy Festival

    Annual Events 2021


    Woburn Treasures, a major collaboration showcasing significant works from the private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford, The Queen’s House, 10th August 2020 – 31st March 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    Black Greenwich Pensioners, a new exhibition explores the hidden histories of the Black Royal Navy, Mezzanine Gallery, Visitor Centre, Old Royal Naval College, 3rd October 2020 – 21st February 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year Exhibition, showcases winning and shortlisted images from 2020, with the world’s greatest space photography, National Maritime Museum, 23rd October 2020 – 8th August 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    Festival of Hope, supported by The O2, a major community initiative focused on the Royal Borough of Greenwich and beyond with a year-long series of activations & events, The O2 and various locations across London, 16th November 2020 – 5th November 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    Exposure: Lives at Sea, National Maritime Museum, a new temporary exhibition examines what life is really like at sea today, through a seafarers’ lens, National Maritime Museum, 2nd December 2020 – 20th November 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    SAMPLE Spring, London’s seasonal urban design market, Greenwich Peninsula, Spring 2021.

    GAIA, Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring art installation Gaia returns following a sold-out display, Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, May – June 2021

    Mischief and Misadventure, a new temporary exhibition explores the history of the Old Royal Naval College with award-winning illustrator Nick Ellwood, Old Royal Naval College, May – September 2021

    Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, a major exhibition exploring royal portraiture, National Maritime Museum, 28th May – 31st October 2021. Temporarily closed due to Government restrictions.

    Opening of Woolwich Works, London’s newest creative district, Summer 2021

    Royal Greenwich Festivals, over 100 events spread across the whole of the borough, 14th June – 19th September 2021.

    Greenwich Book Festival, returns for a fun filled festival, Old Royal Naval College, June 2021.

    Cirque du Soleil: Corteo. Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown, The O2, 30th June – 11th July 2021.

    London in the Sky, an experience like no other; a 22-seat Sky Table suspended 100ft in the air, enjoy fantastic food and drink accompanied by truly unique views of the capital’s skyline, The O2, 1st July – 26th September 2021

    The Vitality Big Half, finishes at Cutty Sark and Festival site in Greenwich Park, 22nd August 2021.

    Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts, various locations across the Royal Borough of Greenwich, 27th August – 11th September 2021.

    Grand Medieval Joust, Medieval knights in shining armour trade blows in this exciting recreation, Eltham Palace and Gardens, August 2021.

    Totally Thames, a month of activities and events on and by the river, 1st – 30th September 2021.

    Open House Festival, the 30th edition of the much-loved city-wide celebration of architecture and landscape, various locations across London, 4th – 5th September 2021.

    Greenwich Comedy Festival, a line-up of comedy marvels paired with street-food, craft beer and more at the iconic National Maritime Museum, September 2021.

    London Marathon, starts in Greenwich Park, 3rd October 2021.

    Greenwich Performs, a festival and celebration of the arts, various locations across the Royal Borough of Greenwich, October 2021.

    Blackheath Fireworks, London’s biggest free fireworks display, Blackheath Commons, November 2021.

    Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, London’s only fair in contemporary printmaking, Royal Arsenal, November 2021.

    Christmas in Greenwich, including Queen’s House Ice Rink, Greenwich Market, Panto at Greenwich Theatre and Disney on Ice at The O2 arena, November – December 2021


    More Events

    Royal Museums Greenwich

    Royal Museums Greenwich is home to the Royal Observatory & Planetarium, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House.

    A UK top-10 visitor attraction, Royal Museums Greenwich is the place to discover sea and space exploration, British heritage, royal history, art and pioneering architecture.

    The four landmark attractions are located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of historic Royal Greenwich, one of London’s most charming areas. All of the world class sites are within easy walking distance of each other.

    2021 is an exciting year for Royal Museums Greenwich, with major exhibitions, new tours and a number of events taking place throughout the year. New creative content also covers the BAME history of Royal Museums Greenwich.

    Behind the scenes at the National Maritime Museum is a new tour at the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre. The Prince Philip Maritime Collection Centre is the location at which the majority of the National Maritime Museum’s collection is stored and cared for when not on display to the public, just a 15-minute journey from Maritime Greenwich. The new tours of the collections centre give guests the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how the organisation cares for the largest collection of maritime objects in the world; including surviving pieces from the Titanic and relics belonging to Admiral Nelson.

    The National Maritime Museum
    National Maritime Museum

    The National Maritime Museum, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, will host the major exhibition Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits. The exhibition will be opening in May 2021 and will display over 150 portraits of five royal dynasties, that shaped British history and feature some of the most important artists to have worked in Britain, from Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz.

    The Royal Observatory’s hugely popular Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year returns in 2021 to celebrate the very best in astrophotography from around the world. The winning images are selected by an expert judging panel and after the awards are announced in September 2021 and will be displayed alongside a selection of the shortlist images in a special exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

    Cutty Sark
    Cutty Sark

    The Cutty Sark is the world’s sole-surviving tea clipper celebrated for her record-breaking passages around the globe. An audio guide at Cutty Sark has been added to enhance the visitor experience by bringing the story of the ship to life. The guide is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. The audio guide is included in the cost of entry and takes about an hour to explore all levels of the ship.

    Be one of the first groups to experience the History of Tea Tour, new to Cutty Sark. Find out about the international story behind the humble cup of tea, before it became Britain’s favourite drink. Learn about the role Cutty Sark played in bringing tea to the UK and discover the influence of tea on British culture and society once it arrived. Finish the tour with a cup of tea, underneath the hull of the world’s sole surviving tea clipper.

    Royal Observatory
    Royal Observatory

    Explore time and space at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and stand on the Meridian line at the home of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Discover the site’s rich history, from its royal heritage to its awe-inspiring Peter Harrison Planetarium, all set within Greenwich’s beautiful park.

    Queen's House
    Regatta on the Grand Canal by Canaletto

    The Queen’s House, in partnership with Woburn Abbey, is running Woburn Treasures to 31st March 2021, which will showcase a variety of major art works from the private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford. The collection is considered to be one of the most important art collections still in private hands.

    Highlights on display will include a full-length portrait of Anne of Denmark by Flemish artist Gheeraerts the Younger, a striking full length of Lady Elizabeth Keppel by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Canaletto’s large-scale Regatta on the Grand Canal. Alongside these masterpieces, a selection of sculptures, ceramics and a silver-gilt toilette set spanning the 17th to 19th century will feature in the display.

    Old Royal Naval College
    The Painted Hall
    The Painted Hall

    Old Royal Naval College is the centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a long and celebrated 500-year history. Today it is a diverse cultural destination and one of London’s most popular venues and visitor attractions.

    Explore the peaceful riverside location and Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic architecture. The stunning buildings and extensive grounds tell 500 years of remarkable history that lists an incredible cast of monarchs and famous British figures, from Henry VIII and Elizabeth I to Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson.

    Visitors can explore ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’, Sir James Thornhill’s breath taking Baroque Painted Hall and its neighbour, the glorious Chapel of St Peter and St Paul. It’s easy to escape the crowds and discover 40,000 square feet of awe-inspiring painted walls and ceiling. Painted Hall tickets include entry to the Chapel and the Skittle Alley where visitors can try their hand at Victorian bowling. Multimedia guides (in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese Mandarin, German and Japanese) and guided tours are also included. History buffs can explore the room where Admiral Lord Nelson’s body lay in state and can see the recently discovered Tudor foundations of Greenwich Palace in the King William Undercroft which also houses a new café, shop and interpretation gallery.

    TV and Film Location Tours at the Old Royal Naval College is the chance to experience a behind-the-scenes tour of ‘the most popular filming location in the world’ (Empire magazine). From a starring role as Buckingham Palace in The Crown to 19th century revolutionary Paris in Les Misérables, the Old Royal Naval College has provided the setting for some of the most memorable scenes in major film and TV productions. The tour takes in more than 60 years of filming, both on the award-winning riverside grounds and inside the Painted Hall, and gives an insider’s view of how some of the biggest blockbusters come to life in Greenwich.

    A new series of smartphone tours have been launched to help visitors explore the buildings and grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. Visitors can also download any of the 3 free self-guided tours of the Old Royal Naval College on the Smartify app. Tours include a Building Detectives tour, an architecture tour and a Greenwich Pensioners Tour.

    The Painted Hall 360 virtual tour lets you marvel up-close at fire-breathing serpents, glistening jewels and bubble-blowing cherubs that are not clearly visible from the ground. You can pan around and zoom in to marvel at the details in ultra-high resolution and discover the stories behind the art. There is also a VR mode to use on smartphones. It’s available in English and British Sign Language (with subtitles).

    Following a sold-out display in Summer 2020, Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring art installation Gaia returns to the Old Royal Naval College in 2021. The monumental internally-lit sculpture, measuring seven metres in diameter, was created using 120dpi NASA imagery and is an exact scale replica of our planet.

    On the Thames
    Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

    Uber Boat by Thames Clippers announced a new sponsorship with Uber in 2020, tickets are now available through the Uber App meaning users can purchase tickets in advance to guarantee a seat and then use QR technology to board. The payment will be processed using the Uber account details. Following the launch of the new Venus Clipper in Spring 2020, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers have also announced an expansion of the service east to Barking Riverside.

    Park & Glide allows you to park your car securely at The O2, then board an Uber Boat by Thames Clippers from North Greenwich Pier, an easy 5 minute walk away. Park & Glide for Leisure tickets include a River Roamer or Family River Roamer ticket (valid for one or two adults and up to three children).

    City Cruises
    City Cruises City Gamma

    City Cruises will be running cruises to Greenwich from May 2021.

    Thames River Sightseeing

    Thames River Sightseeing is continuing to build their new name and branding with a launch of a new website. The Westminster to Greenwich Sightseeing River Cruise (Blue Route) operates sightseeing tours from Westminster to Greenwich Pier via St Katharine’s all year around. Visitors can enjoy a sightseeing cruise from Westminster to Greenwich whilst listening to a multi-lingual commentary about London’s historical sights on the way. All of the vessels are equipped with licensed bars and are specifically designed for this route.

    Greenwich Peninsula and The O2
    The O2

    Greenwich Peninsula is the fastest growing and most vibrant part of London. The Peninsula is currently home to The O2, Up at The O2, Icon Outlet at The O2, Oxygen Freejumping, Cineworld, Hollywood Bowl, Emirates Air Line cable car, The Tide riverside park, NOW Gallery, Ravensbourne University London, dozens of bars and restaurants and many pieces of public art. Greenwich Peninsula is just 8 minutes away from the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. Two incredible destinations side by side!

    The O2 is home to the world’s most popular music, sport and entertainment events, and so much more. There’s Icon Outlet, London’s new premium outlet shopping destination. Up at The O2 takes you on an exhilarating 90-minute climb over the roof of the world’s most popular entertainment venue. See a different side of the city, by day, at twilight or sunset. Cineworld, London’s biggest cinema with new 4DX and immersive technology. indigo at The O2, a live performance space. Trampolining at Oxygen Freejumping, bowling at Hollywood Bowl, or choose from over 30 bars & restaurants open daily. It all happens here.

    Up at The O2 continues to run activations and special events in 2021, such as comedy, music and yoga on the roof. On the day upgrades include champagne, drinks and photos. At the summit, you’ll be standing 52 metres above the legendary arena, with 360-degree views across this historic part of London beside the River Thames.

    Icon Outlet at The O2 is one of London’s most exciting retail destinations. Open 7 days a week, you’ll find over 60 superstar fashion and lifestyle brands with up to 70% off RRP every day including, adidas, Calvin Klein, Dune London, G-Star Raw, GAP, Levis, Nike, Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. New openings for 2020 include BOSS, Tommy Hilfiger Kidswear and Haidilao Hotpot.

    ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus brings Mamma Mia! The Party to The O2 in October 2021. The unique entertainment experience puts guests at the heart of the action, with a spectacular show, four-course gourmet Mediterranean meal and an ABBA disco all-in-one.

    Cineworld at The O2 is London’s largest cinema with 19 cinema screens and over 4,500 seats now offering 4DX, VIP, ScreenX and Superscreen options, experience the newest releases at one of the UK’s most technologically advanced cinemas.

    The Tide, London’s first-ever elevated riverside linear park opened in summer 2019 on Greenwich Peninsula. The Tide will eventually stretch 5km in length around the Peninsula. The landscaped trail offers public art installations by exciting artists including Damien Hirst, Allen Jones and Morag Myerscough to landscaped trails for running, walking and meditation points.

    Eltham Palace and Gardens
    Eltham Palace

    Once a favoured medieval palace and then a Tudor royal residence, Eltham Palace was transformed into a striking Art Deco mansion by eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. Discover their stylish home which incorporates original medieval features into an otherwise ultra-modern 1930s design and explore their extravagant lifestyle as you discover the state of the art technology and unusual features of their residence. Explore 19 acres of beautiful historic gardens which were a gold winner at London in Bloom Awards 2017. Discover the intriguing mix of medieval features woven into the landscape. Take time to wander around the Rock Garden with its series of pools and cascades running down to the moat. Cross the moat on London’s oldest working bridge and smell the roses in the sunken rose garden.

    Take an interactive tour of Eltham Palace and Gardens with the free multimedia guide. Play a touch-screen game or hear about 1930s technology and the medieval feasts hosted at Eltham. Choose from an adult or family tour plus BSL and audio-described versions are available.

    Visit Woolwich
    A New Cultural Destination
    Event in Royal Arsenal Woolwich

    Woolwich is an amazing mix of cultures with lots of history and great places to see and visit. There are distinctive and delicious places to eat and drink and some beautiful walks and rambles to be had over commons and through woodland, as well as beside the River Thames.

    A new creative district is emerging at the Royal Arsenal and the town centre is lively and bustling. Transport to and from Woolwich is easy and frequent with great links with the centre of London via Docklands Light Railway (DLR), train, bus and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. When the Elizabeth Line opens, Woolwich will be directly connected to the heart of Central London, with journey times of just 19 minutes!

    Discover Woolwich’s heritage, enjoy festival events, browse the markets, explore the Royal Arsenal and sample foods from around the world.

    Woolwich Works, Woolwich
    Woolwich Works

    Woolwich is embarking on a new chapter as the capital’s next landmark cultural destination. An exciting new cultural quarter Woolwich Works will open on the Royal Arsenal in Summer 2021, a series of landmark historic buildings, to create a 15,000sqm complex of theatre space, rehearsal and performance studios, event venues and places to eat and drink. The site will include a large, flexible venue with excellent acoustics that can host an audience of 1200 seated or 1800 standing, an open-air courtyard for performances and events, rehearsal studios, offices for resident artistic companies, spaces for dinners, weddings and events, and public facilities including a café and bar beside the River Thames. The world-renowned theatre company, Punchdrunk, is just one of the world class residents poised to make Woolwich Works its home. They will join a number of local, national and internationally acclaimed artists, including Europe’s first majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, Chineke!, Woolwich-based Protein Dance and the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.

    Cultural happenings in Woolwich, include the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival that arrives each June with inspiring and extraordinary free outdoor entertainment. Booker prize winner, author Bernardine Evaristo is our first ever Woolwich Laureate, a year-long residency that is part of the Arts Council funded Cultural Destinations programme. The Woolwich Carnival celebrates a sparkling end to the summer in September and at around the same time, some of the area’s most architecturally interesting buildings throw open their doors during Open House London weekend. The London Marathon, which comes pounding down the streets in October 2021. In November, the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, takes place in the impressive former cartridge factory at the Royal Arsenal, is the only fair in London (and largest in the UK) to deal solely in contemporary printmaking. The year closes with a spectacular Winter Warmer in December.

    Festivals in Greenwich
    Festival Food in Greenwich

    Greenwich is an eventful destination with a wide range of arts and music festivals taking place throughout the year. Festival of Hope is a new year-long series of activations & events running until November 2021. Sponsored by The O2 and supported by numerous partners, activations and events include a Children’s Art competition and exhibition, a Photography competition, Rainbow wishing trees, Sound Escapes Festival, Where’s Wally and Giant Monsters Invade London. The Royal Greenwich Festivals get under way in June. The Vitality Big Half gets us running in August with a half marathon from Tower Bridge to Greenwich followed by a celebration of London’s diverse culture, food and music in Greenwich Park. The summer is packed full with Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, London’s biggest outdoor free festival, Greenwich Comedy Festival and Greenwich Book Festival. Events are on and around the river with Totally Thames in September and the London Marathon races through the Royal Borough of Greenwich in October. Greenwich has a great mix of festivals and events including The Luna Cinema and Vegan Vibes GMT at Greenwich Market. Visit Panto at Greenwich Theatre and Greenwich Market for a wintery Greenwich experience.

    New Openings and Updates
    England Originals
    England Historic Cities Campaign in Greenwich

    England’s Historic Cities, which includes Greenwich, has secured further investment from the Discover England Fund for their innovative England Originals project. The project was created in 2018 to encourage more US visitors to explore regional England and has already benefited from over £1m of investment from the fund. This new investment will be used to promote the cities to domestic audiences in 2021 to help with recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

    England Originals brings together 16 of England’s historic destinations under one brand umbrella and promotes them to younger audiences. It does this by combining story-telling and augmented reality with a visitor offer that emphasises fun activities and new experiences set against a backdrop of some of England’s stunning heritage locations.

    The new investment will be used to enhance and expand the visitor offer, produce new inspirational content and deliver a consumer marketing campaign in early 2021. It will also support ongoing collaboration with US tour operators and travel agents for when travel restrictions are lifted and international visitors are able to return.

    Radisson RED London Greenwich The O2

    The Radisson RED London Greenwich The O2 is new to open in 2021. Feel the buzz in London’s hip borough of Greenwich, complete with dreamy riverside views, excellent attractions, and just minutes from central London. Located nearby The O2, the world’s most popular music, sport and entertainment venue, the first Radisson RED hotel in London is set to shake up the neighbourhood.

    Check in to bold and fun hotel rooms that offer all the good stuff—big, plush beds, 24-room service, rain effect showers—designed for a fun stay. Tuck into creative food offerings with a local focus at the all-day restaurant, catch up for drinks at the street-level bar, and explore the fantastic destination.

    LHG (London Hotel Group)

    LHG (London Hotel Group) has won planning permission to convert and extend the former Greenwich Magistrates’ Court and two empty educational buildings into a 293-bed boutique hotel.

    Located within the Ashburnham Triangle Conservation Area in Greenwich, London, project designed by Squire & Partners will retain the Grade II Listed Magistrates’ Court and the two redundant school buildings, as well as reintroducing public access to the Court building and creating new green space and local amenities.

    The ground floor of the former Magistrates’ Court and one of the school buildings will contain front of house hotel services such as bar, restaurant and café, giving the buildings a new life and creating new amenities for both hotel guests and local residents. The new scheme will also include a range of public, semi-public and private green spaces, including a new public square, built around an existing mature tree, and animated by a restaurant or cafe. Further facilities include a gym, pool, conference centres and generous parking spaces.

    The hotel is expected to open in 2022.

    The Elizabeth Line

    The Elizabeth line is due to open in the first half of 2022. The new Crossrail service will reduce the journey time between Woolwich and the West End. The route will eventually pass through 41 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

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