Greenwich London: 7 Reasons to Visit!

When you’re in England, trying to choose from the staggering list of places to visit, you definitely won’t regret spending a few hours in Greenwich, England to escape the hectic pace of Central London.

The borough of Greenwich is a vibrant section in London on the south bank of the River Thames. It’s quite a large borough but easy enough to get to the city center and main attractions. Greenwich Park is situated on a hilltop with the most stunning views of the River Thames and the City of London. Greenwich is known for its maritime and scientific history, lovely markets, and a fantastic park boasting impressive views of London.

visit greenwich park with kids

Situated on the hilltop with dramatic views of London, is the Royal Observatory which is the site of the Greenwich meridian line. The meridian line represents the Prime Meridian of the world, Longitude Zero (0° 0′ 0″).  Every place on earth was measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. Also, the Greenwich harbor is home to the Cutty Sark, a restored 19th-century ship, and the National Maritime Museum.

Greenwich Park

One of London’s eight Royal Parks, Greenwich Park is filled with maritime history and lovely restaurants and cafes. From the top of Greenwich Park you can enjoy one of the most impressive views of London.

greenwich observatory park with kids

Greenwich Park is famous for housing the Prime Meridian Line, the Royal Observatory, and is part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site.

View of the Greenwich Observatory

Visit the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is the only surviving tea clipper in the world. She is moored in the centre of Greenwich, close to Greenwich Park.

cutty sark ship in greenwich london

cutty sark london - interior views

She was built in 1869 to carry tea back from China, and has travelled the globe visiting every major world port. The Cutty Sark was one of the fastest and last of the sailing clipper ships.

things to do in greenwich london

visit greenwich london - cutty sark

The amazing restoration and impressive displays, allow you to view the entire ship, including below the water line. There are lots of interactive areas for children of all ages, and as you walk around, you cannot help but imagine this magnificent ship at sea.

under the cutty sark in greenwich

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich

The Royal Observatory is where the historic Prime Meridian Line is located. The Prime Meridian Line is where east meets west at Longitude 0° and literally everywhere else on the planet is measured from this very line. This is one of the most interesting museums in London, with all kinds of old telescopes and inventions to track the stars and measure the earth.

The royal observatory in greenwich london

The Royal Observatory also serves as the exact point of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), meaning all time is either officially set ahead or behind this line. The Royal Observatory highlights three areas: Astronomy, Time, and Navigation, explaining how they interconnect. We learned how important the accurate measurement of time is on both land and sea.

Of course we took the obligatory photographs with one foot in the western hemisphere and one foot in the eastern hemisphere.

prime meridian line pictures

Straddling the prime meridian in greenwich londonBoth sides of the prime meridian in Greenwich

National Maritime Museum

This is the largest maritime museum in the world, and is filled with historical treasures and inspirational tales from life at sea. There are special areas and activities to keep children of all ages entertained, and entrance is free.

national maritime museum greenwich

Old Royal Navel College

The Old Royal Naval College holds an impressive 500 years of history. There’s a permanent exhibition with several historical artifacts and plenty of interactive exhibits too. Free tours are offered multiple times a day. If architecture is your jam, you’ll be in heaven browsing the impressive buildings designed in the 18th century by Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect who designed St Paul’s Cathedral.

royal naval college in greenwich london

Greenwich London Markets

This bustling indoor market dates back to 1737 and is the only market in London located on a World Heritage site. We entered the market down a cobbled walkway, and were immediately greeted with an array of lovely stalls selling original handmade goods, clothing, food and drinks.

greenwich market food stalls and graffiti art

The street food trucks were located outside the market and we were thrilled to find them; the falafel wraps were outstanding!

Visiting Greenwich: Hidden Gems & Insider Secrets

  • How do I get to Greenwich? From anywhere in London, you can hop on the Underground (the Tube), a bus, or catch a scenic riverboat cruise along the Thames from central London. You can walk, but it’s quite a long way from central London.
  • Is the Greenwich Observatory crowded? It depends on the season, but sometimes it can be very busy. You can skip the crowds at the Prime Meridian Line and head to the less-known Eastern Hemisphere marker nearby for a quieter experience. Also, consider visiting Greenwich early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the busiest times.
  • Can I explore Greenwich by bike? Rent a bike and pedal your way through Greenwich’s scenic paths, including the Thames Path and the picturesque Greenwich Peninsula. It’s a fun and eco-friendly way to see the sights.
  • What’s the best time to visit Greenwich? While Greenwich is charming year-round, consider visiting in the spring or autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds. Plus, you’ll get to see the park’s changing foliage.
  • Can I take a boat ride on the Thames to Greenwich? For a leisurely boat tour, you can take a riverboat cruise from central London to Greenwich Pier. You’ll see stunning views of the city skyline and iconic landmarks along the way.
  • What are other cool things to do in Greenwich? You can explore quite a few interesting things in Greenwich, like the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, a “secret” passage that links Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs. There’s also the Thames Barrier Park, a modern park with panoramic views of the river and the iconic Thames Barrier. The Barrier helps manage tidal flow for the Thames River.

visit greenwich park in the fall

  • Can I visit Greenwich on a budget? For sure. Many of Greenwich’s top attractions, including Greenwich Park and the National Maritime Museum, offer free admission. You can also save money by taking advantage of discounted travel passes and exploring the area on foot or by bike.
  • Where can I find the best views of London from Greenwich? Head to the top of Greenwich Park for panoramic views of London’s skyline, including iconic landmarks like the Shard, the London Eye, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. You can also climb to the top of the Royal Observatory for an even higher vantage point.
  • What movies have been filmed in Greenwich? There are quite a few, most of them were filmed with the iconic Old Royal Naval College in the background. You’ll recognize the College’s many rows of columns in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, James Bond’s Skyfall, Les Misérables, The Dark Knight Rises, and Thor: The Dark World. The Marvel superhero film features scenes filmed in Greenwich.

If you have more than 2 days in London or want to expand your London itinerary, Greenwich should be on your list.

What is your favorite thing to do in Greenwich, London?

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*** This article is sponsored but all opinions are my own***

About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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