Have You Ever Been to Greenwich?
Have you ever been to Greenwich? Nope, not Greenwich, Connecticut! And no, not Greenwich Village in New York. But, Greenwich England. As in Greenwich Mean Time?!
Greenwich might not be on your radar yet as somewhere to go when you visit London, but it should be! Located on the South-east side of London, Greenwich is connected to other areas in and around London through the docks. An easy and very enjoyable way to get to Greenwich from London is by boat. And, while the trip does take about an hour, it’s a beautiful trip so you won’t mind the time!
Why you should visit
Whether you go by boat or by rail, Greenwich is easily accessible! We were fortunate enough to be staying in Greenwich during our visit to London. There are many reasons that you’ll want to visit Greenwich!
- If you happen to be a fan of maritime history ~ Greenwich England is the place for you!
- Or, if you love beautiful gardens ~ Greenwich is the place for you!
- If you enjoy good food and a vibrant market ~ Greenwich is definitely the place for you!
- Or maybe, if you want to see a lovely English village ~ yep, Greenwich is it!
- And, finally, if you want a family-friendly village to stay or visit ~ well, you know…
We kind of happened upon Greenwich England accidentally. It was not on our radar, and we, quite frankly, had no plans to visit the area. But, about 30 minutes before we left for the airport to catch our flight out, I received an email saying that our Airbnb apartment had been cancelled! I thought it was a joke ~ but, no! Unfortunately it was real. The customer service at Airbnb, who by the way were extremely nice and helpful, actually found the apartment for us. It was on the complete opposite side of London than we were before, but it was a nicer apartment. All that to say, we found ourselves staying in Greenwich!
Where to go & What to do
The apartment we were staying in was about a block or so from Greenwich Park. And, we had to go through the park to get to the town area and the tube station. So, everyday at least twice, we found ourselves walking through Greenwich Park! It was absolutely beautiful. We were there in June and the flowers were just gorgeous. There was a big hill going down into town that was fun to go down (and not so fun on the long walk home). We found this park to be a very well used space, which I loved. There were folks walking to work, folks walking their dog(s), there was an exercise boot camp that met there a few times during the week we were there.
In the middle of the park, we found the Royal Observatory.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich
The Royal Observatory Greenwich is the home of world time. You’ve heard of Greenwich Mean Time right? This is the spot. Time here is 0:00, and everywhere else in the world is based off of this spot! So, Florida, where I live is – 6 hours GMT, meaning we are 6 hours behind Greenwich mean time (or GMT).
This museum is also the home to the Prime Meridian. This is the exact spot (or line) that divides our planet into the Eastern Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere. So, the Prime Meridian is a line of longitude that is defined as 0 degrees. Everywhere east and west, spans out from this one area. Pretty cool!
There is a great tour you can go on, which I highly recommend. And, there is a really interesting museum that you can walk through at your own pace.
Travel Tip: If you’re traveling with young kids, bring a ball and some snacks. After spending some time at the Observatory, go out and enjoy the park and let them run off some of their energy!
National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House
The Maritime Museum ” is the largest museum of its kind in the world, filled with stories of exploration and human endeavour.”(1) This museum tells the fascinating story of Britain’s nautical history. One of the best things ~ the museum is FREE! Throughout the year they host special lecturers, musical events and more, so check out their calendar before heading over.
Travel Tip: The Maritime Museum is busiest from 12:00 – 3:00pm. So plan your visit for first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon. You’ll be able to avoid the biggest crowds!
Another interesting stop just outside Greenwich Park is the Queen’s House. You may be confused, because this obviously isn’t Buckingham Palace! This palace was built back in the 1600’s for Anne of Denmark (James I’s wife). Unfortunately, Anne died before the construction was completed. So, the construction of the palace was actually finished by a later royal. The palace just reopened to the public in July of 2016, so we unfortunately just missed it!
“The Queen’s House is now home to a collection of great artworks, including paintings by William Hodges, George Stubbs, Hans Holbein, William Hogarth and Thomas Gainsborough. There’s also a large collection of work by Dutch maritime artists the Van de Veldes, who had a studio here for 20 years, starting in the 1670s.” (2)
Travel Tip: If you’re looking to get married in England, you can actually rent out the Queen’s House for your event! How cool would that be!!
The Cutty Sark is probably the most popular sight visited in Greenwich England. Set in the middle of a busy square, it’s hard to miss this stunning ship! This historic tea clipper was re-opened in 2012 after extensive restoration. And, it’s fascinating to wander around it.
Travel Tip: The Cutty Sark is kid-friendly! It is very interactive, so your little ones will have a great time exploring it!
Visit Greenwich England!
So, have I convinced you yet? If not, here’s a couple parting shots to make you reconsider! The Food! We had some great food while we were there. Some of it was traditional English, like these fish and chips. But, we found some fantastic sushi and some incredible creme brulee in Greenwich!
Hopefully, if you’re heading over to London anytime soon, you’ll consider hanging a right and heading to Greenwich! Whether you take the boat over or the tube, it’s easy to get there and easy to get around. I think you can easily find something for pretty much everyone!
So, make some plans to Visit Greenwich England!
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