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Home » Top Holiday Destinations » United Kingdom Travel Blog » Things to Do in Greenwich (London Boroughs, England)

Things to Do in Greenwich (London Boroughs, England)

By Nigilesh - July 23, 2020
best things to do in Greenwich

Most of London’s most beautiful places can be found on the east banks of the Thames River. This is historical Greenwich six kilometres downstream of the Tower Bridge, the original base of the Royal Navy in London and the location of England ‘s greatest restoration of historic buildings and parklands. In this listicle, We’ll take a look at the top 10 things to do in Greenwich.

It is also a beautiful place to visit at a walking pace and has plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy and other wonderful art museums and art galleries. If walking is yours, the historical Greenwich Foot Tunnel will take you from the Isle of Dogs on the northern side of the Thames to Greenwich as one of the best free things to do in London. Built 1902, the way to cross the river and take you straight to Cutty Sark is fun and interesting.

Top 10 things to do in Greenwich

  • Old Royal Naval College
  • The Majestic Cutty Sark
  • National Maritime Museum
  • St. Katharine’s Dock
  • Greenwich Park
  • Queen’s House
  • Thames Flood Barrier
  • Greenwich Market
  • Old Royal Observatory and Flamsteed House
  • The O2

1. Old Royal Naval College

The painted Hall and Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College should not be left out for Greenwich. This became the birthplace of Henry VIII. He married Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves and eventually signed an Anne Boleyn Death Warrant. The school previously became replaced by a house owned by Edward I and later Heinrich VII. This surely is one of the best things to do in Greenwich.

Wren completed a new building in 1696 for Charles II, which opened a hospital for handicapped seamen soon afterwards. A significant feature of the chapel is a St. Paul’s Shipwreck altarpiece, made out of wood from the ancient shipyard in Deptford by Benjamin West and around the chair, lectern and font. The Discover Greenwich Visitor Center with its displays that feature over 500 years of shipping history is also located there.

Also read: Things to do in Belfast: All you need to know about the places to visit

2. The Majestic Cutty Sark

The Majestic Cutty Sark
Source: Google Images

Built-in 1869 and was one of the best and quickest boats of its day, the Cutty Sark, the latest tea clippers in the 19th century, travelled between Britain and China once. It is now part of a splendid museum, which was set in Greenwich in 1956 and consists of an impressive collection of figures, prints and sketches from the old vessels and memorable of its various journeys. Underneath the ship can walk for a glimpse of the barnacle of the glorious hull (you can also book a nice afternoon tea trip here). This is one of the best things to do in the United Kingdom.

3. National Maritime Museum

The imposing list of the NMC, the biggest of its kind in the globe. It demonstrates the history of the Royal Navy from the time periods of Tudor and Stuart to the Napoleonic Wars. The museum was opened in 1937 in the two-wings of the Queen’s House with outstanding sea views by William Turner, as well as photographs of Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough’ s famous seafarers. A stroll around the museum would be one of the most artistic things to do in Greenwich.

The huge immersive global map used to show details of some of the most celebrated events in maritime history is of particular interest to the children. The shows connected to the Arctic convoys of the WWII, Lord Nelson, and East India Company are also illuminated. Also worth looking at are tours and educational programs.

4. St. Katharine’s Dock

St. Katharine’s Dock, once regarded as a slum, has become one of London?s most hippy areas, the rejuvenated East End. Many of the old warehouses have been turned into residences. Other significant buildings have all been cautiously restored such as the Dock Master’s Residence, the Dickens’ Inn (1800), and the ivory House (formerly an Italian-like ivory shop).

A majority of innovative buildings were also added, but behind old facades, they were cleverly hidden, and a brand new addition, a food market was also well-known. This is the best spot to get away from the crowds and exploring this historic riparian attraction. 

5. Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park
Source: Google Images

Charles II designed the 183-acre Greenwich Park by the landscape gardener of Louis XIV. Greenwich Park contains numerous amazing sceneries (check out its well-known rose garden) and walking trails. It is the oldest of Lond ‘s eight Royal Parks (it may trace its roots from 1427). The wild animals (including the deer) and the Old Royal Observatory, as well as Prime Meridian line, are there within the grounds for visitors.

The views of the city and of the Thames, especially at dusk, are magnificent (Don’t take the lengthiest way down to the river after the public address system declares the park’s closure).

Next to the park is the Ranger ‘s House with its jewellery, glassware, antique silverware, paintings and also the Wernher Collection. There’s a good cafe on the grounds too. The list of best things to do in Greenwich won’t be complete without Greenwich Park.

Also read: Best Things to Do in Windermere – the largest natural lake in England

6. Queen’s House

Queen's House
Source: Google Images

Queen’s Home, a Palladian home designed by Inigo Jones is a gem of traditional architecture and stands out for its synchronous proportions and fine marble floors as well as cast-iron railings and graven and decorated ceilings. The house started in 1617 but was not finished until 1629 when it was commissioned by James I.

Greenwich Park is the first Renaissance structure in England which represents the whole architecture of the Imperial residential buildings. Visitors can now also enjoy the fabulous collection of the fine art of the asset. There are also great guided tours.

7. Thames Flood Barrier

The Thames Barrier was built over the waterway in the area of Woolwich, 8 miles east of Tower Bridge in 1984. It is  569 yards wide, this practical piece of art is the second-largest mobile flood barrier in the world. And stands over giant piers supporting the steel doors that keep floodwaters out.

While there are no visits to the exact barrier, there is a good view from a waterfront walk, and fascinating displays about the barrier operation and maintenance are available in the visitor centre.

8. Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market
Source: Gooogle Images

The Greenwich Market is a dynamic 1830s arts and crafts market. Once only a market for products, it now has more than 120 stalls selling a variety of products such as antiques, crafts, collectors and food stalls. There is also an annual farmers’ market in this covered market and several restaurants and cafes are within easy reach. It is a nice way to spend a little time ( and money) open seven days a week. This is one of the best relaxing things to do in Greenwich.

Also read: Things to do in Glasgow: All you need to know before your trip

9. Old Royal Observatory and Flamsteed House

The Royal Observatory was built back in the 17th century on the site of the crumbling Greenwich Castle. Nowadays, the observatory is the main reason most people consider visiting Greenwich in the first place. Standing on the Prime Meridian Line, one foot in each hemisphere, certainly was top of my bucket list!

You can find the Prime Meridian marked on the ground in several places in Greenwich. A quirky detail is that the Prime Meridian Line doesn’t really mark the 0° longitude anymore. That’s because the Earth’s crust is always moving. The real prime meridian is about 100 meters to the east, in the park, unceremoniously marked by a litter bin.

10. The O2

The O2 has grown since then into one of London ‘s biggest entertainment and festival centres, formerly known as the Millennium Dome and designed as a celebration of 2000. In fact today, the huge dome-shaped structure involves a music club (IndigO2), the world’s busiest concert hall (O2 Arena), 11 film screens, the exhibition hall (O2 Bubble), cafes, bars, and restaurants

The best views can be found from a breathtaking 624-foot stroll from the top of the hotel and from the O2 experience, which is halfway along a beautiful observation deck. Visiting O2 will surely be one of the entertaining things to do in Greenwich.

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