Greenwich in South London is bestowed with the important title of Royal, not many towns in the U.K. can claim this privilege. Architecturally it is very important and has many beautiful if not grand, buildings to see. Always busy, it is full of interest both for its views, park, architecture, and its markets. It is of course, known for the fact that it is on the Meridian and that is why we have Greenwich Mean Time!
Greenwich has so many sides to its attractions, well known for the most famous and most obvious, The Greenwich Meridian, this is the imaginary line which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. It is the Zero longitude from which all other lines are mapped, including the latitude! It was actually with delegates from the rest of the world and the American President that chose the site in 1884.
Greenwich has always been a historical site, ever since the Bronze Age. It’s aspect overlooking the River Thames is one of great importance and also of great advantage which is still used today with the river boats that can take you up or down the river to either the Tate or out to the estuary.
History oozes from everywhere here, the park is fabulous and topped off with The Royal Observatory which looks out over the whole of North London and the Borough of Greenwich. The view is considerably different to what it looked like even twenty years ago with the growth of the city in the distance.
The park has ancient trees that would have had Henry VIII galloping around them whilst hunting, soon though there will be Olympic competitors doing the same – hopefully without the hunting! As you walk down from the observatory you are now approaching the National Maritime Museum, which is housed in part of The Queen’s House. It has been here since 1937 and here you will also find many incredible maritime-themed paintings.
Beyond this is the Old Royal Naval College, these buildings are in the Baroque style and built by William and Mary. They started their life as the Old Royal Naval Hospital until it was closed in 1869 and has now taken on this current status. These buildings are so beautiful and when the sun shines, the white (I think) portland stone glows. This is the site of the Royal Tudor Palace that saw the birth of Mary I and her sister Elizabeth I. The Painted Hall and Chapel are open daily from 10:00-17:00 admission is FREE.
The Cutty Sark the tea clipper ship will one day rise again from the ashes and with any luck, will still be housed in the same place. The dry dock near the town centre here is where you would have also seen The Gypsy Moth – tiny in comparison to the Clipper but on an around the world tour at the moment.
The markets, especially the covered craft market is wonderful and you will get many an interesting gift here. You won’t go hungry in Greenwich either there are so many different places to eat and all tastes are catered for. Public transport is of course, the best way to go and as with any London destination then you can check travel details on, http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
Greenwich is in the post code area SE10