Located in South East London, Greenwich is most famous for giving its name to Mean Time and the Meridian line. In this borough you will find many monuments from Britain’s history from the Royal Observatory to the Cutty Sark, but that’s not all there is to see and do here. From leafy parks to bustling food markets, and located just a short trip from central London, make sure to save time to enjoy all that Greenwich has to offer!
A foot in each Hemisphere at the Royal Observatory
On top of the hill in Greenwich Park you’ll find the Royal Observatory, the birthplace of Greenwich Mean Time. Here, you can learn about how Britain’s early scientists observed the stars, and see the Great Equatorial Telescope, one of the largest telescopes in the world of its kind.
Don’t miss the Planetarium, the only one of its kind in London, where you can watch beautiful HD projections on its dome about the origins of the universe, space exploration, stars, and other celestial phenomena. Check out their programme for special shows for children and talks from leading astronomers.
Just outside the gates lies the Meridian Line at exactly 0° longitude, where you can straddle both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres with one foot in each. When the sun sets, this line is marked by a powerful green laser that soars up into the sky and can be seen from miles around.
Admire the sunset over London from Greenwich Park
Dating back to the 17th century, Greenwich Park is London’s oldest royal park, and is often said to have one of the best views in London. On a sunny day, bring a picnic and grab a spot on the hill to watch the sun set over the London skyline. There are two cafés located within the park, or pick up some delicacies from Greenwich market on your way.
From the vantage point of Greenwich Park, you can see the Royal Observatory and the Old Royal Naval College, which has been at times throughout history a school, a hospital, and a home for retired soldiers. For cinephiles, this building is instantly recognisable for featuring in blockbuster hits such as The King’s Speech, Les Misérables (2012), Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides, and Dark Knight Rises. Further away the Thames spreads out below, with the towers of the Canary Wharf business district, the iconic Shard and the BT tower all visible on the horizon.
Gastronomic delights at Greenwich Market
One of the oldest markets in Britain, there has been a market in Greenwich since 1300, and it has been at its current site since the early eighteenth century. This history is visible in the architecture of the buildings surrounding the market, from the impressive glass and cast iron Victorian roof, to the Regency style buildings, complete with a highly instagrammable traditional market archway.
The food on offer here is far from the traditional British fare however: from Japanese teriyaki, to oysters fresh from the sea, to Ethiopian curries, the huge range of international cuisine here means there is certainly something to please every palate. We particularly recommend the Brazilian churros with dark chocolate sauce and oodles of cinnamon sugar, especially on a cold day.
As well as food, there are arts and crafts stalls, handmade cosmetics, organic soaps, antique stalls, and even a novelty socks shop to peruse – the perfect place to pick up a gift or souvenir. The market is open 7 days a week from 10am – 5.30pm, and in the winter months there is a special Christmas market.
Cycle along the Thames
Greenwich borough is located just next to the Thames, offering excellent opportunities for taking in London’s scenery by bike. With plenty of easy bike rental options available, what better way to see London than on two wheels. Starting from Greenwich, you can choose to go East towards central London, or West out towards the countryside. Check out here some of the top cycling routes around Greenwich as recommended by locals.
Don’t fancy cycling? For an alternative way to see London, we also recommend taking a boat tour along the Thames. From Greenwich Pier, there are a range of cruises setting off at all hours of the day to take you past the landmarks of London’s river from the Tate to Westminster to the Greenwich Peninsula.
Witness history at the Cutty Sark
At its peak in the late 19th century, the Cutty Sark was one of the fastest ships in the British fleet, bringing tea and other goods back from overseas. Today, the ship is elevated above water and protected by a glass canopy, preserving a relic from the controversial history of the British Empire.
Experience London’s only cable car
The iconic Millenium Dome with its distinctive rooftop spires is a key landmark on the London skyline. Since its opening at the turn of the 21st century, the area around the Dome known as Greenwich Peninsula, a former industrial zone, has become one of the new up and coming areas of London with a host of restaurants, bars, and activities.
To appreciate it in all its glory, we recommend taking a trip on London’s only cable car, which offers breathtaking views over the city from a height of 90m. One of the most popular attractions for tourists and Londoners alike, the cable car gives the highest observation point over the Thames, connecting both sides of the river. Both a transport link and an activity in its own right, you can book a 360 Sightseeing Tour that will take you on the full loop.
A riverside pint at the Trafalgar Tavern
What better way to enjoy London than at a traditional British pub? The Trafalgar Tavern is one of the best around and certainly a must for any trip to Greenwich. Overlooking a beachy stretch of the Thames banks, this Victorian pub stands as a tribute to old London, with a statue of Lord Nelson presiding proudly over the establishment.
You have the choice between the cosy wood-panelled interior and an idyllic outdoor area for taking a drink and a traditional pub lunch of fish and chips or Sunday roast. On a sunny day you will find locals and tourists alike here to soak up the rays and admire the views across the river, although be warned, you may have to guard your chips from the sea gulls!
Leave Your Luggage With Stasher Before Visiting Greenwich
Don’t let your luggage hold you back from exploring all that Greenwich has to offer. Stasher offers a plethora of safe and convenient luggage storage destinations all over the British capital. Check out our website to find your ideal London storage location.