This Royal Borough (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the Thames River just outside central London is Britain’s maritime center, with old ties to the kings and queens of England. You can hop on the light rail or train — or a Thames riverboat — to reach the sights of central London, but the charming town has attractions of its own worth exploring.
What We Love
The Foreshore: The Thames foreshore, or bank, across from the Isles of Dogs is the perfect spot to see the grand symmetry of the Old Royal Naval College and its dual domes. Keep your eyes peeled for the remains of a timber jetty from the Tudor era.
Greenwich Park: One of London’s Royal Parks, this green space has unbeatable views over the river to Canary Wharf and the City of London. It’s also a pastoral scene, with deer gathering in the fields and grazing under ancient trees.
Best Known For
Britain’s Naval History: The Old Royal Naval College was built on the site of Placentia, the mostly long-gone royal palace of the Tudors, where King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born. Nearby sits the Cutty Sark, the only tea clipper left in the world.
Prime Meridian: Timekeeping and navigation were standardized here with the adoption of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian, which is marked with a brass line at the Royal Observatory atop a hill in Greenwich Park. It would be a shame to leave Greenwich without snapping a picture of your feet straddling the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
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Who It's Best For
Maritime History Buffs: In addition to the other seafaring attractions, the National Maritime Museum houses extensive galleries dedicated to Britain’s significant and centuries-long seagoing history.
Architecture Lovers: The Naval College was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, while Inigo Jones designed the Palladian masterpiece that is the 17th-century Queen’s House. This grand manor was built by James I for his wife, Anne of Denmark.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You Can't Do It All: Greenwich is a fun day out, but don't expect to see the sights here and also tour any major museums or landmarks in central London on the same day.