Did you know that Royal-associated area of London’s Greenwich district is a UNESCO World Heritage site? That’s because this particularly beautiful and historically resonant corner of the UK capital is home to some gloriously grand buildings that overlook the River Thames, many of them designed by the legendary architects Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren.
However, Greenwich may be most keenly known for its role in British maritime history and for the fact that it was here that the world’s 24-hour clock was created and *from* here that time zones were set. So, just what should you set as must-visits for a day spent in Greenwich, during a stay at accommodation near Hyde Park London…?
Things to see and do in Greenwich
The Cutty Sark
First up, there’s the fabulous family-friendly attraction that’s the restored Victorian clipper, the Cutty Sark. In its day, this 19th Century ship was the fastest in the world, in its class. Today, its home is a purpose-built dry dock, enabling it to tower over its own dedicated museum and a handily-next-door Tube station.
In its prime, the Cutty Sark was deployed for trading purposes, transporting to the UK both tea from China (well, it was a British ship!) and wool from Australia. In its present guise, it helps teach all and sundry – especially the young – about British maritime history, as they get the chance to scramble all over its above- and below-decks. Just the thing, then, to work up an appetite ahead of a slap-up meal at one of the restaurants near Hyde Park!
To an extent, this museum – although one of the major ones in the capital – is a bit overlooked. Without doubt, it definitely shouldn’t be. It offers visitors more than 10 galleries of exhibits, including a permanent collection that features fantastic and fascinating items that showcase the brilliant history of Britain’s maritime past, as well the Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and an exhibition dedicated to Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Granted, this attraction requires you scaling the steep hill in Greenwich Park – but it’s definitely worth it. For, the Royal Observatory doesn’t just deliver visitors utterly supreme views of the city below and the River Thames, but also the opportunity to learn all about the history of how, via maritime time-keeping, the world’s 24-hour clock was mastered here and the opportunity to straddle the famed meridian line.
Plus, next door to the Royal Observatory is the Planetarium, where you can book a viewing of shows that explore our glorious galaxy and, well, the rest of the universe. A great time-waster if it’s tipping it down outside, no question, before venturing out at returning to hotels near Bayswater London.
One of London’s official Royal Parks, Greenwich Park is a perfectly pristine acreage of rolling green, ensuring it’s absolutely ideal for both a stroll and a picnic with family and friends (perhaps involving food and beverages bought from outlets near your accommodation – hotels Hyde Park London). That is, of course, when it’s warm and the weather’s playing ball, too.
Boasting a total 74 hectares, it’s also blessed with a deer sanctuary, a supreme Edwardian flower garden and – believe it or not – the remnants of a one-time Roman settlement. Spending a few moments in Greenwich Park as the sun sets is truly the perfect way to wind up your day-out in Greenwich.