8 Reasons Why We Love Greenwich

Greenwich has a magical mix of old and new, from the Cutty Sark historic tea clipper to the capital’s only cable car.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has a vast range of attractions and experiences in this riverside location. You can make a start at the top of Greenwich Park, dating back to Roman times and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it overlooks the National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College. From here, gaze over the River Thames and plan for your day ahead.

The Cutty Sark

The last surviving tea clipper first set sail in 1869. A year later, laden with wine, spirits and beer, she made her maiden voyage to China before returning with a cargo of tea. Reaching speeds of 17 knots (20mph), she visited every major port, trading coal, jute and wool. Hop on board the 85m ship (refurbished after a major fire) and see her 47m mast up close. The ship is raised above ground, so you can explore underneath it. Look out for regular events on board.

Cutty Sark, London, UK
You can now walk underneath the Cutty Sark, the historic tea clipper. (©Visit Greenwich)

Royal Observatory

Founded by Charles II in 1675, the Royal Observatory is home to the Meridian Line, so it's the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium. Walk across an oversized world map, stargaze in London's only planetarium, look through the Victorian refracting telescope and admire Lord Admiral Nelson’s uniform. Outside, you can stand on either side of the Meridian, which means you’ll be in the eastern and western hemispheres at the same time.

The Royal Observatory, London, UK
Stand on the Meridian Line in the courtyard of the Royal Observatory. (©Visit Greenwich)

National Maritime Museum

The world's largest maritime museum covers much of Britain's dramatic history on the high seas from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It's very family friendly, where kids will love the steering simulators and a huge interactive world map. In the Samy Ofer wing look out for temporary exhibitions.

National Maritime Museum, London, UK
Nelson's uniform is on show at the National Maritime Museum. (©NMM)

The O2

The O2 Arena hosts stars from Adele to Neil Young, plus major indoor sporting events. Few people know they can climb over the roof of the huge tent and stand right on top of this entertainment venue. You’ll get geared up with everything that you need for this exhilarating trek at Up At The O2 and be led by experienced guides to the top of the structure. At the summit, you can enjoy 360-degree views of London’s Docklands, The Shard and the Thames Barrier.

Up at the O2, London, UK
For an unusual experience, take a hike over The O2. (©Visit Greenwich)

Thames RIB Experience

There’s another, more thrilling, way to get a look at the view of Greenwich: power past it in a Thames RIB speedboat on an adrenaline-packed thrill trip. There’s a choice of extreme experiences, which depart from Greenwich Peninsula near The O2 and piers in central London. Getting to Greenwich is part of the London sightseeing experience—you can travel there at leisure or with speed.

Thames RIB, London, UK
Here's a dramatic way to cruise the River Thames! (©Thames RIB Experience)

Greenwich Market

There are 120 stalls selling antiques and collectables (Tue; Thur-Fri), and craft and design (Wed; Fri-Sun) at this lively market. It’s a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs such as jewellery made from silver spoons or framed photos of London. It also has food stalls, selling everything from ramen and paella to Ethiopian stew and Brazilian churros.

Greenwich Market, London, UK
Varied stalls at Greenwich Market, from art to handmade jewellery. (©Visit Greenwich)

Emirates Air Line

London’s only cable car connects The O2 in Greenwich on the south bank of the river with the Emirates Royal Docks on the north. It takes 10 minutes to cross the river and on your journey you will see The O2, Canary Wharf and the Thames Barrier, which was built in 1982 to prevent London from flooding.

Emirates Air Line, London, UK
Whiz over the area of Greenwich in your Emirate Air Line cable car. (©TfL)

The Fan Museum

This unusual little museum packs in thousands of fans from all around the world and from as far back as the 11th century. Who would have thought there's so much variety? From a 1978 fan with sketches by Salvador Dali, to one painted by Walter Sickert and intricate carved bone from China. It's also got a gorgeous cafe, too, with afternoon tea.


Click here for more of London's attractions and museums.