The attractive suburban ‘village’ of Greenwich stands alongside the River Thames in south east London. Its extraordinary central historic area has been designated the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, where you will find a host of attractions such as the National Maritime Museum and the 19th century tea clipper Cutty Sark. The old buildings and the Royal Park around these sites represent a fascinating historic symbol of England’s artistic, scientific and commercial endeavour from the 17th to 19th centuries. The site also hints at the supremacy of Britain’s naval power over that period.
Greenwich’s architecture includes the Old Royal Naval College designed principally by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor in the ‘English Baroque’ style and The Queen’s House by Inigo Jones, England’s first Palladian building. Both are open to visitors.
The area is full of other heritage attractions too, including the Royal Observatory (home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian), Hawksmoor’s elegant St Alfege Church, the lesser-known Rangers House holding the ‘Wernher Collection’ of art and furniture, and the quirky Fan Museum.
Greenwich also offers visitors free access to London’s oldest enclosed Royal Park. The Park covers a hill with memorable views across the Thames to Canary Wharf and the City of London. There are walks, a playground, flower gardens and a herd of Fallow deer living wild.
With so much to see perhaps it’s best to start at the new Discover Greenwich site, in a renovated Grade II Listed building. This houses the Tourist Information Centre, gallery, café, shop and historical exhibitions.
Individual attractions have their own specific opening times and entry prices. For more information contact Greenwich Tourist Information Centre. Tel: 0870 608 2000. www.visitgreenwich.org.uk