Greenwich and the History of Navigation


Visiting Greenwich makes a great day out. It includes the Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum, the Queens House, Royal Observatory, Exhibitions, Planetarium, Arts and Crafts Market, Comedy Club and a broad range of Restaurants, Cafes and Taverns.

Greenwich is also a World Heritage site with a wealth of architecture and art of historical interest.

Most of the attractions are free and one can stand upon the worlds Prime Meridian at 0 degrees Longitude. Admission times and Charges.

Travel to Greenwich includes maps, best parking, public transport and ways to avoid climbing the hill. The History of Navigation and Greenwich is a more extensive exploration of navigation through the ages.

Greenwich Market

The market offers numerous arts and crafts at reasonable prices. Images from inside the market. More Images.

How to find it.

The First Shop in the World

Nauticalia is full of seafaring items. It’s at 25 Nelson Rd, that is South past the market and turn left.

It might sound like an excessive boast.  Then again it does stand at Longitude 00′ 00′ .4′ West.  

The Cutty Sark

Turn left out of the DLR station, along the short mall and then turn left again.

This great Tea Clipper has been recently restored after a fire during a previous attempt at restoration.

The interior is open to view although there is a charge. Admission.

History of the Cutty Sark.

The Royal Naval College

Designed by Christopher Wren, admission is free and is definitely worth a visit. More Information and photographs of the interior.

It is accessible via the Cutty Sark gate or the West Gate. The visitor centre is the  best option as a first port of call. Please see the Sitemap.

This view is from the South with the park at my back. Using the sitemap, exits from the Naval College, are from the Romney Gate which faces the park or the the West Gate (turn right towards the park).

When facing the other way there is Greenwich Park, with the Queens House, the National Maritime Museum,the Royal Observatory and Planetarium up the hill.

Greenwich Park

The Queens House

Formally known as Queen Annes House, it is in fact associated with two Queen Annes. Admission is free. The interior architecture and art works mean that it is certainly worth a visit.

The Queens House,    History of the Queens House,   Pictures of the Inside

The National Maritime Museum

Admission is also free here, and is worth visiting. The Museum.

Images from inside the Museum.  However, please bear in mind that the exhibits do change over time.

Behind these buildings, there is the hill which leads to the Royal Observatory and the Planetarium.

The Royal Observatory and Planetarium

The Royal Observatory houses the Astronomy Centre, the Harrison Timekeepers and the UK’s Largest Refracting Telescope.

Admission to the Astronomy Center is free but there are charges for the  Planetarium and for Flamsted House and Meridian Courtyard.

View the Tourist Information Map and discover that there a number of places where one can stand on the Prime Meridian for free and without queuing.

The red ball at the top is used to mark time (either noon or 1 pm) when it dropped so that ships could set their chronometers. It was used instead of a noon day gun because sound takes time to travel.  The Time Ball

The climb is about 170 feet. That’s about the height of a 18 story building.  The easiest gradient is by the road to the right.  The diagonal route, under the trees has a place to sit about half way up.

The climb can be avoided by travelling around to the plateau beyond, and do the tour in reverse. Please see Travel to Greenwich.

And, you must think I’m daft, if you think I’m going to walk up there.

Turns out you’re right.

Beyond the observatory is a more landscaped park that leads to diagonal roadside parking and the number 53  bus stop.

The West Park

Turning right after the observatory and crossing the road (The Ave) leads to an untended part of the park.

There one can see a statue by Henry More entitled Knife Edge.  It is presently on loan to the park and may be gone by midsummer 2014. Here are two views of the same statue. More on Knife Edge.









Further on, can be seen a view of Our Lady and Star of the Sea.

There is also another view over London.

The Ave

The Ave divides the main park and the West side and is closed to all traffic after dusk.  With the trees acting as a buffer to sound and light, it is very much like being in the countryside.

It is used by cyclists and the occasional skate boarder, so it wise to stay on the pavement/sidewalk.

The Ave continues as King William Walk and at the bottom the welcoming sight of a Tavern.

Greenwich Nightlife

Greenwich has the Up the Creek Comedy Club  on Creek St and numerous Taverns, Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants. Using Google Maps enter any one of those four descriptions. 

You can also specify Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese,Thai, Italian, Spanish and French.  And, there is a traditional Pie and Mash shop.

The nightlife is generally thriving but gentle.  A good place to unwind.


If you get a chance to visit, I hope you enjoy. 🙂


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