A Day Out in Greenwich

Our handy guide to the best way to explore Greenwich. You will need: a minimum of 4 hours, our Day Explorer ticket, and a sense of adventure. 

Getting to Greenwich 

Greenwich is the place to discover sea and space exploration, British heritage, royal history, art and pioneering architecture. The best way to arrive to this must-see location is by river boat. Greenwich is just a short journey from either Westminster or The Tower of London, so sit back and enjoy the views as you coast along the River Thames, before disembarking at Greenwich Pier. Getting to Greenwich is easy; see all of the travel options here.

After docking, it’s time to get exploring. 4 hours is the perfect amount of time to ensure you can enjoy all of the sites, so make sure you arrive early, giving yourself plenty of time to enjoy all that Greenwich has to offer. There’s plenty to do for the whole day and you won’t want to miss out.

Royal Observatory - the home of GMT

The best place to start is the Royal Observatory. Make your way through Greenwich Park, climb the hill and enjoy the view, as London rolls out resplendently in front of you. Home to the Meridian Line and once the home of the Royal Astronomers, the Royal Observatory has ticketed entry, and includes a free audio guide.

There are picture opportunities aplenty here, with a chance for the obligatory selfie on the Meridian Line, as well as exploring the Christopher Wren designed Octagon Room, dating from 1675. Be sure to set aside 1.5 hours for your visit, so you can be sure to learn all you can with time left over to visit the gift shop.

Stand on the Meridian Line

National Maritime Museum

For your next stop, make your way back down the hill from the Royal Obervatory and across the Royal Park to the National Maritime Museum, home to a huge breadth of nautical history and the largest museum of its kind in the world. Allow 15 minutes for your journey there, and reward yourself with lunch at The Parkside Café & Terrace, overlooking the greenery of the park. We recommend 1 hour for your time at the National Maritime Museum. It’s free to visit, so be sure to explore every inch, including seeing the uniform Admiral Nelson was wearing when he was fatally injured at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Nelson’s Trafalgar coat
The uniform coat that Nelson was wearing when mortally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar (Greenwich Hospital Collection)

The Queen's House

A trip to The Queen’s House should be next on your list – it is right next door after all, and the hidden gem of Greenwich. Designed by Inigo jones, it was the first classical building in Britain, and is free to visit.

Whilst there, be sure to see the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, as well as all of the other art works by renowned artists. You’ll definitely want to get a snap of the gorgeous Tulip Stairs, and take a moment to sense the history around you as you walk the corridors once roamed by Tudor royalty. We recommend 45 minutes for your visit to the Queen’s House, and there’s the option for a guided tour too.

Find out about other hidden gems in Greenwich

Cutty Sark

Just a 15 minute walk away is the Cutty Sark, giving you the chance to explore even more of the unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. The last surviving tea clipper and world famous for its record-breaking passages around the globe, the Cutty Sark has ticketed entry and we recommend 1 hour for your visit.

Make sure to get involved with all the interactive exhibits around the ship, and visit the world famous figurehead collection. There’s also the chance to meet the crew, and get to grips with what life was really like on board this world famous ship.

Cutty Sark

Greenwich Pier is a mere one minute walk away from the Cutty Sark so you’ll be well placed to hop back on a boat and continue your onward journey.  

Planning a whole day?

If you have some extra time and you’re itching for even more to do in Greenwich then worry not, the fun hasn’t run out yet!

  • Hunt for a bargain, or a long lost treasure in the world famous Greenwich Market.
  • Sit under the gleaming copper hull of the Cutty Sark and sip away at the drink that made the ship so famous with a Cutty Sark Afternoon Tea.
  • Be sure to wow everyone with your extensive knowledge by booking onto one of our guided tours at The Queen’s House or National Maritime Museum.
  • You can journey into space as well as time by nabbing yourself a ticket for a show in London’s only Planetarium, with expert commentary from one of our astronomers.

What our visitors say

'We had afternoon tea booked for four people it was one of the nicest teas I had had, and the staff were excellent.'
Atinarolyat1, TripAdvisor
'The guides enthusiasm and informative talk really made our day.'
49Craig, Trip Advisor