Greenwich Park is said to be the most historic of all London’s Royal Parks.
The park was originally owned by the Abbey of St. Peter at Ghent. In 1427 its ownership reverted to the crown, and Henry VI gave the park to his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester.
With a stunning view of Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, and a rich history within its 183 acres, there is plenty to explore within Greenwich Park.
The National Maritime Museum
Opened by King George VI in 1937, the National Maritime Museum sits on the site of what was once the Royal Hospital School. Greenwich has long held strong naval links, and had been home to a naval-based art gallery since the 1800s.
The National Maritime Museum is home to more than 2 million items spanning 2,000 years of maritime history, including maritime art, ship plans, ship models, and scientific and navigational instruments.
The Royal Observatory
Commissioned by Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the Royal Observatory was home to the Royal Astronomer from 1675 and continued to be a working observatory until 1947, when the Royal Observatory was moved to Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex.
It is home to the Prime Meridian line, Peter Harrison Planetarium and the Harrison Clocks.
The Queen's House
The Queen’s House was designed by Inigo Jones and was the first Classical building in England.
Originally built for Anne of Denmark, Anne died before the house was finished and it was not until 1636, under Henrietta Maria, that the house was completed.
The Queen's House was used by members of the royal family until 1805, and taken over by the National Maritime Museum in 1934.
Today, it is home to an extraordinary art collection, including works by Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner and Kehinde Wiley.
The Greenwich Park deer
Formerly a hunting park the stunning grounds date back to Roman times. In 1427 it became the first Royal Park to be enclosed and is still home to a small herd of Fallow and Red deer which you will find at the Wilderness Deer Park. Some of the deer are said to be descended from Henry VIII's hunting stock.
Boating lake & playground
The park stretches along a hillside and is on two levels; on the lower level there is a popular children's playground and a boating lake in the north-east corner, close to Maze Hill railway station. A 200 metre long herbaceous border, located at the front of the Queen's House, is London's largest and dates back to 1925.
General James Wole statue and view
On the park’s upper level you can enjoy the sweeping views of the London skyline and River Thames. Just outside the entrance to the Royal Observatory, look out for the Grade II listed statue of General James Wolfe. The statue commemorates his victory against the French at Quebec securing Canada for the British.
Wolfe lived in Greenwich and is buried in a local church. Look closely and you will see the bullet holes in the statue reportedly sustained during World War II from a German Messerschmitt.
If you wander further into the park’s depths you can find Queen Elizabeth I’s fallen ancient oak tree.
This huge oak tree dates back to the 12th century. According to legend Queen Elizabeth I often enjoyed refreshments whilst relaxing in its shade, and King Henry VIII once danced around it with Anne Boleyn.
The Queen's Orchard
Inside The Queen's House you can find a range of heritage fruit trees dating back to the 1500s, including cherries, plums and quince. The Orchard has two ponds, and is one of the park's hidden gems.
The Ranger's House
A Georgian villa that sits between Blackheath and Greenwich, the Ranger's House houses an impressive art collection. Historically the house was the residence of the ranger of Greenwich Park, a royal title with little actual official duty.
The popular Rose Garden originally planted in 1960 is located on the eastern side of the park and borders the Ranger’s House.