December and January Events at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Highlights include the Samuel Pepys Book Slam special with author Will Self, comedian Felicity Ward, and many more; a walking tour to learn more about Pepys and the city in which he lived; and how the Stuarts celebrated Christmas.

A full programme of events for children and adult visitors to the historic Greenwich National Maritime Museum. The Queen’s House is closed for refurbishment until 4 July 2016.

For Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark events, please contact the Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office on 020 8312 6789/6545/6790

Exhibitions and Galleries

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution is the largest ever exhibition about the famous diarist, with 200 objects from national and international museums, galleries and private collections.

Pepys, one of the most colourful characters of the 17th century, witnessed many of the great events that shaped Stuart Britain, bringing them brilliantly to life in his famous and candid diary.

He lived through a time of turmoil which saw kings fighting for their crowns, and medieval London transformed into a world city following the devastation of the plague and the Great Fire. He was a naval mastermind, a gossip and socialite. He fought for survival on the operating table and in the cut-throat world of public life and politics, successfully navigating his way to wealth and status until his luck, intimately entwined with the King’s fortunes, finally ran out.

Walking Tours

The Dreadful Visitation: Pepys’s City and the Great Plague

Explore the London of Samuel Pepys’s era, and discover how 17th-century Londoners dealt with disease, death and burial.

Afterwards, join Museum of London Archaeology’s Human Osteologist, Don Walker, as he reveals what archaeology has uncovered about the plague and the lives of the people it claimed.

The Other Stuart London

Join author and historian, S.I. Martin, for a tour of the City of London to discover the intriguing stories of Samuel Pepys’s ethnically diverse acquaintances; from young runaways and seamen, to African nobles.

Maritime Lecture Series: Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

To accompany the exhibition Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution, join us for a special lecture series in which experts shed light on a range of topics surrounding Pepys, from mapmaking and beauty spots, to what influenced him to keep a diary.

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution

Exhibition curators, Dr Robert Blyth and Kristian Martin, share the stories of one of the most colourful and appealing characters of the 17th century, and witness to the great events that shaped Stuart Britain, brilliantly brought to life in his famous diary.

Adult Events

Book Slam

Book Slam, London’s leading literary nightclub, has an unrivalled reputation for hosting varied bills of the most exciting literary and musical voices around, and this Samuel Pepys Book Slam special is no exception.

Bringing together Will Self, who will be reading a specially commissioned piece in the spirit of Pepys; Chaps Choir; comedian, Felicity Ward; and many more for an evening of word, song and the odd joke promises to bring the great diarist to life for a new generation.

Writing Alternate History

Take part in a tour of Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution and then join author, Jonathan Barnes, for a creative writing workshop, drawing inspiration from your experiences of the exhibition.

Special Family Events

Let’s go wassailing!

What were Christmas holidays like through the ages? The word 'wassail' comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase 'waes hael', which means 'good health', and was also originally a drink made from mulled ale.

Join in this special event and discover Britain’s fascinating history with the fruits and spices used in this traditional Christmas drink.

Smelly Christmas

Pinch your nose and learn about smelly London, and how holiday decorations kept the season fresh before people took regular baths.

Weekly Family Events

Explore Saturdays

Meet a character from the past, and take part in an exciting performance that will bring maritime history to life.

Discover Sundays

Be inspired by our maritime past and explore your personal connections to the sea. Ask staff where the activity is on the day.

Play Tuesdays

Have fun with your family by exploring the Museum through crafts, music, dance and drama. Timed sessions: collect tickets from the Admissions Desk.

Become the Greatest Explorer on The Great Map

The Great Explorer is an interactive game for families. Take one of our tablet devices and set sail across The Great Map to explore distant lands and discover treasures from all around the world.

Where will you visit and what will you find? 

General Information

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.

In preparation for the 400th anniversary in 2016 of its commissioning and design, the Queen’s House will be closed for refurbishment until 4 July 2016.

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Cutty Sark are open daily 10.00–17.00 (last admission 16.30). Cutty Sark’s opening times may be subject to change, please see website for details.

General admission to National Maritime Museum is free. All events included here are free of charge to all visitors unless stated. Admission prices for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online.

The Museum is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For updated information prior to visit please visit our web site or phone 020 8858 442.

For further information or images please contact:

Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office | Tel: 020 8312 6667/6545 | 07960 509 802 | Email: