May Events at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Learn about the history of aerospace with our interactive new exhibition, Above and Beyond, opening 27 May. Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle opens 20 May to mark the centenary of the largest naval battle of the conflict, with a Maritime Lecture Series focusing on Jutland. You can also enjoy events held at the Museum as part of the Greenwich Book Festival.

The National Maritime Museum in historic Greenwich offers a full programme of events for children and adult visitors in May.

The Queen’s House is closed for refurbishment until summer 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 Events

Above and Beyond

Produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing, Above and Beyond is a ground-breaking new exhibition about the wonders of flight and mankind’s remarkable journey to space.

Created in collaboration with NASA, this exhibition hopes to inspire the next wave of engineers, pilots and astronauts by taking visitors on an exciting journey through the past, present and future of aerospace in the most interactive exhibition on the subject ever to tour.

Packed full with immersive simulations, interactive design challenges and visionary concepts for the future, you can learn how to fly like a bird with Spread Your Wings, take an Elevator to Space and enjoy the view of Earth from above, or go on a Marathon to Mars and see how your body would cope on the long-haul trip to the red planet.

Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle

As part of the National Maritime Museum’s commemoration of World War One, this new exhibition marks the centenary of the largest naval battle of the conflict – the Battle of Jutland.

Involving a total of 279 ships on 31 May 1916, the North Sea bore witness to ‘Der Tag’, a major clash between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet. Both sides suffered heavy losses in ships and men, but despite being the biggest naval surface engagement to date Jutland was one of the most keenly-felt disappointments of the war, with neither side achieving a decisive victory.

Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle takes visitors beyond the action of the battle and uncovers stories of the aftermath, from the incredibly personal accounts of the sailors and their families, to the broader views of the nations and navies on either side of the conflict and the media reports driving them.

Dates: From 20 May | Venue: National Maritime Museum, London | Times: 10.00-17.00 | Admission: Free

Greenwich Book Festival

Royal Museums Greenwich is delighted to be working with the Greenwich Book Festival, part of the Royal Greenwich Festivals, for the second year.

Running at the National Maritime Museum 27-28 May, visitors will be able to enjoy workshops, book-themed performances and events with guest authors.

Tristan Gooley: How to Read Water

Join Tristan Gooley, author of the award-winning The Natural Navigator and Sunday Times bestseller The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs, as he discusses his new book, How to Read Water: Clues, Signs and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea. This will be followed by a book signing.

Dates: 27 May | Times: 13.00-14.45 | Venue: Lecture Theatre, National Maritime Museum | Age: Adult | Admission: £6 adult | Tickets are available from

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson: Cast Away

In this remarkable talk, Charlotte McDonald-Gibson, a foreign correspondent covering Europe for The Independent and Time Magazine, discusses her new book.

Cast Away: Stories of Survival from the World’s Deadliest Voyage is the story of the European migration crisis in the Mediterranean through the stories of 15 people caught up in the turmoil. This will be followed by a book signing.

Dates: 28 May | Times: 12.00-13.30 | Venue: Lecture Theatre, National Maritime Museum | Age: 14+ | Admission: £6 adult | Tickets are available from

Walking and Talking Workshop with Ania Bas

As part of the National Maritime Museum’s Travellers’ Tails programme, join artist Ania Bas to explore the Museum’s collection and venture outside to Greenwich Park for this creative workshop.

Using Museum objects and discussions within the group as inspiration, participants are invited to create short stories and flash fiction motivated by what they have seen. Note: Please bring a pen and paper with you and make sure to wear sensible footwear as part of the walk will take place outdoors.

Dates: 27 May | Times: 11.00-12.00 | Venue: Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum | Age: Adult | Admission: Free, but booking advised as spaces are limited

Special Events

Maritime Family History Study Day

Led by our expert staff, this study day introduces the Caird Library’s collections: the world’s largest collection of merchant navy family history resources.

Sessions include an introduction on basic conservation of family history records and workshops to enhance genealogical research skills.

Dates: 27 May | Times: 11.00-16.00 | Venue: Caird Library, National Maritime Museum | Age: Adult | Admission: £27 adult, £20 concession

Half-Term Activities

Celebrate the opening of our new exhibition, Above and Beyond: learn about space, ships and spaceships as you take part in this workshop, and help build amazing top-secret flying, floating and sinking machines.

Dates: 30 May–4 June | Times: 11.00-13.30, 13.30-16.00 | Venue: Learning Space, National Maritime Museum | Age: Suitable for all ages | Admission: Free

Maritime Lecture Series

To accompany the exhibition, Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle, join a special lecture series led by historians, curators and experts who will shed further light on life in the Royal Navy during the First World War. Each lecture lasts one hour, followed by a Q&A over refreshments.

The Royal Navy in the First World War and the Significance of the Battle of Jutland

The First World War is known for its harrowing battles on land and in the trenches. However, in the lead-up to war, the Admiralty were hailed as national heroes – as if in Nelson’s image. Admiral Lord West (Britain at Sea, BBC Radio 4) introduces the significance of the Royal Navy in the lead up to the Battle, and how the Battle itself did not lead to the decisive victory it was hoped for.

Jutland Jack

In the absence of a conclusive victory at Jutland, Britain focussed on its heroes, and none were more heroic than that of working class hero, Jack Cornwell.

Join Christine Riding, Head of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich, as she shares how ‘Jutland Jack’ became a posthumous national hero.

Weekly Family Events

Character encounters

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?

Take a photo and share your adventure with us @NMMGreenwich #greatmap

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 Summer 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 4422.


For further information or images please contact: Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office Tel: 020 8312 6789/6545/6790 | 07960 509802 | Email: