Greenwich is a famous maritime district of south east London - 5.5 miles (8.9 km) from central London. An area of great historical importance, the town centre contains Maritime Greenwich - one of London's four UNESCO World Heritage sites - known for its naval history, connections with the Royal Family and as the location from which the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) is derived.
The major attractions are in the town centre, on the bank of the River Thames at the western end of the larger Royal Borough of Greenwich, which also includes Eltham and Woolwich. In the north of the borough, the Greenwich Peninsula (also known as North Greenwich) is home to the O2 Arena. Nearby Blackheath is a leafy area of grand historic homes and, whilst located in the London Borough of Lewisham, is easily accessible from Greenwich town centre.
Maritime Greenwich is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is centred around Greenwich Park, the Old Royal Naval College, the 17th-century Queen's House, Royal Observatory, and the historic town centre. The site represents important examples of the architecture of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century at an important stage in the evolution of European architecture. The Queen's House was the first Palladian building in England while the Old Royal Naval College is seen as an outstanding example of English Baroque architecture.
Aside from outstanding examples of architecture, the World Heritage Status recognises the important role that Maritime Greenwich played in Britain's early modern history as it developed into a naval superpower and in major scientific endeavour. The Royal Observatory played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation and led to the establishment of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as world standards.
Most of the attractions that make up Maritime Greenwich are free to visit, with only the Royal Observatory charging for entry. Even if you choose not to pay to enter the Observatory, it is worth climbing the hill in Greenwich Park where it is located to enjoy the spectacular views of London. Visitors can get a good appreciation of the World Heritage Site by walking around the town centre - especially along the river by the Old Royal Naval College.
Greenwich is a district of great historic importance. The area is home to a number of world-renowned visitor attractions - the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Old Royal Naval College and Greenwich Observatory are all frequently used to promote London as a travel destination. The Old Royal Naval College is often used by film crews - especially to represent grand British settings and for period films - due to its grand English Baroque-style architecture.
Despite being close to central London, Greenwich's large park, open spaces and riverside setting can make the area feel like it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The town centre brings together in one place many of the elements that attract visitors to London in the first place - historic sites, fascinating museums, traditional buildings and stunning views. This makes the area popular with tourists - particularly in the summer, when both visitors and Londoners take advantage of the good weather by relaxing in Greenwich Park (with stunning views of the city) and walking along the riverfront. Throughout the year, the popular Greenwich Market attracts visitors keen to pick up souvenirs and local art or grab street food. Outside of the town centre, there are a number of attractions dotted around the largely residential borough.
The history that attracts visitors dates back centuries - Greenwich has been inhabited since the Roman times, although it existed as nothing more than a small fishing town for many years. In the medieval era, kings visited the area to hunt and a royal hunting lodge was sited in Greenwich since at least the year 1300 during the rule of Edward I. Subsequent monarchs continued to visit the area and the grand Palace of Placentia, surrounded by the Royal Park, was built on the site of what is now the Old Royal Naval College in 1447. The palace had great historical importance as the birthplace of Henry VIII and his daughters Mary I and Elizabeth I. The palace played a key role in the lives of these Tudor monarchs - for Henry it became his principal London seat and it was the site from which Elizabeth planned the Spanish Armada campaign in 1588. The presence of the palace led to Greenwich being chosen as the site for the Royal Observatory, which led to the establishment of Greenwich Mean Time as an internationally recognised standard.
The palace fell into disrepair after the English Civil War and was eventually demolished, with plans to build a new grand palace. These plans were only partially realised and were eventually incorporated into plans for the construction of a grand Royal Naval Hospital, which later became the Royal Naval College between 1873 and 1998. The College, the important advancements in navigation developed at the Royal Observatory and the location of Greenwich as a safe anchorage in the river have all contributed to the area's naval heritage. In recognition of this, the National Maritime Museum was established in the town in 1937 and the famous Cutty Sark tea-clipper was docked in Greenwich as a museum ship in 1954.
During the industrial revolution, Greenwich sat at the at the heart of London's docklands - once the world's largest port. Large parts of the Borough of Greenwich along the river outside of the town centre were taken over for industrial use, and factories and warehouses lined the banks of the River Thames. Redevelopment of these former industrial sites has been kinder to Greenwich than many parts of the London Docklands, although Greenwich Peninsula is still home to unused and abandoned former industrial space. Part of this redevelopment saw Greenwich Peninsula chosen as the site for the construction of the Millenium Dome (now the O2 Arena), which housed a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millenium.
As part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, it was announced that the Borough of Greenwich would gain Royal Borough status - recognising the area's historic links with the Royal Family. Also in 2012, Greenwich was a venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Games - with the O2 Arena hosting basketball and gymnastic events and Greenwich Park hosting equestrian events and the modern pentathlon.
Tourist Information CentreEdit
Greenwich is 5½ miles east of central London, on the south bank of the River Thames. Because of congestion driving is not recommended, but there are multiple ways of getting to Greenwich from central London by public transport.
Greenwich town centre is best accessed by DLR, National Rail or riverboat services (note: Greenwich station and Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich station are two separate stations, approximately 10 minutes walk apart). Visitors to Blackheath should travel via National Rail. Visitors to Greenwich Peninsula should use the tube.
Several companies run river tour boats from central London piers at Westminster Bridge, the Millennium Wheel and the Tower of London, to Greenwich Pier which is adjacent to Greenwich town centre and within walking distance of the all the main attractions. £6-8; 33% discount to Travelcard holders.
Thames Clippers commuter service offers an infrequent service, but is quicker and better value (£4.55, 33% off for Travelcard holders).
By Docklands Light Railway (DLR)Edit
This automated rail system runs from central London terminals at Tower Gateway (a short walk from Tower Hill station) and Bank (with interchange to the London Underground). Catch a train bound for Lewisham and get off at Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich station in the town centre. Because there is no driver on these trains and most of the route is elevated, riding at the front of the train affords a fantastic view of east London. Travelcards valid.
For Greenwich town centreEdit
1 Greenwich station (travelcard zones 2/3, with connections to the DLR) is the nearest National Rail station to the centre of Greenwich, a ten minute walk to the town centre. Train services are a quick option for getting into Greenwich from central London - journey times between Greenwich and London Bridge stations (zone 1, with connections to the London Underground) are just 8 minutes. Travelcards are valid on all services.
Weekday services are:
- Four trains per hour in each direction to/from Cannon Street station. Train calls at London Bridge and Deptford. Services operated by Southeastern Railway.
- Two trains per hour in each direction to/from Luton Airport station, via central London. Train calls at stations including St Pancras International, London Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge and Deptford. Services operated by Thameslink.
Services can be less frequent at the weekend and can be amended or cancelled altogether due to planned engineering works. It is advisable to check weekend services in advance on the National Rail website or with staff at any railway station.
National Rail services to 2 Blackheath station (zone 3) are the main way to visit Blackheath village. On weekdays, four trains per hour in either direction serve the station from Charing Cross station (in London's West End) - calling at Waterloo East, London Bridge and Lewisham. Services operated by Southeastern Railway.
The London Underground's Jubilee line serves North Greenwich station (zones 2/3), which primarily caters for visitors to the O2 Arena on the Greenwich Peninsula. The station is a 20-minute bus ride away from Greenwich town centre (bus route 188) so visitors to Greenwich's main attractions are better off taking DLR, National Rail or riverboat services to Cutty Sark station, Greenwich station or Greenwich Pier instead. It is possible, however, to walk from here along the Thames Path to Greenwich town centre in about 45 minutes, although this route includes a stretch of industrial land.
Most visitors to Greenwich will remain within the town centre, where all attractions are within easy walking distance of each other and both the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich DLR station and Greenwich Pier. Note that the Royal Observatory is up a short but steep hill.
Further afield, travelling between destinations within the Royal Borough of Greenwich is best accomplished by bus or rail, depending on your location.
The use of a meridian line to identify where you are on the earth and assist with navigation dates back to the Ancient Greeks in 276 BCE. In the millenia that followed, multiple meridians were set up as different countries created their own (running through their own countries, of course) and by the 19th century the prevalence of international trade and travel by sea meant that the use of multiple meridians had the potential to cause confusion. In 1851, Royal Astronomer Sir George Airy established a new meridian running through the Royal Observatory, which was adopted as Great Britain's prime meridian. Britain's dominance in world trade meant that by 1884 over two-thirds of ships used it as their reference point on charts and maps, leading to the International Meridian Conference voting to establish it as the global standard later that year.
It is from this point that the Eastern and Western Hemispheres converge - meaning that if you straddle the Meridian Line, you are standing in both hemispheres at once! The brass marker laid down as a reference to the Prime Meridian is today 102 metres to the west of the prime meridian used today by satellites to determine GPS, but that doesn't stop visitors queuing for photos of it anyway!
See the Meridian Line for free If you would rather not pay entry to view the meridian line inside the Royal Observatory, there is a plaque and silver markings which work just as well for photos just outside the bottom of Greenwich Park, at the junction of Park Vista and Feathers Place.
Greenwich town centre is the home of several interesting tourist attractions. The combination of Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory, the Queens House and the Royal Naval College make up Maritime Greenwich, which is a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Outside of this core area, there are further attractions across the wider Royal Borough of Greenwich.
- 1 The Cutty Sark, King William Walk (Adjacent to Greenwich Pier), ☏ . Daily 10AM-5PM, closed 24-26 Dec. A preserved tea and wool clipper built in 1869 which set the record for passage from Australia under sail. The ship was damaged by fire on 21 May 2007, but much of the ship's structure and rigging had already been removed as a conservation and renovation project had been underway since 2006. The site reopened in 2012 with changes to the display of the ship including raising the entire vessel so that now visitors can walk the underneath. £13.50.
- 2 The Fan Museum, 12 Croom's Hill, SE10 8ER (DLR: Cutty Sark/Greenwich), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu–Sa 11AM-5PM; Su noon–5PM. The world's largest fan museum, for those who are big fans of fans. £4 adults, £3 children 7–16 yr.
- 3 Greenwich Park. 6AM-sunset. Situated on a hill rising up from Greenwich town centre, the park offers impressive views from the hilltop across the River Thames to Docklands and the City of London. The park also provides a setting for several historic buildings, including the Royal Observatory, the old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House. Free.
- 4 The National Maritime Museum, Romney Rd, SE10 9NF (DLR: Cutty Sark), ☏ . Daily 10AM-5PM, closed 24-26 Dec. Museum devoted to the maritime role in Britain's history. Contains the UK's national collection of Maritime artefacts (although do not expect much in the way of whole ships). One of the buildings housing the museum is the Queens House, built by Inigo Jones as the first Palladian building in England. Free.
- 5 The Royal Observatory, Flamsteed House (in the middle of Greenwich Park), ☏ . Daily 10AM-5PM, closed 24-26 Dec. The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian line, this is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. It was founded by Charles II in 1675 and is, by international decree, the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium (at the stroke of midnight GMT as measured from the Prime Meridian). Now a detached part of the National Maritime Museum, it houses an impressive display and a planetarium built in 2007. There are several different star shows per day and are well worth the money, especially as it's now the only celestial performance of its kind around, after the London Planetarium completely converted to Madame Tussauds. Free for entry to the observatory, £15 entrance for the Meridian Line and Flamsteed House, planetarium shows separate £8 (combined tickets available).
- 6 , Old Royal Naval College, 2 Cutty Sark Gdns, SE10 9NN, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Painted Hall and Chapel daily 10AM-5PM, closed 24-26 Dec. Built by Christopher Wren in 1694 as the Greenwich Hospital for the relief and support of seamen and their dependents and for the improvement of navigation. It became the Royal Naval College in 1869. In 1999 the University of Greenwich moved in, and was joined by Trinity College of Music in 2001. Best known for its Painted Hall, with elaborate ceiling and wall paintings executed by Sir James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726. Free.
- 7 Ranger's House, Chesterfield Walk, SE10 8QX, ☏ . At Blackheath, the Ranger's House maintains a large ceramic collection. Adults £6.70, children £4.00, concessions £6.00.
- 8 Emirates Aviation Experience, Edmund Halley Way, SE10 0FR (next to the Greenwich Peninsula terminal of the Emirates AirLine), ☏ (Monday-Friday), (Saturday-Sunday), ✉ email@example.com. Winter 10AM-6PM, summer 10AM-7PM. For families and aviation enthusiasts, Emirates has created an interactive exhibition about how their A380 planes operate. Upgraded tickets are available that give up to 4 people the opportunity to experience a flight simulator in either an A380 or B777 cockpit. There is also an on-site cafe and souvenir shop.
- 9 Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, The Ecology Park Gatehouse, Thames Path, John Harrison Way, London SE10 0QZ (a 15-minute walk from North Greenwich station), toll-free: . W-Su 10AM-5PM. A hidden-away green space and wildlife haven in the middle of urban Greenwich. Comes alive in the summer with brightly coloured insects and birds. Free.
- 10 Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE, ☏ . 4 Nov-31 Mar 2013 Su 10AM-4PM garden, house closed. One of the most notable art deco buildings in London which was built and owned by the Courtaulds family of textile fame. Administered by English Heritage. adults £6.20, children £3.70, concessions £5.60.
- 11 Charlton House, Charlton House, Charlton Road, London SE7 8RE (close to Charlton Railway Station (trains from Greenwich)), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-10PM; Sa 9AM-5PM (closed bank holidays). Completed in 1612, the finest and best preserved Jacobean mansion in London.
- 12 The Valley (Charlton Athletic FC), The Valley, Floyd Rd, London SE7 8BL (close to Charlton Railway Station (trains from Greenwich)), ☏ . Watch League One football during the football season. Normally possible to buy tickets at the gate but they can be booked in advance online to avoid disappointment. Perhaps the best way to avoid the tourists and enjoy an afternoon with local fans!
- 13 Severndroog Castle, Castle Wood, Shooters Hill, London SE18 3RT, ☏ . Th F Su 12:30-4:30PM (11AM-3PM November-March). An 18th-century folly built as a memorial to Sir William James by his widow. Today you can climb the 86 steps to the top of the castle for amazing views over London and seven different counties. Adults £3; children £2.50.
- 1 Greenwich Heritage and Meridian Tours. Operated by the Greenwich Tour Guides Association, the original guiding organisation that has operated in Greenwich for 25 years. Walking tours take place twice a day (every day, excluding 24-26 Dec, 1 Jan and London Marathon Day). No need to book in advance, buy tickets on the day from the meeting point at the Discover Greenwich Tourist Information Centre. Runs two tours: The Meridian Tour (noon) which includes a scenic walk to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park - more energetic of the two walks but doesn't go into any attractions. The Greenwich Highlights Tour (2:15PM) which doesn't go up the hill but enters the chapel of the Royal Naval College.
- 2 Greenwich Royal Tours (meets outside the Greenwich Visitors Centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Runs a range of more in-depth tours including Greenwich Day Tour, Greenwich Highlights Half Day Tour, Greenwich Food Tour and National Maritime Museum Tour. Tickets must be booked in advance and tours leave from outside the Greenwich Visitors Centre. Pub lunches are generally included, as is admission to attractions.
- Greenwich Bus Tours, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A range of different bus tours, including to some destinations outside of Greenwich town centre which are harder to reach.
- 3 Meantime Brewery Tours, Unit 4-5 Lawrence Trading Estate, Blackwall Lane SE10 0AR (take bus 188 from Greenwich town centre or North Greenwich station and get off at 'Tunnel Avenue' bus stop), ☏ . M-F noon-11PM; Sa 10AM-11PM; Su 10AM-6PM. Since being founded in Greenwich in 2000, beers from the award-winning Meantime Brewery have spread across the country. Still produced in Greenwich, tours of the site are available and include a tasting session. A bar and shop on site mean that you can continue sampling beers after the tour has finished. £20-£25 per person.
Live music and entertainmentEdit
- 4 The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX (tube: ), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 9AM–1AM (last admission). The former Millennium Dome has been transformed into a major entertainment complex consisting of a large arena which plays host to a number of world class perfomers, a cinema which includes the largest screen in the UK, and numerous bars and restaurants. Tickets can be purchased in advance to join tours walking over the top of the dome, providing unique views.
- Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, ☏ . An internationally renowned school for music and dance training based in the Old Royal Naval College and a contemporary site by Deptford Creek. Put on musical and dance performances across Greenwich throughout the year - many of them free.
- 5 St. Alfege Church, Greenwich Church St, SE10 9BJ (tube: ), ☏ . A beautiful Baroque church designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (and is rumoured to have links with Occultists, Freemasons and such-like). Hosts classical music concerts and organ recitals. Its Christmas choir is enjoyable also.
Cinema and theatreEdit
- 6 Greenwich Picturehouse, 180 Greenwich High Rd, SE10 8NN (tube: Cutty Sark/Greenwich), ☏ . Tends to show art-house films.
- 7 Odeon, Bugsby Way, SE10 0QJ. The large Odeon multiplex has 18-screens, but is a bit out-of-the way, at Bugsby Way, on the way to the O2 Arena.
- 8 Greenwich Theatre, Croom's Hill, SE10 8ES (tube: Cutty Sark/Greenwich), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 9 Up The Creek Comedy Club, 302 Creek Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9SW (close to Cutty Sark DLR), ☏ . Comedy club. Hosts hilarious stand-up as well as music nights.
- 10 Blackheath Heath Fireworks Display, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Every Guy Fawkes night (5th of November) Lewisham council put on a spectacular free fireworks display. In the past few years crowds of over 100,000 have amassed, so arrive early to secure a good spot. The heath also hosts funfairs and circus at various times of the year. Free.
- 11 Greenwich Tall Ships Festival (Sail Royal Greenwich). Annual festival held at the start of July. Tall sailing ships cruise down the Thames from Woolwich, with Greenwich town centre being a fantasic place to view them. Each evening of the festival concludes with a spectacular fireworks display on the river. Packages can be bought for trips aboard the ships.
- 12 NG1 Golf, 265 Tunnel Ave, London, SE10 0QE (by the river, a short walk from North Greenwich station), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-11PM; Su 8AM-9PM. Urban driving range against the spectacular backdrop of Canary Wharf. Restaurant and bar on site. 18 years + age policy after 6PM. £12 for 120 balls.
- 13 Bunker 51 laser tag and paintball, 3 Herringham Rd, London SE7 8NJ (Easiest option is a 15-20 minute taxi ride from Greenwich town centre or North Greenwich), ☏ . Daily 9AM-10PM. Let off some steam for a couple of hours with laser tag or paintball at an underground Cold War themed bunker in part of industrial Greenwich. Great for kids (or just your inner-kid!). Next to the Thames Barrier - which keeps the city safe from flooding - be sure to go and take a look at this giant structure in the river whilst you're here. off-peak prices available on M & Tu. Discounts for under 16s and students..
- 14 Walk the Thames Path (between Cutty Sark and the Thames Barrier). Greenwich is home to the last 4 miles (6.4 km) of the 184-mile-long Thames Path, organised by National Trails. From Cutty Sark, the path follows the river up and around the Greenwich Peninsula before ending at the Thames Barrier. The trail affords great views of Canary Wharf and passes sights including the Old Royal Naval College, the O2 Arena and the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park while passing some fantastic pubs for drinks or lunch along the way. End point The path's end point at the Thames Barrier has an information centre about the structure and a cafe (Th-Su 11AM-3:30PM; closed M Tu W). To get back to North Greenwich station, take bus route 472 or 161 - a ten-minute walk away. The 117 or 118 bus route will return you to Greenwich town centre. Alternative route The last 2 miles of the walk pass through more industrial areas, which are quite interesting in themselves, but some visitors might prefer to end the walk at the O2 Arena, which is next to North Greenwich tube station.
Greenwich Market actually consists of several markets all quite close together:
- Greenwich Arts and Crafts Market (off College Approach). An indoor market also selling good food, and containing many interesting little shops.
- The Flea Market, Thames St (easy to miss as it is hidden away down a backstreet). Selling what you would expect.
- Greenwich Antiques Market, Greenwich High Rd. The name is a bit deceptive but it does have plenty of old books, music, clothes and jewellery.
- The Central Market, Stockwell St. The largest part of the market that sells homeware, furniture and books.
- Greenwich Auction House, 47 Old Woolwich Rd. One of the largest auction houses in London, deals mainly with furniture and a bit of arts and crafts.
- Flying Duck, Creek Road (at the bottom of the road). Loads of kitsch goodie and retro furnishings to inject a bit of glamour into your life.
Greenwich has restaurants of different types and costs.
Greenwich Town CentreEdit
Greenwich town centre has restaurants of different types and costs. Around Cutty Sark, national restaurant chains can be found (e.g. Nandos, Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc).
- 1 Babas Cafe, 13 Greenwich South St (opposite Greenwich station and dlr). 7AM-4PM. One of the oldest cafes in Greenwich. Great for a value for money breakfast or lunch serving traditional English dishes. Babas is renowned for a massive choice of freshly made sandwiches—a firm favourite with locals and tourists.
- 2 The Kings Arms, 16 King William Walk (on street leading from town centre to Greenwich Pk), ☏ . This pub is well situated for the tourist attractions in Greenwich and does good bar food. £5-8.
- 3 The Mogul Tandoori, 10 Greenwich Church St (On the outer edge of the market), ☏ . This restaurant provides excellent Nepalese and Northern Indian cuisine in an unusual and interesting setting (as long as you get seated downstairs, below street level).
- 4 Tai Won Mein noodle houses (jear Cutty Sark DLR). Offers budget Chinese cuisine, at a budget price if you're after a bargain rather than quality. They only take cash. Noodle Time and Saigon are located around the street, facing each other, and offer similar fare/price.
- 5 Old Brewery, Pepys Building (next to Cutty Sark). Daily 10AM-11PM. Part of the local Meantime Brewery's growing empire with a massive enclosed outdoor area - great in the summer months. Part of the same building as the tourist information centre, and perhaps more popular with tourists than locals although there is a mix of both. A cafe, and a pub/restaurant - the latter serves good if relatively expensive food (£13.50 for a burger) and a range of good Meantime beers, which are still brewed a couple of miles away. Service can be a little slow when it's busy.
- 6 Greenwich Market Food Court, Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ (2 minutes from Cutty Sark DLR), ☏ . Saturday and Sunday. Expanded in 2016, Greenwich Market's outdoor food court is now a dedicated section of the market. Dozens of street food stalls offer a range of cuisines from around the world. Seating is limited, so it is best to buy your food and eat it either in Greenwich Park or next to the river by Cutty Sark.
- 7 Buenos Aires Cafe, 15 Nelson Rd, Greenwich, London, SE10 9JB (opposite Greenwich Market), ☏ . M-Th 10AM-10PM; F Su 9AM-10PM. Casual Argentinian cafe with steaks, Spanish-themed food and brunch. Relaxing orangery and garden at the rear.
- 8 Rivington Greenwich, 178 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 8NN, ☏ . Modern British food with seasonal ingredients. Next door to the Greenwich Picture House.
- 9 Goddards at Greenwich, 22 King William Walk, Greenwich, London, SE10 9HU (adjacent to Greenwich Market), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Th 10AM-7:30PM; F Sa 10AM-8PM. Open since 1890, London's most famous pie and mash restaurant. Enjoy the capital's traditional meal - handmade fresh every day. Footballer David Beckham is known to be a fan and makes occasional visits.
Outside Greenwich Town CentreEdit
- 10 Blue Nile, 73 Woolwich New Road, Woolwich, SE18 6ED (Woolwich Arsenal station), ☏ . Eritrean-Italian café and restaurant.
- 11 Zaibatsu, 96 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, SE10 9UW (Maze Hill station or walk from Greenwich town centre), ☏ . Japanese fusion restaurant. Food more impressive than the basic decor. You can bring your own alcohol.
- 12 The Ivy Cafe Blackheath, 43-45 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath, London SE3 0TJ (dhort walk from Blackheath station), ☏ . British classics - great for brunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Reserve in advance if you're planning to be in the area!
- 13 The Golden Chippy, 62 Greenwich High Road, London, SE10 8LF (5 minute walk from Greenwich station or 15 minute walk from Greenwich town centre), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-11PM; Su noon-11PM. Fish and chip shop. Traditional no-frills 'chippy' - takeaway or eat in.
- 14 Street Feast - Public (Woolwich), Plumstead Rd, Woolwich, London SE18 7BZ. F Sa 5PM-late. A covered market from the 1930s has been transformed into an epic indoor space, with rainbow roof, pool tables and massive seating area. Home to eight of street-food traders, five bars and South-East London vibes.
The further you get from the centre of Maritime Greenwich, the more authentic the pubs get - with fewer tourists.
- 1 The Cutty Sark. Great pub build in Georgian period. Best time to go is on a warm summer's evening when you can sit out by the river and watch the sunset in the west. Can get pretty busy though!
- 2 The Greenwich Union on Royal Hill. Owned by the Meantime Brewery, based in nearby Charlton, which stocks its own range of beer in a variety of styles.
- 3 The Lost Hour, 217-219 Greenwich High Rd, London, SE10 8NB (2 minutes from Greenwich station, 5 minutes from Cutty Sark DLR), ☏ . M-Th 10AM-11PM; F Sa 10AM-1AM; Su 10AM-11PM. Friendly beach-themed bar set over two floors. One of the only bars in Greenwich that shows live sports, with multiple screens and a large projector screen. Video games consoles available to play on the ground floor. Reasonably priced pub food (burgers, wraps, etc.) and a large range of beer and other drinks.
- 4 The Plume of Feathers, Park Row (off Greenwich Park). A quaint little watering-hole, nearly on the prime meridian, with a variety of guest ales tucked away from the run-of-the mill riff-raff in Greenwich town centre. Excellent food at reasonable prices, try the delicious mixed platter for 4 to get the taste buds going!
- 5 Richard I (Next door to The Greenwich Union on Royal Hill). Owned by Young's, which sells its real ales. Nice beer garden at the back and does a good Sunday Roast. Hosts a popular pub quiz on Tuesday evenings.
- 6 The Trafalgar Tavern. Greenwich Inc-owned. Beautiful old pub but overcrowded. The bar is over bright and sitting outside has become less pleasant since they lined loads of benches up along the river path. Service can also be brusque.
- 7 Ye Olde Rose and Crown (Rose and Crown), Crooms Hill 1 (next door to the Greenwich theatre.). The Rose and Crown is a cozy bar, out of main routes in Greenwich Park. As a typical British pub - serves quality food and wide range of drinks (British ales, lagers, wines, spirits, coffee and tea). Friendly staff and nicely selected music.
- 8 The Pelton Arms, 23-25 Pelton Rd. Small local pub which hosts music nights and other events. Might be a good bet if you want to drink with locals, rather than tourists.
- 9 The Sail Loft, 11 Victoria Parade, London SE10 9FR (a few minutes walk from Cutty Sark), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-11PM; Su 10AM-10:30PM. Pub run by Fuller's on the riverside with decent but limited outdoor seating. In the summer, the doors are opened up so that the entire bar feels like you're drinking by the river.
- 10 The Gipsy Moth, 60 Greenwich Church St, London SE10 9BL (next to the Cutty Sark), ☏ . Historic Grade I listed pub right next to the Cutty Sark. Big outdoor seating area but the pub is too often filled with tourists.
- 11 Davy's Wine Vaults, 161 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8JA (next to Greenwich station), ☏ . Relaxed, wood-panelled wine bar offering over 100 varieties and a smart, British, seasonal menu. Large outdoor seating area.
- 12 Oliver's Jazz Bar, 9 Nevada St, London SE10 9JL (close to the main entrance to Greenwich Park), ☏ . Su-Th 4PM-midnight; F Sa 4PM-2AM. Cozy and compact jazz bar with live music. Quirky decor and old furniture create a fun ambiance.
- Toomai Square, 5-6 Lambarde Square, Greenwich London SE10 9GB, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 12PM-11:30PM. Dishes range from yellow lobster curry and chicken Manchurian to black cod with ginger and shiitake mushrooms, and a drinks menu that includes cocktails. £2.75.
Homestay in Greenwich
As an alternative to hotels, homestay services like Airbnb or CouchSurfing offer a different perspective to visiting Greenwich. There are a lot of options available, including apartments with stunning views of the river and Canary Wharf. From Georgian-period townhouses to studios in refurbished warehouses, the range of different types of homes or apartments on offer might provide visitors with a refreshing alternative to many of the identikit hotels across the city.
Greenwich has a good variety of accommodation options - catering for a range of budgets. As well as serving guests coming specifically to visit Greenwich, the hotels and hostels in the area are cheaper and more peaceful options for visitors to base themselves during a visit to London compared to accommodation in the centre of the city. If the hustle and bustle of central London aren't for you - Greenwich is a relaxing place to stay, with plenty of good places to eat and drink nearby and easy travel links into the city centre.
Most visitors to the borough tend to stay in Greenwich town centre, although there is some accommodation available in Blackheath and on the Greenwich Peninsula. Further afield, accommodation options are more limited. Those attending concerts and events at the O2 might find that Greenwich town centre is a more pleasing place to stay that in hotels near the arena, which can lack character.
- 1 St Christopher's Inn, 189 Greenwich High Rd (next to Greenwich station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. A lively hostel - part of the popular chain - above the lively Belushi's bar (a student favourite). Right next to Greenwich station - providing quick links into central London. 6-12 bed mixed dorms, dedicated female dorm and private rooms available. Includes free WiFi, continental breakfast, a free walking tour of Greenwich and 25% off food and drink in the hostel bar. dorm bed from £11.50, private double from £38.
- 2 Venture Hostel (previously Journeys West Hostel), 86 Tanners Hill, Deptford, Lewisham, London, SE8 4PN (close to Deptford Bridge DLR station - 15-minute walk into Greenwich town centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Bright, modern and refurbished hostel above a lively pub - probably the cheapest price in the area. 3-12 bed mixed dorms, with dedicated female-only dorms available. Rate includes free WiFi and breakfast. dorm bed £10.99-22.99.
- 3 De Vere Devonport House, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9JW (centre of Maritime Greenwich), ☏ , ✉ DevonportReservations@devere.com. This Georgian-style hotel has 93 rooms all in a grand old converted building. Located right at the Maritime World Heritage site. Specialises in hosting corporate functions and seminars but the accommodation for casual visitors offers decent value. From £89.
- 4 Hotel Ibis Greenwich, 30 Stockwell St, SE10 9JN, ☏ . A typical, rather identikit Ibis hotel. Not expensive by any means though. From £67.
- 5 The Pilot Inn, 68 River Way, SE10 0BE (Greenwich Peninsula, 10-minute walk to the O2 and North Greenwich station). This 200-year-old Fullers pub has five bedrooms upstairs at reasonable rates. From £79.
- 6 Premier Inn, 43-81 Greenwich High Rd (2 minutes from Greenwich station, 10-minute walk from Greenwich town centre). Popular mid-range chain - close to Greenwich station with easy access into central London. Rooms vary - from £60.
- 7 Novotel, 173-185 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8JA, ☏ . Four-star chain hotel with stylish rooms. Next to Greenwich station, providing easy access into central London. From £80.
- 8 Onesixtwo, 162 Westcombe Hill, London, SE3 7DH (1 mile from Blackheath station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Boutique guest house with stylish and modern rooms in between Blackheath and Greenwich. Out of the way and not as close to public transport as other hotels, but located in a very relaxed area away from the tourist centre of Greenwich. Free WiFi and continental breakfast.
- 9 Clarendon Hotel, 8–16 Montpelier Row, Blackheath, SE3 0RW (in Blackheath, 2 minutes from Blackheath station), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Three-star hotel in a lovely old converted Georgian building on Blackheath Green. Price includes a full breakfast and free WiFi. From £100.
- 10 The Mitre, 291 Greenwich High Rd, SE10 8NA, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This historic pub in the heart of Greenwich has 14 guest rooms upstairs. Free WiFi and continental buffet breakfast. From £120.
Hopefully you won't need to use medical services or speak to the police during your visit to Greenwich, but local services are available for visitors if needed. In an emergency, always call 999 (toll-free) from any payphone or mobile phone.
The nearest police station to Greenwich town centre and Blackheath with a public 24-hour front counter is Lewisham Police Station. Non-emergency crimes (i.e. crimes that are not in progress, such as a stolen car, theft or damaged property) can be reported by calling 101.
- 2 Lewisham Police Station, 43 Lewisham High Street, SE13 5JZ (take the DLR to Lewisham station, which is a short walk from the station). 24hr.
Depending on your nationality, immigration status and the nature of your treatment, medical care with the National Health Service may either be free or come with a cost - this may have to be paid for in advance. Emergency treatment is always free at the point of use but you may have to pay later. For non-emergencies, you can call 111 to speak to a trained medical adviser.
For emergency medical treatment, University Hospital Lewisham is the nearest Accident & Emergency hospital.
- 3 University Hospital Lewisham, Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 6LH (take the DLR to Lewisham station and then take bus routes 136/199/75 to Lewisham Hospital), ☏ . 24hr.
For non-emergency treatment, you can see a doctor or nurse at a GP surgery. You will have to book an appointment in advance but GP surgeries hold a number of slots available each day for urgent cases - call or visit as soon as the surgery opens to secure one of these slots (demand is high).
- 4 Burney Street Medical Practice, 48 Burney Street, London, SE10 8EX (a few minutes walk from Cutty Sark DLR), ☏ . M-F 8AM-6:30PM, closed bank holidays.
Being in London, mobile phone coverage is universal across Greenwich and traditional red payphones can be found in Greenwich town centre.
The majority of pubs, bars and restaurants offer free wifi, as do the Royal Museums Greenwich (Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, Queen's House and National Maritime Museum). As the National Maritime Museum is free to enter, considering visiting here to use the wifi if you need to access the internet in the centre of Greenwich.
- 5 West Greenwich Library, 146 Greenwich High Road, West Greenwich, London SE10 8NN (5 minutes walk from Cutty Sark DLR), ☏ . M 2-7PM; Tu 9AM-1730; Th 9AM-7PM; F 2-5:30PM; Sa 9AM-5PM; closed W and Su. Free public library in Greenwich town centre. Free wifi and computer use with no need to register - just speak to the staff to get started. Printing available - 10p per B&W page, 25p per colour page.
- 6 Post Office, 261-267 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NE (5 minutes walk from Cutty Sark DLR, opposite West Greenwich Library), ☏ . M-Sa 8AM-5:30PM. Post office with full postal services and small stationary shop. Branch has a foreign currency exchange and a 24-hr ATM. National Express coach tickets can be purchased here.
Despite the prevalence of gyms in Greenwich, many require a membership to use (and some are unmanned, meaning that you can't even ask about one-off use). Most of these gyms will provide a free month's trial however, so visitors wanting to use the gym more than once during their stay might consider signing up for this and then cancelling the subscription prior to being charged after they have left. Gyms that allow visitors to pay for one-off use include:
- 7 The Greenwich Centre, 12 Lambarde Square, London, SE10 9HB (take the 188 bus from Greenwich town centre). M-F 6AM-10PM; Sa Su 8AM-8PM. Lesiure centre run by a charitable social enterprise - gym, swimming pool and fitness classes on site. You can buy short-term 1, 5, 7, 14 or 30 day passes. £5 for a 1-day pass..
- 8 Soma Dry Cleaners, 237 Greenwich High Road, London, Greater London SE10 8NB (in Greenwich town centre), ☏ . M Tu F Sa 8AM-6PM; W 8AM-7PM; Th 8AM-1PM; Su closed. Dry cleaning, laundry shirt service and repairs.
- 9 Vina Launderette & Dry Cleaners, 92 Royal Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8RT (5 minute walk from Greenwich station), ☏ . M-F 7AM-7PM; Sa Su 8AM-7PM. 2 hour service, dry cleaning, service wash. Also provides a pick-up and delivery service.
- 10 Greenwich Launderette, 174 Trafalgar Rd, London SE10 9TZ (take 188 bus to King William Lane bus stop from Greenwich town centre), ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM. Traditional self-service launderette with washing machines/dryers available for customers to use.
Greenwich only has one local print newspaper - the free, monthly Greenwich Visitor which provides information about local happenings. This can be picked up in most large Greenwich supermarkets or in stands outside Cutty Sark DLR station. You can also view current and past editions online at the Greenwich visitor website.
Other sources of information for news and events are primarily online, including:
- Greenwich Diary. Covers upcoming events and attractions in west and central Greenwich.
- News Shopper. Online newspaper covering south-east London, including a section on Greenwich.
In Greenwich town centre, there are two chain pharmacies, which provide cosmetics and on-the-shelf medicines. Both are well located for visitors looking to buy suncream being heading to Greenwich Park in the summer. Neither store has a full pharmacy service for over-the-counter medicines - the closest options being Boots stores a short DLR ride away in Canary Wharf (Jubilee Place) or Lewisham (72-78 Lewisham High St).
- 11 Boots, 51 Greenwich Church St, London, SE10 9BL (adjacent to the Cutty Sark), ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Su 10AM-5PM. Popular high-street pharmacy chain, with essential and premium toiletry and cosmetic products as well as a large selection of medicines. Instant photo-printing kiosk inside.
- 12 Superdrug, 3 Crescent Arcade, Greenwich, SE10 9EJ (next to Cutty Sark DLR station), ☏ . M-F 8:30AM-8:30PM, Sa 9AM-8:30PM; Su noon-6PM. Heath and beauty chain with a well-priced range of toiletry and cosmetic products.
- 13 St Alfege's Church, 3 Greenwich Church St, London SE10 9BJ, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Anglican parish church in the centre of Greenwich. Short services throughout the week and three Sunday services.
- 14 Our Ladye Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, 68 Crooms Hill, London SE10 8HG, ☏ . Roman Catholic church next to Greenwich Park.
- 15 Greenwich Islamic Centre, 131 Plumstead Road, Plumstead, London, SE18 7DW (in Woolwich, a short walk from Plumstead railway station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. South-east London's largest Sharia mosque in a modern Islamic centre. 3,200 capacity for men and women. Website includes details about prayer times.
- Greenwich is close to Canary Wharf. The financial district's vast collection of skyscrapers is a prominent sight from Greenwich's riverside and park and is only 10 minutes away by DLR. While primarily a business district, tourists might enjoy wandering around the base of the tall buildings or watching the hub of activity in the area during the week. Nearby West India Quay is home to the Museum of London Dockslands (free entry), which tells the history of the Docklands - including Greenwich.
- From Greenwich station, two trains per hour continue into Kent - one of the 'Home Counties' bordering Greater London. Popularly known as the Garden of England due to its green landscape, the county includes a number of attractions that could be included on day trips outside of the capital. Trains from Greenwich stop at the Medway Towns, from where you will continue your journey to your destination.
- From the Greenwich Peninsula, take the Emirates Air Line - the UK's first urban cable car. Linking the O2 Arena with the ExCel Exhibition Centre at Royal Victoria Docks, it rises to 90 metres in the air over the River Thames, providing views across the city.
|Routes through Greenwich|
|Westminster ← East End ←||W E||→ East London → END|
|The City ← East End ← Lewisham branch ←||N S||→ Lewisham branch → Southwark-Lewisham → END|
|The City ← East London ← Woolwich branch ←||W E||→ Woolwich branch → END|
|Routes through Greenwich|
|The City ← Lewisham ←||NW SE||→ Bexleyheath → Dartford|
|The City ← New Cross ←||NW SE||→ Sidcup → Maidstone|