City Walks: London – Greenwich

This walk starts at the DLR station Cutty Sark.  Once you leave the station the Cutty Sark comes into view immediately.  The former tea clipper was famous for being able to sail to Australia in less than 80 days.  It has recently reopened after being damaged by fire in 2007.  Admission is £12.00 for adults and £6.50 for children under 15 years of age.  It is advisable to book online as entrance is only by timed ticket.  In the autumn sunshine the Cutty Sark looks impressive.

The Cutty Sark

From the Cutty Sark I made my way towards the Visitor’s Centre which is housed in part of the old Naval College.  It is interesting to spend some time in there as it tells the story of Greenwich.  There are plenty of interactive exhibits inside.

The Visitor’s Centre

From the Visitor’s Centre I made my way to the Painted Hall.  The impressive painted ceilings took 19 years to complete.  It was also where Lord Nelson laid in state until his funeral.

One of the painted ceilings

I crossed the Romney Road and made my way towards the National Maritime Museum.  Free to enter the museum tells the story of Britain as naval nation over 500 hundred years.  Britannia did once rule the waves.  One of the highlights is the uniform Lord Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar.  You can see the bullet hole in the left shoulder.  It was the bullet that would eventually kill Nelson.  Sadly, I was unable to photograph the uniform.  There are several other items worth seeing.

The National Maritime Museum.

Upon leaving the museum I made my way towards the Royal Observatory.  I stopped to look at the site of the Equestrian Centre that was used for the Olympic Games.  It looked an impressive sight.  The surface was being removed but the grandstands remained intact.

It is a steep walk to the Royal Observatory.  However, once you reach the top of the hill you are rewarded with great views particularly of the O2 Arena.

The Royal Observatory is London’s only planetarium.  It is also famously the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian of the World.  The Astronomy Centre is free.  Tickets for Flamsteed House and the Meridian Courtyard cost £7.00.  If you do not want to pay but wish to experience crossing the Meridian Line there is a spot outside the courtyard where this can be done.  I warn you that it does get crowded.

From the observatory I made my way back towards Greenwich down The Avenue.  I passed the Greenwich Royal Park Herb Garden.  A haven where you can rest your legs as your sense of smell takes in all the odours of the herbs.

Back in Greenwich I passed the Fan Museum which is dedicated to fans and fan making.  Admission is £4.00 and the museum serves afternoon tea from 3pm.

Passing the Spread Eagle bookshop I made my way to Greenwich Market.  At Sunday lunchtime the market was packed with people enjoying the autumn sunshine.  There were stores that consisted of locally made handicrafts and clothes.  There is something for everyone.  Towards the end of the market my sense of smell took me towards the food section.  Here, one could eat the world.  In fact it was too popular and the queues were just too much.

Feeling hungry I made my way towards a coffee shop called ‘Red Door’.  So called because it has a red door.  A small coffee shop it had a cosy atmosphere which was what I needed after the bustle of the market.  My ham and tomato toasted sandwich tasted delicious, mainly of the olive oil used instead of butter.  The scone, jam and clotted cream also went down well.  From the ‘Red Door’ I made my way back to the DLR station for the train back to Central London.

The walk came from ‘City Walks: London’ by Craig Taylor.  This was the first in a series of 50 walks.

Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

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