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Royal Museums Greenwich, London

Royal Museums Greenwich comprises of four museums located in the borough of Greenwich in southeastern London. Situated on the southern bank of the meandering River Thames, Greenwich has a rich maritime history and the four museums are part of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Greenwich is also, where the world sets its clock that gives the name Greenwich Meantime (GMT).

Royal Museums Greenwich includes the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory Greenwich, which are all within walking distance from one another. Together the museums explain the importance of the sea, time and stars in relationship to British history. Besides the museums, there are the scenic Greenwich Park and Greenwich Market to explore. Make the most of your visit by heading to the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre for information about attractions in the area.

Looking south across Greenwich by Gürkan Sengün

About

The National Maritime Museum is the heart of the Royal Museums Greenwich and devoted to maritime and navigational history. Queen’s House has a significant collection of paintings and portraits from the 17th to 20th centuries. The Cutty Sark was one of the last clipper ships built until gradually replaced by steamships and now a museum ship. The Royal Observatory Greenwich is located on a hill and once played an important role in astronomy and navigation.

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is the largest of its kind in the UK. The museum is a treasure trove of maritime artefacts including navigational and scientific instruments, maps, flags, uniforms and memorabilia as well as ship models and sea inspired works of art. The Nelson, Navy Nation tells the story of the British Admiral Horatio Nelson and the history of the Royal Navy from the late 17th century to early 18th century. Ahoy! is a play area for toddlers and children aged up to seven years. Young children will love stoking the boiler of a steamship, fire a cannon, go on a polar exploration and many more fun-filled activities based on maritime themes. Admission to the museum is free.

National Maritime Museum by Txllxt TxllxT

Queen's House

King James I in 1616 commissioned the construction of Queen's House as a residence for his wife Queen Anne but she died in 1618 and construction stopped. King Charles I resumed construction in 1629 and in the 19th century the building extended with an east and west wings. It is now a museum with collections of paintings and other art from the 17th to 20th centuries. Queen’s House comprises over 20 rooms with more than 450 works of art by British and European artists including Thomas Gainsborough, Orazio Gentileschi, William Hogarth and LS Lowry. Admission to the museum is free.

Greenwich Park and the Queen's House by Morio

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark was a British tea clipper built in 1869 and one of the last of its kind built. During its service, the clipper ship was one of the world’s fastest sailing ships visiting ports as far as China and Australia. The Cutty Sark eventually moved to dry dock in 1954 at Greenwich and preserved as a museum ship. Steel supports elevate the clipper ship about 3 metres (10 feet) above the ground and you can walk below the hull and observe its construction. Then get onboard the ship and explore the captain’s cabin, crew’s quarters and the deck. There are interactive displays providing interesting information about Cutty Sark and its history.

Cutty Sark by Bartholomeus Thoth

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG) was the old royal observatory and initially commissioned by King Charles II in 1675. The observatory once played an important role in astronomy and navigation. It is also the location of the prime meridian from where Greenwich Mean Time gets its name. Located on a hill in Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory Greenwich is now a museum for astronomical and navigational tools. A modern addition and a short distance from the old observatory is the 120-seat Peter Harrison Planetarium where you can journey into space, travel through the Solar System and explore distant galaxies.

Royal Observatory Greenwich by CGP Grey

Visiting Royal Museums Greenwich

Admission to the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House are free while there are separate admission charges for the Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory Greenwich and the Peter Harrison Planetarium. All attractions at Royal Museums Greenwich open daily (closes on 24th, 25th and 25th December) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can purchase tickets at the gates or online from the official Royal Museums Greenwich website at a discount.

To get to here, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stops at Cutty Sark Station (in the centre of Greenwich) and Greenwich Station. Connecting trains depart from Cannon Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Charing Cross railway stations to the nearby Greenwich and Maze Hill railway stations. Several boat operators under the London River Services operate from piers at Westminster Bridge, London Eye and Tower of London to Greenwich Pier.

Royal Museums Greenwich on the Map

Borough of Greenwich

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