Never have one felt and thought of time measurement as being such a profound invention and a huge discovery but on this particular place: If visiting London for the first time, brave the conventional ideas of those who insist upon visiting top-rated tourist attractions and head for South East London: go on a half-day long sojourn to Greenwich.
How to get there
Take the subway Jubilee Line to the Canary Wharf tube station – a bustling financial hub and change to DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and go all the way to “Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich” station (it takes no more than 10 minutes). The journey itself is, visually speaking, quite an experience as DLR trains appear to be fully automated and give the impression of being completely “driver-less”. Make sure to hop onto the front carriage and enjoy the ride from a train operator’s view.
Where to go and What to see
Adults: £13.50 / Children: £7.00
Unless you are truly fond of sailing ships, take a quick glance at the only remaining tea clipper in the world: Cutty Sark. Clipper ships were primarily used for the transportation of high-value cargo goods at the time: Cutty Sark itself dates back to 1869. It took a lot of courage, creativity, time and strikingly different efforts to bring a cup of tea to our tables back then.
The Royal Greenwich Observatory
Adults: £9.50 / Children: £5.00
For those Planet Earth residents who are passionate to find out more about the beginnings of time measurement, magnificent devices that have been used to measure and keep track of time long before clocks had been invented, as well as people whose ingenious minds forever changed the way we perceive and value time, the Royal Greenwich Observatory is a must-see: not only because it stores inventions beyond our imagination, but also because it is the home of the Prime Meridian. This gigantic discovery made it possible to establish time zones and it clearly came in handy in terms of drawing maps.
You might not find the Observatory neither picturesque nor charming on the outside; However, on the inside, it abounds with a number of extremely significant and above all interesting stories and displays about time, solving the longitude problem, time keeping accuracy, astrology…
Though not being quite an expert myself when it comes to telescopes, I am sure not one of you would leave this place disappointed with how clearly the history, function and use of all the displayed instruments are explained: make it a point of borrowing a free audio guide in your preferred language (it’s free of charge once you pay the admission fee).
The Prime Meridian
Be among those who would love to find themselves standing on the both Hemispheres at the same time within the blink of an eye… Wait! No need to measure time with the blink of an eye – you may stay there several seconds, minutes or even hours! The Eastern and the Western Hemispheres are just one jump away!
Grew tired of sightseeing?
Enjoy the Greenwich Park in all its lush greenery and squirrels running around you for yet another bite of whichever food you can offer – yes, they are unimaginably spoiled (if you want to bring yourself closer to their hearts – make sure to bring some nuts!). You might as well consider taking a sip of coffee at the White House Bakery – an adorable place full of tasty, gluten-free brownies, mouthwatering sweets and fresh coffee.
Beer time – treat yourself
Don’t you even dare think about leaving Greenwich without tasting a wide range of their local Brewery’s products including lager, pale ale or porter.
A pint or two of Meantime alongside Cider Vinegar and Sea salt Chips is my recommendation.
This is just a quick overview for those who can’t spare much time and would focus on the quality rather than the quantity of their Greenwich exploration. The town of Greenwich has much more to offer: from traditional pubs, to Royal Institutions of huge importance such as the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, the Old Royal Naval College and even the Fan Museum!