Maritime Greenwich | World Heritage Site

Maritime Greenwich, London
Maritime Greenwich © Fan Yang

Maritime Greenwich located in London offers visitors the chance to visit an ensemble of buildings that form the basis of the World Heritage Site. The site is famous around the world as the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian line and other the years has come to symbolise great advances in scientific endeavours. There are range of buildings for visitors to see here, the site contains the famous Royal National Observatory, National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark among others. With a host of tourist attractions for visitors to see, there is plenty to see and do at the site.

Overview


Maritime Greenwich entered the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1997 in recognition of the importance and significance of the site. The profile of the site has been raised as a result along with efforts to help preserve the site and its character for future generations. The Old Royal Naval College and the restoration of the Dreadnought Hospital are part of plan of regeneration that has taken place here after the site gained its WHS status. The borough of Greenwich was designated as the Millennium borough and hosted events to mark the Millennium including having the Millennium Dome built at the start of 2000 located close by. The area has been subject to a number of redevelopment and regeneration projects.

The WHS at Greenwich has an international reputation and attracted visitors before the recent increase in the profile of the site and the area. The WHS recognises Greenwich for its cultural heritage, the buildings located within the site have played a leading role in architecture advances and scientific advances for the UK and Europe.

Visitors from around the world have been visiting Greenwich to visit the inspirational architecture, experience the quiet open spaces in the park, see the museum collections and also experience the year round calendar of events. Given that the site has its attractions within an area visitors can walk around, it offers visitors an enjoyable day trip to see an iconic site close to the centre of London.

Greenwich is internationally recognised for the great developments that have been made in navigation and astronomy at the Royal Observatory that led to Greenwich Mean Time and the Greenwich Meridian becoming recognised at world standards. The site offers not only a WHS but a chance for visitors to see some spectacular vistas and views of London. There are also a number of beautiful and historic buildings on show here with works of Inigo Jones, Joseph Kay and Sir Christopher Wren all having works displayed here. The combined effect of their works help to ensure the site is of outstanding value not only to the UK but beyond thus helping to secure the WHS status.

The Royal Observatory is perhaps the most famous of the various buildings located at the site and it is here that visitors can stand with one foot in both the western and eastern hemispheres and also check out Greenwich Mean Time. The Royal Observatory was founded back in 1675 for navigational research and is the home of not only the Prime Meridian but also Greenwich Mean Time, the standard by which clocks and timings around the world are set. The clocks developed were intended to help determine longitudes at sea are among the main attractions and prized possessions.

The National Maritime Museum at the site, is dedicated to the UK's great maritime heritage. The museum contains a number of galleries that are dedicated to illustrating the heritage to visitors by using artefacts and a host of maritime treasures. The exhibits bring to life the various stories and legends of the seas including the life and times of adventurers and explorers such as Admiral Lord Nelson.

The Queen's House is a Palladian house designed back in 1616 by Inigo Jones. In the house there is an art gallery that displays to visitors a portion of the National Maritime Museum’s large collection of portraits and seascapes, there are also a number of paintings of the Greenwich area. The most famous is Canaletto’s view, a scene that has remained mostly as it was back in the 18th century.

The Cutty Sark is a well known tourist attraction and was among the fastest of sailing ships when in action. The Cutty Sark was launched in 1869 in Scotland and started off by sailing to China, afterwards the ship sailed all the way to Australia and brought back wool. The ship has been located at the dock in Greenwich since 1954, the ship has needed conservation and restoration work in recent years and work is on going.

The Wernher Collection in Rangers House contains a great collection of Renaissance and medieval art works. There is also antique furniture and Georgian paintings part of the collection that was owned by Sir Julius Wernher. The collection here is spectacular with approx 700 art works on display, including paintings, silver and jewels and porcelain.

Greenwich Park contains the majority of the buildings that make up the WHS, the park itself is London's oldest enclosed Royal Park. Greenwich Park with its hilltop location offers visitors great views of Greenwich and the City of London including the site formerly known as the Millennium Dome now known as the 'The O2.' The park also contains a deer park, a lake where you can go boating and gardens.


How To Get There


The World Heritage Site at Greenwich is accessible by both car and public transport, the site is approx 20 minutes from central London:

By Car:

The site is off the A2 South East of central London. From London Bridge take the A200 and follow the road straight until you see Cutty Shark DLR Station and the site is close by on your left.

The Greenwich site is not currently in the London Congestion Charging Zone.

There are car parks close by on the surrounding streets such as the car park on Burney Street and there are car parks within Greenwich Park. Car drivers should be aware of possible steep parking costs and exercise caution when driving in the area, there may be parking restrictions and traffic management systems in place.

By Train:

The closest train station is Greenwich Station offering services to and from central London, the station is an interchange station with the Docklands Light Rail (DLR). Visitors using the station are within a few minutes walk of the WHS.

The other rail station close by is Maze Hill located close to Greenwich Park, the station is one stop away from Greenwich Station and offers services to and from central London too.

By Bus/Coach:

There are a number of local bus services that offer services in and around Greenwich:

Bus Routes 53 and 188 from central London takes passengers to the Greenwich WHS.

The various London Bus Tours that provide sightseeing tours of the city offer another way to see and get around the city.

By Docklands Light Rail (DLR)

The DLR provides the closest station to the WHS, Cutty Sark DLR Station is conveniently located only a few minutes walk from the site. There is also Greenwich DLR station that is also within walking distance for visitors. The DLR provides good access for visitors from central London and from the East End of London to the site.


Contact Details


Address:

Greenwich Tourist Information Centre
46 Greenwich Church Street
Greenwich
London
SE10 9BL

Telephone: 0870 608 2000 (from the within the UK)

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8293 0673 (from outside the UK)

Fax: +44 (0)20 8853 4607

Website: Greenwich World Heritage Site


Facilities and Information


Further Information:

The Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum & Queen's House:

Monday to Sunday: 10.00 to 17.00

Last Admission at 16.30

Wernher Collection in Rangers House:

Mon, Tues, Wed, Sun: 10.00 to 17.00 (From Late March to end of Sept)

Admission:

Adult: £5.40 approx

Children: £2.70 approx

Concessions: £4.30 approx


Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Maritime Greenwich Map


Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours of the various buildings and attractions depending on the time of year and other factors. Visitors are advised to double check each attraction they wish to see before going & avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Ensure you follow travel safety advice make sure your belongings in particular your wallet/purse and valuables are hidden away from public view (especially at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Greenwich ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. There may be one way roads, traffic control measures and it is recommended drivers exercise caution and drive safely. Use the Route Planner for useful door to door directions for both car and public transport journeys.

If you are looking for local car parking in Greenwich, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking before you park your car. Car parking rules are rigorously enforced and any infringement of the rules can result in vehicles being fined, clamped or towed away. The rules & regulations can be complex if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.


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