Head south across the River Thames and you’ll find the leafy streets of Greenwich, home to the former Queen’s House, Royal Observatory and sprawling Greenwich Park. Here are our recommendations on what to see and do in this historic part of London.
Charming Greenwich occupies a prime spot on the River Thames with expansive views across London. Why not arrive in style by taking a boat trip downriver? Once there, check out an array of family-friendly museums, the vibrant market and the 19th-century Cutty Sark, using the area’s cosy cafes and pubs as pitstops.
This London boozer sits in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a Unesco-listed site. It serves seasonal British grub with ingredients sourced from the south of England and London, whilst the beer garden offers views of the Thames, Cutty Sark and Canary Wharf. Book ahead for Sunday roast – the beef-dripping cooked roasties as well as the beer battered cod and chips are worth the wait.
The only one of its kind in the UK, the Fan Museum is uniquely dedicated to honouring the craft of hand fans. Yes, really. This unusual museum is housed inside a Grade II listed townhouse, featuring fans dating back to the 11th century. You’ll learn a surprising amount about the craft. Keep your eyes peeled for one hand-painted by the French impressionist Paul Gaugin. Don’t leave without staying for afternoon tea, served in the Orangery overlooking the Japanese garden.
This cosy comedy club was founded by Malcolm Hardee – a veteran of the first Soho Comedy Store – and gives stage time to up-and-coming talent as well as top comedians. Acts who have appeared include Mo Gilligan, Sarah Millican and Sarah Pascoe. But any comedian worth their salt has beaten the notorious Black Out night here. Expect regular happy hours, after-parties and a menu of decent burgers and craft beer.
Shiver me timbers, the Cutty Sark is a 19th-century tea clipper sailing ship that was the fastest of its time. It welcomes visitors on board to walk on its decks and explore the captain’s cabin. Enjoy a guided or audio tour to learn all about how the crew lived, what they ate and where they slept. There are regular shows and events in the studio theatre.
A quality Off-West End theatre, Greenwich Theatre puts on a truly diverse range of productions and shows, encompassing everything from stand-up comedy and lectures to children’s plays and opera. It has an ethos of supporting theatre production at grassroots level, from casting new talent in its shows to offering guidance and rehearsal space to emerging theatre companies. Past productions have included Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and comedy from Adam Kay.
Not sorted your Greenwich stay yet? Book one of the best hotels in the London Docklands area now through Culture Trip and enjoy your time right on the Thames.
Grace Beard and Angie Quinn contributed additional reporting to this article.
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