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Why a Greenwich Day Trip in London is the Best for Science Lovers

Make time for a Greenwich day trip. Go from London to Greenwich by train. Discover things to do in Greenwich on a day trip from London Town.
Did you know that Maritime Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

London to Greenwich is an easy day trip from London Town, so let's go! Science lovers and science history afficionados will love this London day out. 

What is Greenwich Famous for?

We were keen to visit Greenwich thanks to its rich maritime history. The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is home to the Prime Meridian which divides the world into Eastern and Western Hemispheres. 

The Prime Meridian is used as the basis for the time zones around the world and was also critical for measuring longitude (the key to safer and more accurate travel by sea).

Getting to Greenwich from London City

There are a number of transportation options to get to Greenwich from London City. The most efficient ways include taking the train. It takes about half an hour to get to Greenwich by tube. Greenwich is on the Jubilee Line. 

Another public transit option is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). It takes about 30 minutes to get to Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich station from the Tower Gateway DLR stop. 

Thames Clippers offer ferry services along the River Thames. Hop on a ferry at Embankment and arrive in Greenwich in less than an hour. It takes a little longer to go by ferry, but you do get a scenic ride. 

London buses provide an affordable option, with different routes connecting the city to Greenwich. Alternatively, cycling or walking along dedicated paths and routes, like the Thames Path, offer an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Things to do on a Greenwich Day Trip

Let's take a look at some cool things to do and places to visit that we explored on our Greenwich day trip from London.

1. Admire The Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark, an old British tea clipper, is one of the first things to greet visitors emerging from the train station.  When the Suez Canal opened, there was no longer much use for these fast sailing ships in the tea trade.  

Cutty Sark turned to wool trading in Australia and was put on mothballs (figuratively) in the 1950s before being opened as a museum.
Maritime Greenwich Day Trip: The Cutty Sark

2. Eat at Greenwich Market

Greenwich features a lovely food hall bustling with vendors.  Sweet and savory smells from all over the world greet hungry visitors.  

We tried a lamb and haloumi wrap which was spicy and delicious although a bit tricky to eat while standing around (the food market has very limited seating).
London to Greenwich Day Trip: Greenwich MarketLondon to Greenwich Day Trip: Antiques Market

3. Browse the Greenwich Antiques Market

Not far up the road, an outdoor antiques market is a treasure trove for both bargain seekers and photographers.  For some reason, these typewriters and directional signs caught my eye and I couldn't resist taking a snap.

4. Stroll the Old Royal Naval College Gardens

The Old Royal Naval College Gardens is worth a stroll on a sunny afternoon just to see the impressive architecture.  One tower tells the time, the other the wind direction.
Maritime Greenwich Day Trip in London: Old Royal Naval College

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for more ideas for a day out around London? why not:

5. Check Out The Painted Hall

The Painted Hall located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College is a sight to behold.  Originally meant to be a dining hall for seamen convalescing in the hospital, it was designed by Christopher Wren and took Sir James Thornhill 19 years to paint!  That's a labor of love...
Maritime Greenwich: Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval CollegeLondon Day Trip to Maritime Greenwich: Greenwich Park

6. Visit Greenwich Park and the National Maritime Museum

We passed through Greenwich Park on our way up to the Royal Observatory.  Queens House sits solidly and prominently on the lawn in front of a steep rise. 

The National Maritime Museum is also worth a look before trudging up the hill.  Our hard work was soon rewarded with fabulous views over Greenwich and Canary Wharf beyond.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that Liverpool is another city in the UK full of maritime history? Check it out and spend a day in Liverpool.

7. Stand on the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory

The pièce de résistance of a trip to Greenwich is a visit to the Royal Observatory to behold the Prime Meridian.  This rather arbitrary line defines the zero point of longitude.  

It also makes for great photos with one foot in the Western Hemisphere and one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere.  Definition of the Prime Meridian and a mechanism for measuring longitude at sea was a major breakthrough in maritime technology in its day.  

Massive queues tend to form in the courtyard of the observatory to get a photo straddling the meridian.  However, if you pass through a small gate below the main plaza, you can get your picture taken on a lesser known (and much less crowded!) part of the line (see top left photo in the collage below).
Greenwich Day Trip in London: The Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory

8. Sip a Craft Beer at the Trafalgar

We built up quite a thirst climbing the hill to the observatory.  We rewarded ourselves on the way back down with a craft beer at the Trafalgar Tavern (named after the fateful battle that saw victory for England against Napoleon but claimed the life of Admiral Nelson).
Greenwich Day Trip: Trafalgar Tavern

Is Greenwich Worth Visiting?

I love the history of exploration and tend to organize my travels around this theme. 

Whether it's visiting the school of Henry the Navigator in the Algarve region of Portugal, dipping my fingers in the Strait of Magellan in Punta Arenas, or visiting the Cape of Good Hope on our South Africa itinerary, I love thinking about those that braved the unknown in search of new places and new knowledge. 

If you enjoy science and maritime history as much as I do, Greenwich is a must for a day out from London. Greenwich is easily accessible from London City and is the worth the visit for the chance to brag that you've stood in both hemispheres simultaneously, an experience matched only by our experience straddling the equator in Uganda!

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Walking the Line on a Maritime Greenwich Day TripTake a London to Greenwich Day Trip

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why a Greenwich Day Trip in London is the Best for Science Lovers
Why a Greenwich Day Trip in London is the Best for Science Lovers
Make time for a Greenwich day trip. Go from London to Greenwich by train. Discover things to do in Greenwich on a day trip from London Town.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog