It’s been a while since Emma and I visited London, almost two years in fact. But because we were there for three whole weeks, we actually did a ton of fun stuff that I never got around to blogging about. In the next few months I’ll be sharing more about our past travels around the globe (and locally), because not only is it a fun way to re-live our adventures, it’s also helpful to readers that may be in the process of planning a trip of their own.
Today I’m republishing a travel guide (with extra content) that I originally wrote as a guest post for Mamma Loves Travel, it’s all about Greenwich in London, a place I really love. One of my close friends lived there while we were visiting and was kind enough to let us crash at her place for 10 nights. We really got a feel for the place living like locals.
5 Reasons to visit Greenwich, London with Kids
Greenwich is a lovely place to visit if you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of London and find a little space to breathe. It has a rich maritime history and is actually a UNESCO world heritage site.
The kids will love all the hands on activities at Greenwich’s museums and they can run around at Greenwich Park. Most attractions are free so it’s an inexpensive day out.
Getting there is easy, just catch the Jubilee line to North Greenwich Station then a bus into the historical centre of town, or for a more scenic trip, take a water bus along the Thames.
Emma and I spent three whole days hanging out in Greenwich and we still didn’t touch the sides, there is a lot to do here. You will struggle to see everything in one day, but here are some of the highlights you shouldn’t miss.
1. Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark is one of the world’s most famous ships, the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time. She travelled all around the world and even shipped wool from Australia back to England. Recently restored the Cutty Sark now sits in a specially constructed dry dock that enables visitors to explore the whole ship, both above and below decks, as well as under the majestic hull.
Kids will love the hands on interactive displays which tell the history of the ship and maritime trade, they can dress up as sailors and see what life was like as a crew member of the Cutty Sark and even have a go at swabbing the deck.
Check the website for regularly scheduled family activities including story telling sessions.
Ticket Prices Adults £13.50, Kids £7, under 5’s free. Family passes and combo discounts available.
The National Maritime Museum has an amazing new children’s gallery that is boatload of fun. Designed especially for 0-7 year olds. Your child’s imagination will be fired up as they stoke the boiler of a steamship, work in an interactive boatyard or catch fish on the high seas. I guarantee the kids won’t want to leave.
Don’t miss The Great Map which has an interactive explorer game.
Entry is FREE
Make sure you head into the Discover Greenwich visitor centre to get a real insight into the area. It’s not just naval history, Old Royal Naval College are the remains of one of King Henry´s VIII palaces
There is an exhibition hall at the Visitor Centre where one can have a look at 500 years of history. The kids can try on replica Tudor armour and build models of Greenwich’s fantastic architecture.
Walk around the grounds of the Old royal Naval College, admire Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece and some fabulous views of the river.
Entry is Free
4. Greenwich Park
Greenwich park is expansive and is a great spot for a picnic. It’s quite a hike to the top of the hill, but you will be rewarded by sweeping views across the river Thames and Central London.
There is a fantastic adventure playground located near the Maritime Museum end suitable for kids of all ages. The park is also home to deer, a rose garden and a boating pond, so there is plenty to see and do. Keep an eye out for squirrels, they are everywhere.
Entry is Free
No visit to Greenwich is complete without a visit to the Royal Observatory. Stand astride the Prime Meridian where all the world’s time is measured from. The free audio guides tells you the history of the observatory and it’s importance to the understanding of the stars, space and time.
If you have a space loving junior astronomer, don’t miss the Astronomy Centre located behind the old observatory. There they can touch a a 4.5 billion year-old meteorite, watch how the universe was formed, and guide a space mission.
Entrance to the Astronomy Centre is FREE. Entrance charges apply to the Meridian Line and Flamsteed House. Adults £9.50, Kids £5 Under 5’s free (free audio guide included)
If you are planning a trip to London, allow an extra day or two to visit Greenwich, I guarantee you’ll all fall in love with the place.
Read about Greenwich’s 100 year old foot tunnel under the Thames – some say it’s haunted!