Greenwich Things to Do

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    St Alfege
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    National Maritime Museum
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Most Recent Things to Do in Greenwich

  • MarkJochim's Profile Photo

    Chichester's "Gipsy Moth IV", Greenwich Pier

    by MarkJochim Updated Jul 2, 2003

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    The 54-foot (12-meter) long "Gipsy Moth IV" is the sailboat on which Sir Francis Chichester completed the first solo circumnavigation of the world. The voyage covered the 30,000 miles (48,000 km) in 226 days during 1966-67. Upon his returnn, Her Majesty The Queen knighted Chichester onboard his yacht, using the same sword Elizabeth I had used to knight Sir Francis Drake in 1581.

    Today, the boat is displayed on the Greenwich Pier. The interior is not open to the public. As I write this, I have discovered that the "Gispy Moth IV" has been sold. It is due to be returned to a seaworthy condition and permanently moved to Suffolk; its dry dock at Cutty Sark Gardens is to be levelled - all part of an extensive redevelopment scheme planned by the Greenwich Town Council.

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    Sir Walter Raleigh Statue, Greenwich

    by MarkJochim Updated Jul 2, 2003

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    At Royal Naval College (Bryan Riffel 5/25/03)

    Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) was an English adventurer and writer who was prominent at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and became an explorer of the Americas.

    In 1585 he sponsored the first English colony in America, on Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina. This colony failed, as did another attempt in 1587. He also seached for gold in South America's Guyana. He posed as an expert on Irish affairs in London, became the Queen's favorite at her court and was soon knighted. He became one of the most powerful figures in England.

    Elizabeth's successor, James I, disliked Raleigh and in 1603 he was accused of plotting against the king. Raleigh was sentenced to death, but King James commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. and he spent the next 13 years in the Tower of London. While in prison, he wrote a number of poems and several books which gave him an important place among Elizabethan intellectuals.

    In 1615, Raleigh convinced James to allow him to return to Guyana, promising the king a fortune in gold. The expedition was a disaster; they attacked a Spanish settlement and Raleigh's son was killed. When Sir Walter returned to England, King James invoked the death sentence of 1603 and he was beheaded on October 29, 1618.

    This statue of Sir Walter Raleigh - designed by William McMillan - is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. It was formerly in front of the Ministry of Defense in central London, but was moved its new location outside the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre (itself housed in the old Samuel Pepys House) in December 2001.

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    Bellot Memorial, Greenwich

    by MarkJochim Written Jul 2, 2003

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    Bellot Memorial (Bryan Riffel 5/25/03)

    This obelisk of red Aberdeen granite which stands on the riverside in front of the Royal Hospital buildings commemorates a dynamic young French explorer, Joseph Rene Bellot (1826-1853). He took part in two of the five unsuccessful expeditions sponsored by Lady Franklin to find traces of her husband Sir John Franklin, who had died in his attempt to discover the water route across North America known as the Northwest passage.

    Bellot joined the second Franklin search expedition in 1851 and although only 25 years old, had already made a name for himself through expeditions to Madagascar and South America. He was an attractive personality who loved socialising and became very popular whilst waiting for the expedition to depart from the Orkneys. Once embarked he hardened himself for wintering in the Arctic by allowing himself only a thin mattress and one blanket on bare boards. When he met his first Eskimos he endeared himself to them by constructing an artificial leg for a man who was disabled. The expedition found no traces of Franklin, but was made memorable by other discoveries, notably of the stretch of water now called Bellot Strait. The team returned home in 1852 having covered 1,000 miles of new ground.

    It was during another expedition the following year in 1853 that Bellot lost his life, falling under the ice in the Wellington Channel when his party became separated whilst delivering important messages to the leader of the expedition Captain Inglefield.

    This colourful young explorer was widely mourned and it was a measure of his popularity that £2000 was raised after his death of which £500 went towards erecting the memorial which stands on the riverside today. The memorial was designed by Philip Hardwick, who also designed the original Euston station and Arch. The remainder of the money went to his sisters who when Bellot died lost their financial support.

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    Greenwich Foot Tunnel

    by MarkJochim Updated Jul 2, 2003

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    Entrance to Greenwich Foot Tunnel (MJ 5/25/03)

    This tunnel, 1,200 feet (370 m) long stretching between Greenwich Pier and the Isle of Dogs, was opened in 1902 to allow south London laborers to walk to work in Millwall Docks. Today it is worth crossing for the wonderful views, across the river, of Christopher Wren's Old Royal Naval College and of Inigo Jones's Queen's House.

    Matching round red-brick terminals, with glass domes, mark the top of the elevator shafts on either side of the river. The tunnel is about 9 feet (2.5 meters) high and is lined with 200,000 tiles. Both ends of the tunnel are close to stations on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Although there are security cameras, the tunnel can be eerie at night.

    Open: 24 hours daily
    Elevators Open: 05:00-21:00 daily

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Planetarium

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 6, 2013

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    Planetarium
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    Next to the Obsevatory is the planetarium. entrance to the exhibits are free but there is a charge for planetarium shows.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Cutty Sark

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 6, 2013

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    Cutty Sark
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    This restored british Clipper ship was built in 1869 and was in use until 1954. Today its been converted into a museum.

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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Old Royal Naval College

    by Jim_Eliason Written Mar 4, 2013

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    Old Royal Naval College
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    Now the University of greenwich, this used to be the Royal Naval College. Today the Chapel and the Painted Hall are open to the public.

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    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Royal Observatory

    by Jim_Eliason Written Mar 4, 2013

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    Royal Observatory
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    Greenwich's most famous site is the observatory which marks the arbitary place from which all longitude and time is measured.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    The Peninsula Spire

    by pieter_jan_v Written Oct 20, 2010
    The Peninsula Spire
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    The Peninsula Spire is a 45 metres high piece of art. It is the UK’s tallest stainless steel structure.

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    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The Royal Naval College

    by viddra Updated Mar 31, 2007

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    the college
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    The present building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren as Greenwich Hospital, but was taken over by the College in 1873.

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    • Architecture

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  • HarShe's Profile Photo

    Camera obscura, Royal Observatory, Greenwich

    by HarShe Updated Aug 4, 2006
    The camera now
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    Amazing views captured using simply laws of Physics. When you visit the Observatory dont forget to have a peek through this Camera. Only takes a few minutes.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • School Holidays

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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Walk under water...

    by BluBluBlu Written Aug 26, 2005

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    A lot of visitors take no notice of this funny little building. But its in fact the entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel...so you can cross to the other side by walking under the Thames!

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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Inside RNH2

    by BluBluBlu Written Aug 26, 2005

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    This area is known as the 'Painted Gallery'...and I think was used as a Dining Room...Nelson would have known this area when visiting wounded seaman.

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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Inside RNH

    by BluBluBlu Written Aug 26, 2005

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    The Royal Navy Hospital was closed down some years ago...parts are now open to the public...and the rest is used by Greenwich University.

    This is the chapel...

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  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo

    Royal Navy Hospital

    by BluBluBlu Written Aug 26, 2005

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    This is a view of the Hospital after Queen Anne stepped in...they sliced out the middle...so she still had her view!

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Greenwich Things to Do

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