Need some tips for the weekend? Read on for a list of five free (or at least very cheap) things to do in Greenwich, compiled by Sofia Wickerhauser!
Climb the hill in Greenwich Park to see what is perhaps one of the best views of London. With 183 acres of land and 400-year-old trees, the park is a local favourite, not only for the view but also for picnics, long walks, and bird watching. The rose garden, located on the eastern side of the park, is a must-see in June/July. The Royal Observatory observatory, on top of the hill, houses the Meridian Line, which the Observatory’s website says ” (…) represents the Prime Meridian of the world, Longitude Zero (0° 0′ 0″). Every place on the Earth is measured in terms of its angle east or west from this line.”
Tickets to visit the observatory are £13.50, but you can see the meridian line laser outside, especially at night or in foggy weather.
If cool photos and fun astronomy facts are your thing, then the free Astronomy Centre galleries are definitely for you! Also located at the top of Greenwich Park, the planetarium houses inspiring photo collections and opportunities to test your astronomy knowledge. Bring a friend and go crazy with space exploration games, where you must team up and launch successful missions into space before the time runs out. Aside from the free galleries, tours around the galaxy will cost you £8, but are guided by commentary of real astronomers. Disclaimer: minor emotional breakdowns might occur as you stand in awe of the universe.
Only £3 for students (£5 otherwise), this cute museum near Greenwich Park chronicles the history of fans and fan making. The display of fans is quite exquisite – grab an audio guide and go upstairs to view the temporary exhibitions. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the museum’s quaint orangery serves one of the more reasonably priced afternoon-teas in London: just £9 per person.
Not many people know that beneath the Thames lies a 1,200 foot tunnel connecting the north and south banks. It’s slightly creepy, but surprisingly fun to walk (around 13 minutes), especially if you encounter a busking guitarist half-way through, echoing music all over the tunnel. From the north bank, you have access two nice parks, and a cool view of the National Maritime Museum buildings from the opposite side ofthe river. Back on the south bank, the tunnel connects directly to where the beautiful clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, is open for tours (tours cost £13.50).
After your day out in Greenwich, head to Goddard’s, a traditional pie and mash shop and restaurant. It’s not only a nice place to regain your energy after a long day of walking, but the prices are friendly too: a classic minced beef pie with mash is only £4.30 (two pies, £6.30). They serve all kinds of pies: chicken, veggie, steak and kidney, cheese and onion, you name it. If you’re unsure whether to choose liquor or gravy, ask what goes better with each type of pie. For desert, fruit pies are £2.90.