Visit London Blog » royal observatory greenwich http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 London Challenge: Family Day Out For £50 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/london-challenge-family-day-out-for-50/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/london-challenge-family-day-out-for-50/#comments Tue, 09 Jul 2013 13:00:40 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=34485 "Driving" the driverless trains on the DLR Saying hello to the animals at Mudchute City Farm The Greenwich Foot Tunnel Outside Discover Greenwich, the visitor centre Learning through play in Discover Greenwich Standing on the Greenwich Prime Meridian Line Pirate Alice Leghorn at the National Maritime Museum Playing in Mudlarks at the Museum of London Docklands A well-deserved sit down at Poppies restaurant in Spitalfields

Can a family enjoy a day out in London for £50? I accepted this challenge and set out with a friend and our daughters for a day out. We only spent money on travel and food, as all the attractions we visited were free.

Morning: Mudchute Farm and Discover Greenwich
Mudchute Farm is one of London’s largest city farms and easy to reach on the DLR. From Crossharbour station, it’s a short walk to the farm where we said hello to the animals, watched horse-riding lessons and then exited at Millwall Park for the playground.

From here it’s a five-minute walk to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel under The Thames to reach Greenwich. (Do note, if you have younger children the lifts don’t always work, so be prepared for stairs.) It was a scorching day, so we all appreciated how cool it was in the tunnel. Within minutes, we were in Greenwich. Discover Greenwich, the visitor centre, has lots for children to do. We enjoyed dressing up, building towers and playing games. You can pick up a free map from the Tourist Information Office here and we grabbed ours and then went to the park.

Lunch: Greenwich Park
We were spoilt for choice for great picnic locations at Greenwich Park but we chose to climb the hill to the Royal Observatory, and eat our packed lunches admiring those magnificent views. We then watched the 1pm ball drop at Flamsteed House.

It’s possible to get photos of the Prime Meridian Line outside the Observatory courtyard as the line continues across the path outside. Just look for the “kissing gate” to the right of the courtyard to see it. We walked down the hill and found the Prime Meridian is also marked on Park Vista – a road near the boating lake. This called for more photo opportunities and, again, there was no-one else there.

Afternoon: Free Museums
The National Maritime Museum is a fabulous family-friendly museum and we played on the large floor map for some time before heading up to the All Hands! children’s gallery. On the hour, there are free family events to meet historic characters and we met Alice Leghorn – a female pirate who is well worth seeing.

We all wanted an ice-cream as it was such a hot day but ice-creams from a van in the park were £2.50 each; instead, we nipped to the supermarket nearby and bought a pack of four ice-creams for less than £3.

A short ride on the DLR and we got to Museum of London Docklands with another excellent children’s play/learning area. The girls had an hour in Mudlarks damming a stream, loading cargo on a ship, weighing and building before we visited the galleries.

We played in the sunshine in Canary Wharf before heading to Spitalfields for dinner. The area is well-known for excellent street art so we made sure we had time to explore and take photos.

Dinner: Fish and Chips
Poppies of Spitalfields has 1950s style decor with the friendliest service. There are kids’ meals on the menu and we all perked up when dinner arrived. We all enjoyed our day and I’m glad we proved that a family day out does not have to be expensive in London.

Budget

  • Two adult one-day travelcards (top-up on Oyster cards): 2 x £7.30 = £14.60
  • Pack of 4 ice-creams from supermarket: £2.69
  • Dinner at Poppies, including drinks: £31.80
  • Total: £49.09

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and is also a VisitBritain Super Blogger. She’s @AboutLondon on twitter and fits in further freelance writing while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival the Queen’s.

More ideas for enjoying London on a budget

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London Photo of the Week: The Peter Harrison Planetarium http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/10/london-photo-of-the-week-the-peter-harrison-planetarium/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/10/london-photo-of-the-week-the-peter-harrison-planetarium/#comments Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:00:45 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=23592

If you think the Peter Harrison Planetarium looks good from the outside, imagine the wonders of the universe you can see inside!

London’s only planetarium can be found on top of the hill next to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Shows at the planetarium take real images taken from spacecraft and massive telescopes and allow you to explore the universe without leaving your seat.

Have you seen anything amazing this week? Don’t forget to add your London photos to the Visit London Flickr group.

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Photo of the Week: View up to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/08/photo-of-the-week-view-up-to-the-royal-observatory-greenwich/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/08/photo-of-the-week-view-up-to-the-royal-observatory-greenwich/#comments Sat, 28 Aug 2010 08:00:07 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=13884

How about a trip to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich this weekend? The view looking back over London from the top of that hill is just as impressive! Try our Greenwich itinerary if you’re looking for inspiration.

Wherever you go in London, don’t forget to take lots of photos and add them to the Visit London Flickr pool.

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Discover Greenwich Opens in the Old Royal Naval College http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/discover-greenwich-opens-in-the-old-royal-naval-college/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/discover-greenwich-opens-in-the-old-royal-naval-college/#comments Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:57:49 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=7491

This morning I headed down to a sneak preview of Greenwich’s newest visitor attraction. Discover Greenwich is a fantastic mix of museum, exhibition, education centre, tourist information centre, café, and brewery.

Its different titbits of information, entertainment, interaction and refreshments reflect the diversity of Greenwich itself perfectly.

As a destination, Greenwich is also a potentially confusing mix of Tudor palace, old hospital, art gallery, observatory, architectural treasure and naval college. What the new exhibition-and-more at Discover Greenwich does so well is bring all the different bits of this amazing heritage site together into one manageable room.

I really liked the way traditional ways of displaying attraction information were mixed with interactive objects to twist, build, play with, doodle, watch, listen to, take away, and try on! Discover Greenwich is certainly a classy opener to one of the world’s heritage sites, and a great way to introduce all the different aspects of Greenwich in one space.

Once you’ve tasted a particularly tempting piece of Greenwich’s diverse platter of historical, architectural and cultural offerings, you can head out into Maritime Greenwich and explore your selected morsel further.

Or, if you’re particularly interested in Greenwich’s gastronomical past, there’s the fantastic Old Brewery, run by the Meantime Brewing Company, promising an “astonishing range of beers”. The experimental micro-brewery is going to create historical and modern beers, including recreations of recipes drunk at the time of Henry VIII, and avant-garde beers, such as Mojito Pilsners and Juniper Pale Ales. Like the sound of those!

Discover Greenwich opens to visitors on 23 March. Check out more images from Discover Greenwich on flickr. Give us your feedback in the comments below!

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