There are few better places to be than at the top of Greenwich Park, perfect on a clear autumn day. The 183-acre space dates back to Roman times and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it overlooks the National Maritime Museum and the Old Royal Naval College. Beyond the museum, you can see the River Thames and Canary Wharf.
The surrounding area is steeped in history, with traditional pubs, a museum dedicated to fans and a theatre in a former music hall. Here are some of our must-see venues.
The O2 – Entertainment for All
Up to 20,000 fans regularly pile into this music and entertainment venue, which has hosted stars such as Beyoncé, Prince and Rihanna.
Upcoming gigs include boy-band superstars One Direction, on their final pre-breakup tour (24-30 Sep), Squeeze, performing from their first album since 1998 (17 Oct), and Tom Jones and Van Morrison performing in the Prudential BluesFest (8 Nov.) The O2 isn’t just about music: global tennis champs Roger Federer and Andy Murray battle it out in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (15-22 Nov).
Make a day of it and sign up for Up at The O2. After donning a climb suit, boots and harness, you can scale its iconic dome to a viewing platform.
The venue also has a cinema, bars and restaurants.
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Cutty Sark – Historic Ship
The Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper in the world, first set sail in 1869. A year later, laden with wine, spirits and beer, she made her maiden voyage to China—the first of eight trips—before returning eight months later with a cargo of tea.
Reaching top speeds of 17 knots (20mph), she visited every major port in the world, trading coal, jute and wool.
Hop on board the 85m ship, which had a major renovation after a fire in 2011, and see its 47m-high mast up close. The ship is raised above ground, so you can explore underneath it, too. Look out for regular events taking place on the ship, too.
Royal Observatory – Time and Space
Founded by Charles II in 1675, the Royal Observatory is home to the Meridian Line, making it the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium.
Visitors to this historic scientific site can walk across an oversized world map, stargaze in the capital’s only planetarium and see Lord Admiral Nelson’s uniform in a permanent exhibition dedicated to the naval commander praised for defeating Napoleon in 1815.
In the courtyard, you can also stand on either side of the Meridian – which means you’ll be in the eastern and western hemispheres at the same time.
Emirates Air Line – View From Above
London’s only cable car connects The O2 in Greenwich on the south bank of the Thames with the Emirates Royal Docks on the north.
It takes 10 minutes to cross the river and on your journey you will see The O2, Canary Wharf and the Thames Barrier, which was built in 1982 to prevent London from flooding.
Get off near The O2 and you can stroll along The Line, a new three-mile riverside promenade lined with contemporary art sculptures by the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The Line runs to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
Greenwich Market – Local Crafts Galore
This covered market is home to 120 stalls selling antiques and collectables on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and craft and design on Wednesday, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays.
It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts and souvenirs such as jewellery made from silver spoons or framed photos of London. It also has food stalls selling everything from ramen and paella to Ethiopian stew and Brazilian churros. Look out for the stall selling cheesecake brownies – they’re seriously gooey.
See more things to do in London here.