Your Guide to London Greenwich
Where is Greenwich?
Stay in fascinating Greenwich (the centre of which is a World Heritage Site and is famous for historic landmarks like the Old Royal Naval College the Royal Observatory) and you can stand astride the Prime Meridian, with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the west! Brimming with Royal connections, maritime history, inspiring architecture, cosy pubs, bustling street markets and breathtaking views, this is truly one place in South East London on the River Thames you can’t afford to miss. Stay here, surrounded by districts like Blackheath, Deptford, Charlton and The Docklands, and you’ll find yourself in Zone 2 of the London Underground, with North Greenwich Tube Station close by. Greenwich Train Station, in the heart of the district, also provides you with easy access to the capital via the Docklands Light Railway.
History of Greenwich
Grenewic, or Grenevic originates with the Saxons, and literally means 'the village on the green'. The town became the site of a Royal palace (the Palace of Placentia) from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor - including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was used as a biscuit factory and prisoner of war camp. It was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998, when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The Royal association with Greenwich is now broken, but the group of buildings that remain form the core of the World Heritage Site that you will find here today.
The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh Castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. In the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre, all helping to establish this truly fascinating district of London that you just have to come and visit!
The Positives of Greenwich
Greenwich is a truly inspiring and amazing place to stay. It’s full of royal connections and brimming with maritime history. It’s also bursting at the seams with attractions including the Royal Observatory – which just happens to be one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world! Not only this, it’s also a lively shopping centre with plenty of shops and boutiques for you to explore. The place has everything you could ever want, and if you decide to escape the hustle and bustle there are some beautiful open spaces (including the oldest Royal Park in London Greenwich Park). Greenwich also offers fantastic views wherever you turn. And another bonus is that you’re only 20 minutes from the city centre, and the transport links to the rest of the capital are excellent.
Need to Know Greenwich
There’s a real holiday feel about Greenwich, especially at weekends. Visitors from near and far jostle for pavement space, so be prepared for the hustle and bustle. Traffic can also slow to a snail’s pace as there are a large number of pedestrian crossings around the central market. But all this adds to the experience – and why come to London if you don’t want to stay in one of the most popular places? Greenwich is a lively, colourful place; so get ready for a fabulous trip. The traffic shouldn’t worry you either - the area is served extremely well by public transport so there’s no need to drive here! Even if you find that Greenwich Tube Station is a bit of a hike away from your hotel, Greenwich Train Station is well connected and situated in the heart of the district.