Time rules our lives; it rules our working day, our children’s schedules and affects our understanding of life. Everywhere we look we are met with a clock looking back at us, it’s a fascinating and abstract concept that we all adhere to. The various time zones across the world affect our travel and ability to do business internationally, but there is one place where time begins.
Greenwich, England is situated in South East London and is the home of zero degrees longitude, otherwise known as Prime Meridian or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Not only is the small suburb of London famous for its history in time, but it's also a beautiful and historical place. Over the spring break I was talking to a friend about the imminent arrival of summer and how it makes me excited to think of vacation opportunities. She had been to Greenwich recently and it sounded amazing, so I did a little research and wanted to share my findings with you.
The park at Greenwich is home to several historical buildings, such as Queen’s House, built for King James I’s queen between 1616 and 1635. Then there is the Royal Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and the University of Greenwich, which has a vast and colourful history. However, perhaps the most visual spectacle of the park is the view from the top of it. The vista is a stunning 180 degree outlook of the city of London, with many of its landmarks in view. Furthermore, the park is perhaps at its most beautiful at this time of the year.
Spring has sprung in England, and the blossom is in full bloom. The park is a vast green space, which was once used for hunting purposes by Henry VIII when he introduced deer to the site, and provides a welcome break from the hubbub of the city. Its winding paths and hidden gardens are perfect for a slow stroll and there is plenty of fun to be had for all.
If the park isn’t entertainment enough, Greenwich offers a variety of high-quality restaurants, cafes and pubs. It is also home to a famous market that is open everyday other than Monday, but it is at its best on the weekend. There are other tourist attractions that are worth a look too, especially the tea clipper docked in the centre of the town. Cutty Sark is a beautiful ship that has been restored to a fascinating museum of all things naval and importation. Sadly, a fire occurred in 2007, causing major damage to the ancient boat, disturbing the restoration process. Luckily, much of the boat’s frame was offsite and the boat could be restored to its original state as much as possible.
The best way to get to Greenwich is via the River Thames. There are several services from various locations on the river that will stop at Greenwich and allow you to see London from the river. Many of these cruises offer a spoken guide who will offer some history and insight into the river and the city built on it.
If you are planning a trip to London, take time to include a day trip to Greenwich, it offers a different view of London in many ways and has plenty of sites worth visiting.