Sometimes I feel out of place in this day and age. I don’t want to go so far back that people were throwing chamber pots over the window, but I still long for the aesthetics of the 1800s. Luckily, I can always make the trip down to Greenwich. I’ve always been interested in ships and architecture, which makes Greenwich the perfect day trip destination for people trying to get out on a spring/summer day.
I try and get there early for a good breakfast. My favourite spot there is Heap’s Sausage Cafe. I knew I was in for a lot of walking though, so I had to resist eating multiple sausage links (I can never have just one) and instead went to Elements restaurant. They don’t have a signature item like Heap’s, but everything is delicious and they are right next to the station.
If you have never been to Greenwich, you have to start at Queen’s House which stores over 400 years of art, architecture, and royal history. That being said, it could be completely empty and still worth your time. Built in 1616, it is Britain’s first classical building. James I built it for his wife and nicknamed it the “House of Delight”. Its immense and royal structure went on to inspire all the beautiful buildings in Greenwich, for which I am very thankful.
Later in the morning I made my way over to the Cutty Sark, the only tea clipper ship still standing. This ship is legendary and every time I see it I wish I was back in the late 1800s. It’s not just the ship though, it’s the presentation. The Cutty crew puts on an incredible exhibit that delves you into the storied history of clippers in an immersive experience. All while you are looking out over the river Thames.
After that it was midday, I was tired of being cultured and historic and also a little hungry. So I went to arguably my favorite stop, Greenwich Market. The market is the perfect place to grab a bite (I love the cheesecake they sell in one of the stalls!) and aimlessly browse. There are a plethora of colourful and intriguing stores that sell all manor of things. I usually restrain myself to one purchase. In fact, I was inspired to go to Greenwich after looking at the wood-carved bulldog I bought last time which I keep on my desk.
I browsed too long this time and only had enough time to go to one more stop. I will say, however, don’t browse the market too long and get yourself to the Old Royal Naval College. The ORNC is a riverside masterpiece headed by Sir Christopher Wren. It contains some of the most exquisite architecture this side of the world. I mean, they shot Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Miserables and Thor there, it’s that otherworldly?
Instead, I went to the Royal Observatory, which is how I usually end my Greenwich trips. The Observatory is the meeting point of two hemispheres and is considered by some to be the centre of time. After looking at all the telescopes, exhibits, and touching a 4.5 billion year-old asteroid, I like to catch a show at the planetarium. By the end, I feel like I’m in the wrong time period again, except this time I want to go forward and sail through space. Sigh, for now, I’m just a Londoner. Maybe I’ll start astronaut training tomorrow!