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14 issues to do in Greenwich with children

Certainly one of my favorite elements of London, it’s straightforward to spend a day exploring Greenwich with children – in reality, with some improbable family-friendly sights and its pretty setting on the Thames, you may very simply spend quite a bit longer.

The views from Greenwich park in London down to the Old Royal Naval College and the Docklands during a day out in Greenwich with kids
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Except you’re primarily based in Greenwich itself or the Greenwich Peninsula, one of the simplest ways to reach is by boat – in any other case Cutty Sark DLR station is the closest – and strategy from the water, as so many individuals have achieved over the centuries.

And together with exploring the museums and different sights, it’s a beautiful place to wander, whether or not that’s alongside the riverside or in Greenwich’s inexperienced areas. To start out you off, listed below are my 13 prime issues to do in Greenwich with children.

Go to the Cutty Sark

One of many first belongings you see as you step off the boat at Greenwich pier or out of Cutty Sark DLR, a go to to the historic clipper ship is among the finest issues to do in Greenwich for teenagers.

View of the Cutty Sark clipper ship in Greenwich - one of my top things to do in Greenwich with kids

There are kids’s trails to observe however even with out these, you may wander by means of the ship peeking inside cabins, discovering the cargo she carried, plus varied interactive shows together with an opportunity to attempt your individual hand at crusing a digital ship (more durable than it seems to be!)

Better of all, you may discover proper from the copper-bottomed hull of the Cutty Sark ship to the deck (be careful for the carved monkey). Hold a watch out and also you typically can meet vibrant characters who would have as soon as frolicked aboard, particularly at weekends and through college holidays.

There’s a reduction on tickets should you e-book utilizing my hyperlink and code MUMMYTRAVELS6 – you should buy mixed tickets should you’re visiting the Royal Observatory and Queen’s Home as properly.

Learn what we considered visiting the Cutty Sark with a preschooler.

My daughter's feet either side of the meridian line in Greenwich - unmissable and one of the many free things to do in Greenwich with kids

Jump over the meridian line

One factor everybody is aware of about Greenwich is its affiliation with time – it’s right here you discover the prime meridian line used to calculate GMT.

However there’s much more to it than that: the prime meridian is the place to begin to measure each place on earth by its angle east or west from this level.

For older children, it’s a good way to deliver a few of the science to life, and nonetheless previous you’re, there’s one thing enjoyable about standing with one foot both aspect.

The meridian line runs throughout the courtyard of the Royal Observatory however you can even see a part of it exterior the principle constructing at no cost.

Head to the massive Shepherd clock with indicators about measures and the time ball (all price studying in themselves), then by means of the black gate across the nook, the road stretches throughout a small alleyway.

My daughter and a friend look at the Shepherd Clock and details of old British measurements in Greenwich

The Royal Observatory

Set on prime of the hill, the Royal Observatory incorporates London’s solely planetarium in addition to the Astronomy Centre, Flamsteed Home (named after the primary Astronomer Royal) and the Meridian Courtyard.

It’s additionally dwelling to the time ball: the pink ball on the japanese turret drops day by day at 1pm as a sign to boats on the Thames of the exact time.

That is someplace for older children, who’ll be extra within the tales of the clocks that modified the world – John Harrison’s clocks, which enabled sailors to find out longitude – in addition to the telescopes and tales of the calculating the meridian.

The Planetarium has some nice reveals aimed toward totally different ages too (together with digital reveals on-line and Q&As with the astronomers throughout lockdown). Tickets for the Peter Harrison Planetarium reveals are restricted have to be prebooked, or you may e-book entry to the Observatory individually, in addition to mixed Royal Museums Greenwich tickets for the Cutty Sark and Queen’s Home as properly.

View of the exterior of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich - a great option to visit in Greenwich with older kids

Greenwich park

Greenwich Park stretches for 183 acres so there’s loads of room to run round and let off steam, plus it’s straightforward to mix with a go to to a museum – it’s solely round 5 minutes stroll from the Cutty Sark alongside King William Stroll, proper subsequent to the Nationwide Maritime Museum and homes the Royal Observatory.

The oldest enclosed royal park can be dwelling to probably the greatest views in London. Head to the hill the place the Royal Observatory is about and you may gaze down throughout the Royal Naval school and the Thames, and out to the London Docklands.

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

Or you may merely wander spherical and benefit from the flowers: London’s longest herbaceous border, a rose backyard, herb backyard and the Queen’s orchard are all inside the park.

Head to the south-east of the park and you may even spot deer within the Wilderness as properly, or from Easter to October, there’s boating on the lake close to the Queen’s Home.

In the event you’re searching for playgrounds in Greenwich, there’s one within the north-east nook too, with sandpits, swings, slides and climbing frames – or learn on for extra details about The Cove play space.

My daughter enjoys the views from Greenwich park down to the Old Royal Naval College and the Docklands during a day out in Greenwich with kids

The Cove

This new play space by the Nationwide Maritime Museum places different playgrounds within the shade. The Cove is designed to deliver kids’s imaginations to life in addition to letting them climb, clamber and play to their coronary heart’s content material.

On the centre is a ship, the Shanty, the place you may take the wheel, hearth the cannon, discover the barrels in addition to climbing as much as the crow’s nest earlier than heading again down the enormous tentacle slide.

Or head contained in the Cutty Shark, climbing its fin and exploring by means of a maze of nets to find a secret den – then slide out by means of its fearsome jaws.

Be careful for the Kraken too, as you slide, soar and climb by means of the creatures seaweed tangles, nets and bridges – one of many enjoyable elements of the playground for youthful guests. There’s no have to e-book and it’s fully free: there’s additionally a restaurant and bogs contained in the Nationwide Maritime Museum subsequent door.

Facade of the free National Maritime Museum in Greenwich - one of the best places to visit in Greenwich with kids

Nationwide Maritime Museum

The free Nationwide Maritime museum traces Britain’s maritime historical past, with an enchanting assortment that ranges from artworks and maps to mannequin ships and even the coat Nelson was carrying when he died.

Whereas toddlers are more likely to be much less enthralled, there are household trails together with ones for mini mariners and the enormous map proper on the coronary heart of the museum is ideal for any age, in addition to loads of household enjoyable actions aimed toward youthful guests.

And the Ahoy Gallery, is good for below sevens; the immersive play house permits you to do every thing from stoking the boiler of a steamship to promoting fish within the market, in addition to discovering extra about pirates, polar tales and adventures galore – this does have a small cost at weekends and college holidays and must be prebooked (whereas it’s free on weekdays, it’s unsurprisingly common so nonetheless price prebooking).

There’s loads extra to maintain main age kids (and up) entertained too, from tales of journey and piracy in Tudor instances, the challenges of the Polar adventures, and tales of exploring the Pacific.

As there’s free entry, there’s no have to prebook (though you may e-book free tickets on-line to get updates earlier than your go to).

Even should you don’t go in, it’s price heading down to identify the large ship in a bottle exterior – Yinka Shonibare’s recreation of Nelson’s Victory – one other of the enjoyable free issues to do in Greenwich with children.

Ship in a bottle sculpture by Yinka Shonibare outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich - another of the free things to do in Greenwich with kids

Observe a Treasure Path

I’m an enormous fan of those self-guided Treasure Trails to discover with children, and the Greenwich path isn’t any exception. With American associates visiting, we determined to observe the route by means of Greenwich as a option to see all the realm’s highlights whereas nonetheless entertaining our youngsters.

You don’t have to go inside any of the Greenwich museums to seek out the clues (though it’s straightforward so as to add visits in alongside the way in which), and the path helps you notice a few of the little particulars on buildings as you wander, strolling from the Cutty Sark down a few of Greenwich’s little alleyways, by means of the park and previous the Royal Observatory, and all the way down to the river.

One of many longer trails, it lasts round two and a half hours.

Collage showing a statue of Lord Nelson spotted outside a pub called the Trafalgar in Greenwich on our Treasure Trail walk around Greenwich with kids, and my daughter pretends to fire a cannon outside the Old Royal Naval College

Greenwich market

There’s at all times one thing enjoyable to find at Greenwich market – together with some nice meals, which makes it a enjoyable and simple place to cease for lunch in Greenwich with children.

You’ll additionally discover quirky souvenirs, together with collectables, jewelry and classic garments, to not point out some good espresso and ice cream to assist gas a stroll round Greenwich.

In December, it additionally transforms right into a Christmas market as soon as per week, in addition to different household pleasant festive occasions beginning in November.

Painted Corridor

Reopened in 2019 after in depth restoration, the Painted Corridor on the Previous Royal Naval School has been referred to as Britain’s reply to the Sistine Chapel – one of many jewels in Greenwich’s crown, serving to make the borough a Unesco World Heritage website.

For adults, you may uncover how the work inform tales of politics, in addition to scientific, cultural and business achievements – however for any age, it’s an impressive paintings to sit down and stare at.

Or moderately, to lie and stare at. There are mirrors dotted strategically round but in addition cushioned benches so you may lie again and soak up the main points.

In any other case you may wander by means of the buildings of the Previous Royal Naval School, which stands on the positioning of the previous Greenwich Palace the place Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had been born, recognizing cannon alongside the way in which.

The Painted Corridor is free for youngsters to enter, though they nonetheless want a ticket, which should be prebooked.

For extra royal locations in London to go to with children, take a look at my choose of the very best, from palaces to castles and extra

The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich (courtesy Visit Britain)

Boat journey to Greenwich

My favorite option to arrive in Greenwich, you may cruise on the Thames from central London or select a sightseeing boat for a bit extra background.

Uber Boat (previously Thames Clippers) sails alongside the river from Battersea, with stops at Westminster, Waterloo, Embankment, the South Financial institution and Tower Hill alongside the way in which, earlier than heading out through the Docklands to Greenwich.

You should use Oyster playing cards/contactless or purchase tickets utilizing the Uber boat app, and the principle RB1 service travels round each half hour to Greenwich.

Or take a look at the sightseeing cruises from Metropolis Cruises, which have a commentary (dwell or recorded) about what you’re seeing alongside the way in which.

There are different Thames boat excursions to select from, together with this sightseeing tour from Westminster to Greenwich in addition to a hop-on hop-off sightseeing cruise.

One of the City Cruises boats on the Thames in London with the Shard and HMS Belfast in the background - one of the best boat trips in London with kids

IFS Cloud cable automotive

In the event you fancy one other, moderately totally different view of London, head over to North Greenwich – you may hop on a ship or bus, in addition to taking a stroll alongside the riverfront (admittedly not essentially the most scenic stroll alongside the Thames).

The cable automotive hyperlinks to the Docklands so it’s finest to consider it as an expertise moderately than a way of getting from A to B as likelihood is you received’t be exploring the realm round Excel!

However there are some nice views alongside the river, because it rises 90m as much as journey the kilometre throughout to the opposite aspect.

In the event you time your journey for sundown, it’s much more memorable – plus because it’s a part of the Tfl community, fares received’t break the bank. Youngsters aged 5-15 additionally must pay, however you need to use contactless or your Oyster card in addition to reserving household tickets.

The journey lasts round 5 minutes at peak instances, round double that at different instances together with night journeys and cabins arrive round each 30 seconds.

In the event you e-book a spherical journey, you don’t must get off and stroll spherical to queue for the journey again, though it’ll value barely extra.

A view of the Emirates cable car with the O2 in the background - things to do in Greenwich with kids

Go to the O2

Residence to a string of eating places, there are additionally common exhibitions on the 02, together with dwell performances – to not point out Disney on Ice – on the 02 enviornment.

However some of the uncommon issues to attempt on this a part of Greenwich with children, is climbing onto the highest of the constructing at Up on the O2.

Children have to be at the least eight and over 1.2 metres tall (with one grownup to each two children, in the event that they’re aged between eight and 11).

After a security briefing, you get a go well with, boots and harness, and set off to climb up the walkway which leads you 52m above floor – it takes round an hour, and when you begin, there’s no turning again.

With superb views out throughout London – as a lot as 15 miles on a transparent day – it’s improbable for extra adventurous children.

For youthful children, there are some simpler thrills at Oxygen freejumping trampolines, together with toddler classes, in addition to delicate play, plus TOCA Social immersive soccer expertise and a cinema all inside the O2.

View across West India Dock on our visit to the Museum of London Docklands with kids

Museum of London Docklands

I’m dishonest barely by together with this in an inventory of issues to do in Greenwich with children however whilst you’re over in south-east London, it’s really easy to go to that it’s price preserving in thoughts.

In actual fact, should you hop on the DLR from Cutty Sark to West India Quay, it takes across the identical time to get to the Museum of London Docklands because it does to get to North Greenwich.

And a go to here’s a enjoyable one to mix with a go to to the Nationwide Maritime Museum – whereas that follows Britain’s historical past on the water worldwide, the Museum of London Docklands traces the story of London’s river and the commerce which constructed up round it.

Beginning in Tudor instances proper by means of to the post-war interval and the constructing of the town’s monetary district, the galleries cowl every thing from slavery and strikes to interactive shows, comparable to an opportunity to wander by means of sailortown.

It’s free to enter and there’s no have to prebook tickets, until you’re planning to go to one of many common short-term exhibitions as properly. There’s additionally the nice Mudlarks kids’s gallery for teenagers aged as much as 8, with 45-minute classes introducing youthful children to a few of the museum’s tales by means of play and hands-on enjoyable – this does have a £3 value and desires prebooking although.

Take a look at our go to to the Museum of London Docklands with children, together with the Havering Hoard exhibition

A mug of hot chocolate plus spoon, heart chocolates, star biscuit and pine cone - the perfect way to warm up. A chill version is one of my top five things to do in Devon in winter

Ice rink on the Queen’s Home

In the event you’re visiting Greenwich within the run-up to Christmas, this London festive ice rink has been an amazing addition exterior the Queen’s Home since 2019.

The one out of doors ice rink in south London, you may look out to the Thames as you skate, with scorching chocolate and mulled wine to heat up once more afterwards.

For extra particulars of London’s Christmas ice rinks, together with the close by Canary Wharf rink, take a look at this put up.

Locations to remain in Greenwich with children

If you wish to make Greenwich your base for a household vacation in London, there are many family-friendly locations to remain together with accommodations and self-catering properties.

Take a look at a few of the family-friendly accommodations in Greenwich on, or for self-catering lodging, I’m an enormous fan of the residences from PlumGuide. Every has been individually vetted, you may filter for baby-friendly and family-friendly properties, plus the professionals and cons are laid out clearly.

*First revealed 2020, final up to date 2024*


Things to do in Greenwich with kids - the top family attractions for a day out in Greenwich, London, from free museums to spotting deer, seeing the meridian line and fun for teens in Greenwich.

Disclosure: This put up incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Photographs: Painted Corridor picture courtesy VisitBritain, Nationwide Maritime Museum facade/Emirates cable automotive/scorching chocolate courtesy Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels


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