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Plan Your Visit To Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich | Visitor Information At A Glance

Royal Observatory Greenwich

What's The Best time to Visit Royal Observatory Greenwich?

The best time to visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich depends on your preferences and priorities. If you prefer a quieter experience, weekdays are ideal. The observatory is typically less crowded, allowing you to explore exhibits and enjoy the Prime Meridian Line without long lines. Weekends, on the other hand, are busier, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Consider arriving in the morning when the observatory opens. This provides a chance to explore the exhibits with fewer visitors. Alternatively, later in the afternoon can be a good option, especially during the weekends when crowds may start to thin.

London's climate is relatively mild year-round, but outdoor attractions like the observatory are particularly enjoyable during spring and summer. The lush greenery of Greenwich Park adds to the experience. However, keep in mind that these seasons can also be the high tourist season, so plan accordingly if you want to avoid larger crowds.

Where is Royal Observatory Greenwich Located?

Getting to Royal Observatory Greenwich in London

Royal Observatory Greenwich by Metro

By Public Transportation

  • By Train: The nearest rail stations are Greenwich and Maze Hill, both accessible with direct trains from London Cannon Street and London Bridge.
  • By Bus: You can use bus lines 53, 54, 202, or 380, with the nearest stop being Royal Observatory Greenwich.
  • By Tube: If you are taking the London Underground, Cutty Sark Station is the nearest stop. The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) connects to Cutty Sark and links to other Underground lines at Bank, Tower Gateway, and Stratford stations.
  • By Boat: You can board the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, which departs every 20 minutes from major piers. Alternatively, opt for city cruises and river sightseeing for a unique journey to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, departing from Greenwich Pier.
Royal Observatory Greenwich by Car

By Car

  • If you decide to drive down to Royal Observatory Greenwich, you can avail the car park at the National Maritime Museum.
  • The car park operates from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends and holidays.
  • Daily parking fee of £10.
  • Located on Park Row (SE10 9NG), it also includes five accessible parking bays to accommodate disabled visitors.

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Know Before You Go To Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich Facilities
  • Lost Property: If you have lost or found any items, you can approach one of the visitor assistants at the Royal Observatory.
  • Toilets & Baby Change: Wheelchair-accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities, and an accessible toilet are available.
  • Accessibility: The Royal Observatory offers accessible toilets, wheelchair-accessible cafés, and gift shops.
  • Wheelchair Access: Manual wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge, though it's recommended to book in advance via email. Access within the Royal Observatory is limited to specific areas. The older buildings, such as Flamsteed House and Great Equatorial telescope, lack disabled access.
  • British Sign Language (BSL): Some Visitor Assistants are trained to British Sign Language Level 1 standard. BSL-supported and subtitled materials are available.
  • Hearing Loops: Hearing loops are installed at information desks and key locations across all sites.
  • Planetarium Shows: Ear defenders can be provided upon request. Planetarium shows do not include flashing images but may contain occasional fast motion. Note that re-entry or latecomers are not permitted once a show has begun.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Plan Ahead: Check the observatory's opening hours and consider visiting on weekdays for a quieter experience.
  • Prime Meridian Photo: Don't miss the iconic Prime Meridian Line photo opportunity, where you can stand in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
  • Historical Instruments: Explore the historic astronomical instruments and the Octagon Room inside Flamsteed House for a glimpse into the past.
  • Planetarium Shows: Catch a planetarium show for an immersive journey through outer space.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy the stunning views of London from Greenwich Park, and take a leisurely walk through the park.
  • Accessibility: If you have accessibility needs, check in advance for wheelchair availability and accessible routes, especially for older buildings like Flamsteed House.
Royal Observatory Greenwich  Restaurant & Cafe
  • Pho Street: Pho Street is a vibrant Vietnamese eatery known for its comforting noodle soups and traditional dishes. The restaurant also has an inviting atmosphere and quick, grab-and-go options.
  • Sticks'n'Sushi Greenwich: Sticks'n'Sushi Greenwich is a Japanese eatery inspired by a renowned Danish concept, serving a delightful menu of sushi and delectable grilled yakitori skewers.
  • Bill's Greenwich Restaurant: Bill's Greenwich Restaurant offers a diverse range of European cuisine with distinct menus for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, and dinner.
  • Cutty Sark Café, Restaurant & Bar: Cutty Sark Café, Restaurant & Bar offers a laid-back dining experience with Mediterranean cuisine prepared on a charcoal grill, complemented by a selection of cocktails.
Royal Observatory Greenwich  Nearby attractions
  • Cutty Sark: Located just a short stroll away, the Cutty Sark is a historic clipper ship turned museum. Explore its decks and learn about its maritime adventures.
  • National Maritime Museum: Situated in the heart of Greenwich, this museum delves into Britain's maritime history, showcasing ship models, navigational instruments, and exhibitions.
  • Queen's House: This architectural gem houses an exceptional art collection and boasts a stunning Tulip Staircase, making it a must-visit for art and architecture enthusiasts.
  • Old Royal Naval College: Just a short walk away, the Old Royal Naval College is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture. Explore its stunning Painted Hall and Chapel, learn about naval history, and wander through the grounds along the Thames River.

Frequently Asked Questions: Visiting Royal Observatory Greenwich in London

What are the Royal Observatory Greenwich opening hours?

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is open from 10 AM to 5 PM everyday.

What is the best time to visit Royal Observatory Greenwich?

To avoid crowds, it is recommended to visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich on weekdays, especially during the early morning or late afternoon. It tends to be busier on weekends, particularly during peak tourist seasons.

Where is the Royal Observatory Greenwich located?

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is located at Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom.

What is the best way to get to Royal Observatory Greenwich?

The best way to reach Royal Observatory Greenwich is by boat, for a quick and scenic ride to the attraction. You can use Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, departing every 20 minutes from major piers.

Is Royal Observatory Greenwich wheelchair accessible?

Yes, but with some limitations. While specific areas are wheelchair-accessible, older Grade I listed buildings like Flamsteed House and the Great Equatorial telescope may not have disabled access.

What are some of the accessibility features in place at the Royal Observatory Greenwich?

Accessibility features at Royal Observatory Greenwich include wheelchair-accessible toilets, a limited number of manual wheelchairs available for borrowing, and routes with wheelchair-friendly options. You can also pre-book audio-described tours and avail the services of British Sign Language trained staff.

Is photography permitted inside Royal Observatory Greenwich?

Yes, but please note that there are restrictions on photography in certain areas inside the Museum Buildings.

Is there a cloakroom at Royal Observatory Greenwich?

No, there are no cloakroom facilities available at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Are strollers/wheelchairs available at Royal Observatory Greenwich?

Yes, a limited number of manual wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge. It's advisable to book these in advance due to limited availability.

How do I book tickets to visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich?

Tickets for Royal Observatory Greenwich can be purchased online in advance. Tickets can also be bought on-site at the museum's ticket counters, but it is recommended to book online to skip the lines.