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Greenwich area guide

Check out Greenwich Market and find the best things to do in SE10, from pubs and restaurants to museums and comedy nights

Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the Prime Meridian of the world but that doesn't mean the line of longitude is the only notable thing about the area. Greenwich features some of the great restaurantspubs that celebrate the history of the area and museums that make seemingly mundane topics fascinating. It's time the area became known for more than an invisible line, so check out our guide to the many things Greenwich has to offer.

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Restaurants

Goddards at Greenwich

Family run pie and mash shop established in the late nineteenth century. Tourists love it, but don’t let that put you off

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Bars and pubs

The Vanbrugh

A handsome pub and dining room on Colomb Street, a short walk from the centre of Greenwich. In addition to the food and drink, visitors head down to watch the big sport matches as well as for special events and the weekly pub quiz - there's even a prize for the best name. Good for when the grey matter's not working as well as it should. The beer selection is good enough to attract the ale hounds of SE10, with three Meantimes on draught alongside the house brew (an IPA) and regularly changing guest beers on the hand pull. There’s also a great selection of bottled local craft beers, from the likes of The Kernel, Beavertown, Weird Beard and Pressure Drop. The food menu is typical gastropub fare, with dishes ranging from pan-fried duck breast with blueberries, chive, risotto and watercress to racks of lamb, fillet steaks and pan-fried sea bass with asparagus spears and mussels cooked in white wine, shallots, garlic and saffron cream sauce. Sunday roasts prove popular, too.

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Restaurants

Plumtree Café

A Greenwich café offering home-baked cakes and pastries alongside artisan coffee. Keep an eye out for the occasional guest cook taking up residency, too. 

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Shopping

The Greenwich Vintage Market

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the Picturehouse you'll find Greenwich Vintage Market. They have 40 stalls to browse for antiques, collectibles, fashion, furniture, jewellery, records and books, plus a tea hut and vintage ice cream cart. On the last Friday of every month you'll also find Moonlight Market here, which is the Vintage Market in its evening guise; staying open until 10pm, with live music and a pop-up bar.

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Attractions

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park boasts the honour of being the oldest enclosed Royal Park. Formerly a hunting ground for Henry VIII, the park still maintains a 13-acre grassland enclosure, which provides an urban sanctuary for deer, foxes and over 70 species of bird. One of the largest green spaces in south east London, Greenwich Park offers a wide range of facilities and points of interest, including a child-friendly boating lake, six tennis courts and the National Maritime Museum just on the perimeter. The Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park is home to the Greenwich Meridian Line which represents the prime meridian, relative to which world time is calculated and the distance to every place on Earth is measured. The views from the top of the hill across to Canary Wharf and beyond are spectacular, and well worth the trek.  

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Eating and drinking in Greenwich

Bars and pubs

Greenwich bars and pubs

Naval gazers will find plenty to satisfy them in one of Greenwich's many maritime-themed pubs (sink one in the Trafalgar or Cutty Sark taverns). Landlubbers can head to the Greenwich Union, which specialises in German beers. Think we've missed a great drinking spot in Greenwich? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Restaurants

Restaurants in Greenwich

Greenwich can feel like a rural village that somehow wound up in the big smoke, but many of its restaurants have married the charm of inglenook eateries with the high quality of London fine dining. We pick our favourites in our guide to the best places to eat in SE10. Think we've missed a great restaurant in Greenwich? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Greenwich highlights

Museums

National Maritime Museum

The most important of the group of attractions known (since the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012) as the Royal Museums Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum is the world's largest maritime museum, a huge store of creatively organised maritime art, cartography, models, interactives and regalia. It was greatly enhanced in 2011 by the addition of the Sammy Ofer Wing, which provides a new entrance from Greenwich Park, presided over by Yinka Shonibare's Fourth Plinth sculpture 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle'. Centred on Voyagers: Britons and the Sea – a collection of 200 artefacts, accompanied by an impressive audio-visual installation called the Wave – this extension also has the Compass Lounge (with free Wi-Fi), where you can explore the collection using computers, and a brasserie, café and shop. The museum's ground-level galleries include Explorers, which covers great sea expeditions back to medieval times, and Maritime London, which concentrates on the city as a port since 1700. Exhibits include wreckage from a Zeppelin shot down over the Thames estuary in 1916, the original model for Nelson's Column and early 19th-century plans for the Rotherhithe Tunnel. Upstairs is the Environment Gallery, which reveals our dependence on the health of the world’s oceans. Level two holds the interactives: the Bridge has a ship simulator, and All Hands lets children load cargo, and you can even try your hand as a ship’s gunner. The Ship of War: 1660-1815 is the museum’s superb collection of mode

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Attractions Buy tickets

Up at The O2

This attraction at the O2 gives visitors the chance to go on a guided expedition across the arena roof, via a tensile fabric walkway that peaks at 53m above ground level. At the summit there's an observation platform, giving views right over London: the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, the Shard and Canary Wharf. This outdoor challenge begins at 'Base Camp', where participants are kitted out in jumpsuits, shoes and safety harnesses before being guided in groups along the walkway. It is suitable for most people aged ten years and over and at least 1.2 metres tall; accessible tours for those with disabilities, including wheelchair-users, are also available.

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Attractions

Royal Observatory

Overlooking the rest of the Royal Museums Greenwich from the top of the hill, the northern section of this two-halved attraction looks at Greenwich’s connections with time. Few visitors get much past a photo-op straddling the Prime Meridian in the courtyard of Flamsteed House, the observatory built in 1675 on the orders of Charles II. But the building contains the apartments of Sir John Flamsteed and other Astronomers Royal, as well as instruments used in timekeeping since the 14th century. John Harrison’s four timekeepers, used to crack the problem of longitude, are here, while the onion dome houses the country’s largest (28-inch) refracting telescope – it was completed in 1893. The south site houses the Astronomy Centre, home to the Weller Astronomy Galleries (free entry), where you'll find a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite, and the Peter Harrison Planetarium, which screens daily and weekend star shows. The 120-seater planetarium’s architecture cleverly reflects its astrological position: the semi-submerged cone tilts at 51.5 degrees, the latitude of Greenwich, pointing to the north star, and its reflective disc is aligned with the celestial equator. Discover more great things to do in Greenwich

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Things to do

Greenwich Market

Weekends see Greenwich Market packed with international tourists enjoying arts, craft and food stalls. Some of the offerings (logo T-shirts, 'art' canvases, leather bags) can seem a little unimaginative if you're used to the plentiful and varied markets of central London, but the covered arcade still holds a certain charm. While the market is on all week (Tue-Sun), antiques and collectible dealers dominate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Head along on these days to unearth unusual finds among a selection of stalls dealing in antique jewellery, vintage clothes, old books,1950s and ’60s ceramics, lamps and more.

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Comments

4 comments
marios
marios

The Hill is a lovely Mediterranean restaurant on Royal Hill which serves simple but perfectly cooked, delicious food. Friendly and attentive staff have made it a Greenwich favourite.

Aniska
Aniska

Greenwich .... what a lovely place...

Purplegeranium
Purplegeranium

I love Greenwich Park, especially the view from One Tree Hill - priceless!

Purplegeranium
Purplegeranium

Royal Teas, 76 Royal Hill, Greenwich. A small, quirky independent cafe that is long established, and does a great variety of coffees and teas. It does breakfasts, light lunches and cakes.