Overlooking the rest of the Royal Museums from the peak of the park, the northern section of this attraction of two halves looks at Greenwich’s connections with time.
In the courtyard of Flamsteed House (AKA the observatory built in 1675 on the orders of Charles II) you’re likely to be met by numerous tourists and their flashing cameras, snapping themselves straddling the Prime Meridian. But beyond the bustle are the apartments of Sir John Flamsteed and other Astronomers Royal, as well as a timeline of timekeeping since the fourteenth century. Meanwhile, in the ‘onion’ dome is the country’s largest (28-inch) refracting telescope, which was completed in 1893.
The Astronomy Centre on the south site contains the free-entry Weller Astronomy Galleries, where visitors can marvel at a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite before popping into a star show at the Peter Harrison Planetarium. For those with a keen interest in space will appreciate the 120-seater planetarium’s architecture, which 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.
|Venue name:||Royal Observatory||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-5pm (last admission 4.30pm)|
|Transport:||Cutty Sark/Greenwich DLR|
|Price:||Astronomy Centre: free. Flamsteed House & Meridian Courtyard: £9.50, £7.50 concs, £5 ages 5-15, under-fives free, £15-£22 family. Planetarium: £7.50, £6.50 concs, £5.50 ages 3-15, under-threes free, £15.50-£20 family.|
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Absolutely blew me into space...I cannot believe I only made my first visit at the start of the year. The Astronomy Photography is magical and the shows are beyond breathtaking, presented by a live astronomer, who guides you through outer space. For well under £15 this deserves to be on every Londoners list of 'Places to visit'.