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The Royal Observatory Greenwich


A visit to London is not complete without visiting the Royal Observatory Greenwich where you will stand astride the Prime Meridian Line, with one foot in the east and the other in the west, at the home of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Walk in the footsteps of the Astronomers Royal, discover their stories, and experience the past, present and future wonders of astronomy, space and the stars.

Time your visit to coincide with the dropping of the bright red Time Ball on top of Flamsteed House, one of the world’s earliest public time signals. Enjoy dramatic views of London across Greenwich Royal Park, the City of London and the River Thames. An audio guide is included with your ticket.

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Good To Know About The Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is the picturesque home to the Prime Meridian Line and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Discover more about the world of astronomy here with exhibitions, galleries and an audio guide. A visit also offers the perfect photo opportunity; stand one foot in the East, one foot in the West.


Things to see and do at The Royal Observatory Greenwich

There’s so much to do and see at the Tower of London, making it a fantastic day out for all the family! Here are some of our favourite things to explore at this magnificent attraction:

Take a Selfie

The pefect spot to take a selfie is on iconic Meridian Line. Stand one foot in the East, one foot in the West.

Enjoy the Views 

The Royal Observatory has one of Londondon most-loved views of London stretching across Greenwich Royal Park and the River Thames.

Marvel at the Great Equatorial Telescope

The UK’s largest historic telescope, and seventh largest in the world, is one not to be missed. It has given astronomers new views of the universe for over 100 years.

Discoveries of great scientists and inventors

Learn about the discoveries of great scientists and inventors based at or associated with the Royal Observatory, with a complimentary audio guide.

See the Time Ball on top of Flamsteed House

Time the visit to coincide with the dropping of the bright red Time Ball on top of Flamsteed House, one of the world’s earliest public time signals. It drops daily at 1pm.

Visit the Octagon Room

Stand in Charles II’s magnificent Wren-designed Octagon Room dating from 1675.

Discover John Harrison’s groundbreaking timepieces

Discover John Harrison’s groundbreaking timepieces that changed the world and solved the longitude problem.

Take a Peak in the Moving Panorama of London

Be mesmerized by our live panorama of London seen through the camera obscura.

Travel Through Space

Journey through space in one of the awesome planetarium shows, presented by an astronomer.

See the Shepherd Gate Clock

See the Shepherd Gate Clock, the first clock to show Greenwich Mean Time to the public.


How much time should I allow for The Royal Observatory Greenwich?

You should allow at least 1 and half hours for your visit to The Royal Observatory. But we would ideally recommend that you allow a full day to enjoy Greenwich. From Greenwich Pier, if you take one of our hop on hop off cruises, you will pass the entrances to Cutty Sark, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Market and the National Maritime Museum on the walk to the Royal Observatory. That’s more than enough to do for a whole day!

How to get to The Royal Observatory Greenwich?

Our favourite way to get to The Royal Observatory Greenwich would be by River Cruise. There are two option you can take. For the fastest journey to Greenwich Pier you can take the MBNA Thames Clippers which depart ever 20 minutes from all major London piers. Your journey time is 35 minutes from London Eye Pier, 25 minutes from London Bridge Pier or 20 minutes from Tower Pier. Or for a more leisurley sightseeing cruise you can hop on the City Cruises Red River Rover which allows you to explore the many sights of the River Thames with sightseeing commentary. They depart every 30 minutes to and from Greenwich, every day of the week, all year round from piers near popular attractions including Westminster, London Eye and Tower of London. 

You can reach The Royal Observatory from central London via direct routes by Cannon Street and London Bridge rail or Bank DLR. These include Greenwich DLR/rail (20 minute walk via King William Walk), Cutty Sark DLR (15 minute walk via King William Walk), Maze Hill rail station (15 minute walk via Park Vista), or Blackheath rail station (20 minute walk across the heath).

Buses run regularly to stops close to The Royal Observatory. You can reach the The Royal Observatory by travelling on the following bus numbers: 53, 54, 202 and 380.