A fantastic district of south London, Greenwich is a popular tourist destination with plenty to offer the discerning visitor. It’s perhaps best known for its maritime history, being home to the world famous National Maritime Museum. But there’s so much more!
The Royal Observatory was founded in 1675 by Charles II and is home to the only public planetarium in the whole of the United Kingdom. Some parts of the observatory are free to enter so it’s a relatively low cost day out for you and the family if you stick to the astronomy galleries, the science and astronomy education centre and the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Amongst the exhibits you will find a 4.5 billion year old meteorite and a bronze cone that is built into the building and points at the North Star. You will need to pay admission charges to the tours of the night sky in the planetarium but it’s certainly worth it! With plenty of facilities including the museum café, you can easily while away a few hours here.
The Old Brewery
If you fancy a spot of lunch or dinner, washed down with an unusual artisan beer or two, head straight for the Old Brewery. The building is home to a microbrewery, pub and café/diner and sits within the newly refurbished Old Royal Naval College. It’s modern in its design but holds the old traditions of proper pub grub dear, bringing dishes up-to-date with some contemporary twists. There is a huge outdoor seating area for the finer days and the food is excellent. Among the many beers from which you can choose, you’ll find the brews that have been lovingly made on site. Brewed using bottom fermented continental methods, the ‘must tries’ would have to be Helles (a pale lager and Hospital Porter – but watch your consumption, it’s not for the faint hearted!
Granted, you’ll stumble across many markets during your time in London, but the Greenwich Market is a particular favourite for some. Head for Sophia and Matt’s Bags, crammed with accessories made out of funky laminated fabrics. If you are visiting on Thursdays or Fridays, you’ll find an antique twist going on with the special collectibles market that floods the area. Hit the market on Thursdays to unearth some real treasures as come Friday, a lot will have been snapped up already. The Calneva Vintage Stall is really fantastic, if only for the super-funky 50s and 60s homewares and fashion.
Bar du Musee Café
Bang in the heart of the area, the Bar du Musee opened back in 2002 and has become a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike. The interior is inspired by snug French bistros and the conservatory dining area is home to the best seats in the house. See if you can bag a comfy Chesterfield sofa! Or in warmer months, head for the outside decking area and grab a seat amongst those chilling out in the sun. The menu is seasonal but you can usually find some classics: you simply must try the pan fried sea bass and the French onion soup. For dessert, it has to be the crème brûlée.