Spend an exciting time in Greenwich taking in the wonderful offerings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, official home of time and the Prime Meridian Line, the area is rich in royal and maritime history. Alongside the famous Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, and National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College is one of the most famous historic landmarks on the banks of the River Thames. Most recently featured in Cruella, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor, and Victoria & Abdul, the site is the filming location for hundreds of films and TV shows. The filming theme continues at Ranger’s House, which featured in the recent hit Netflix series, Bridgerton, just a short walk from the Old Royal Naval College, through the beautiful Greenwich Park.
If you aren’t waking up in your Greenwich hotel, take a cruise along the Thames with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers and on arrival enjoy a stroll through our beautiful and spacious grounds. It’s the perfect chance to take in the modern backdrop of Canary Wharf on the north side of the River Thames and the unobstructed view from the Queen’s House up to the Royal Observatory from the Old Royal Naval College here in Greenwich. You can also take the train or DLR from central London.
Take a short walk to the Visitor Centre where the Film and TV Location tour begins (must be pre-booked). Whilst you’re here you may want to pick up a copy of a map and if you have time, browse the shop before meeting your guide and starting your tour.
From a starring role as Buckingham Palace in The Crown to 19th century revolutionary Paris in Les Misérables, the Old Royal Naval College has provided the setting for some of the most memorable scenes in major film and TV productions. On this tour you will be guided through over 60 years of filming both on our iconic riverside grounds and inside the magnificent Painted Hall.
To begin your tour, you will head to the King Charles Lawn where you’ll learn all about why the Old Royal Naval College has been described as ‘the most popular filming location in the world’ (Empire magazine). Hear classified information related to actors who were secretly brought onsite to avoid being seen by the public, such as Johnny Depp. Next visit the popular Water Gates, the famed areas of Lower and Upper Grand Square, the colonnades, and the Chapel. You will hear the wonderful tales of how all these spaces were brought to life during filming.
As you explore and discover this splendid location on your tour, remember to take some memorable snaps of the spot commemorating Henry VIII and his famous Tudor relatives. Do your best impressions of some of the biggest blockbuster films right here where they were filmed, whilst you follow in the footsteps of ‘acting royalty’ such as Johnny Depp, Dame Judy Dench, Keira Knightly, Olivia Coleman and so many others that have graced the open spaces of this glorious site right on the riverside. The last leg of the tour will take you into the King William Undercroft and up into the mind-blowing Painted Hall where you’re sure to recognise some of the familiar backdrops in so many iconic films and TV dramas.
Once you’ve had your fill of film, you may wish to savour the moment and grab a place on one of the guided Painted Hall tours, with another expert guide. Alternatively take advantage of learning more of the history of the Painted Hall using the multimedia guides, which are available in 7 languages, at no extra cost (you can pick one up, downstairs in the Undercroft). You can also download the free Smartify app (available on any smartphone) to access a series of self-guided tours to explore our site. If you’re visiting with children aged 5-12 years, there’s a family tour; Building Detectives, which will lead you on a treasure trail around our beautiful outdoor spaces, following clues dotted around the site to find out who these grand buildings were created for. There is also an Architecture Tour, which takes you on a journey around the grounds, with a comprehensive narrative detailing the history of the many different styles of architecture across our buildings.
Whilst in the Undercroft you might fancy a browse in the shop, make sure to pick up a few mementos as a reminder of your visit. With our great range of books, telescopes, scarves, stationery, ceramics and more, there is certain to be something that takes your fancy.
By now you will want to savour some culinary delights and will have worked up an appetite for a well-deserved lunch. You will not have to go very far as located onsite we have The Old Brewery pub where you can indulge your tastebuds in some hearty traditional English fare and local craft beers. They have plenty of space, you can sit inside, outdoors in the garden or in the Old Royal Naval College grounds, take your pick!
After your short respite, and if you’re feeling extra fit, you can walk off lunch and take a stroll through Greenwich Park. The park’s 183 acres are home to some of London’s most iconic views. you can even stand on the Prime Meridian and visit the Royal Observatory.
Another hidden gem, Ranger’s House, has recently appeared looking resplendent in Netflix’s latest hit series, Bridgerton. Little known, to even those living close by, Ranger’s House is an elegant Georgian villa on the boundary of Greenwich Park and Blackheath. It houses The Wernher Collection, a world-class art collection amassed by the 19th century businessman, Sir Julius Wernher.
You can discover over 700 works of art, which are displayed across a dozen panelled interiors, which includes medieval sculptures, glittering enamels, ornate jewellery, Renaissance paintings including Madonna of the Pomegranate (Madonna della Melagrana) from Sandro Botticelli’s workshop, Dutch Old Masters and French tapestries. Not only are many of these pieces unique examples of their kind, but the stories they tell reveal much about the making, meaning and movement of art on a world stage.
With new and enhanced interpretation highlighting the outstanding quality of these objects, the Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House provides a remarkable opportunity for you to see one of the greatest surviving private art collections ever assembled in Europe.
Complete your trip with a walk around Greenwich and a visit to the historic indoor market which is open daily. Find street food, coffee and cake shops, art galleries, antiques, fashion and boutique shops.
On leaving the hidden gem of Greenwich and heading back west on Uber Boat by Thames Clippers you will take in other sites along the way such as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Shard, Westminster, the Oxo tower and the London Eye – to name just a few!
Alternative Travel Options
In addition to arriving by river, DLR or train into Greenwich Station, the Old Royal Naval College is also a short walk from Maze Hill Station.
Those arriving at the Old Royal Naval College by coach, can use the drop-off point in Stockwell Street (SE10 9JN). There is free coach parking on Norman Road (SE10) and Charlton Way (SE3). Paid coach parking can be found on Park Row/Romney Road (SE10 9NL).