Arrive by river with Uber Boat by Thames Clipper or DLR and enjoy a stroll through our beautiful and spacious grounds. Taking 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.
Learn about how Sir Christopher Wren had to meet Mary II’s request for a river view from the Queen’s House and how he created a symmetrical arrangement of courts, domes, and colonnades which, together with a careful use of perspective, framed the Queen’s House without dwarfing it.
Head into the King William Undercoft to pick up your Painted Hall tickets and map and take some time to browse the shop before heading upstairs to enjoy your expert led Painted Hall tour. Or pick up a multimedia guide at the bottom of the stairs after viewing the revealed Tudor archaeology and wander the Painted Hall at your leisure.
The multimedia guide starts in the vestibule, and will guide you through the Painted Hall, revealing the hidden secrets in the paintings, and helping you see the characters in a new light. Lay back on the benches and discover Thornhill’s use of allegory to deliver the powerful stories on a range of subjects from monarchy, religion, maritime power, commerce, and navigation. Whilst you’re here see if you can also seek out your zodiac sign on the Lower Hall ceiling.
When you head back down to the Undercroft, make sure to pick up a few mementos in the shop. With our great range of books, telescopes, scarves, stationery, ceramics and more, there is certain to be something that takes your fancy. Venture outdoors and down College Way to take the ‘500 Years of History’ tour from the Visitor Centre. Tours depart on the hour between 11am and 3pm, taking in the buildings and grounds of this phenomenal location which was once the location of a Tudor Palace. The tour also visits the neo classical Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul where you will learn more about the Chapel’s fascinating history and can admire the enormous altarpiece by Benjamin West (1738-1820), the artist known as the ‘American Raphael’. The painting depicts the Biblical story of St Paul and the shipwreck at Malta. The Chapel is a beautiful place to visit, (open daily 10am–5pm), and is still an active place of worship with regular services.
You will then take the spiral staircase down to the Victorian Skittle Alley, this fascinating space has provided entertainment for generations of naval pensioners. Learn how it was once a makeshift mortuary and an infirmary before it became the Skittle Alley. You may even be able to try your hand at getting a strike!
Once you have completed your thirst for history, architecture, and Tudor knowledge you can enjoy a walk around the spectacular riverside location of our magnificent grounds.
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.
Complete your trip with a walk around Greenwich and visit the historic indoor market which is open daily. You’ll find street food, coffee and cake shops, antiques, fashion and boutique shops, and art galleries. If you’re feeling extra fit take a longer walk up to Greenwich Park, the park’s 183 acres is home to one of London’s iconic views where you can stand on the Prime Meridian and visit the Royal Observatory.
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 and the Shard.
Alternative Travel Options
In addition to arriving by river or DLR, you can travel by train into Greenwich Station. Mainline rail services run from Cannon Street, London Bridge and Dartford to Greenwich (South Eastern) and twice an hour (once an hour at weekends) from Luton, West Hampstead, Kings Cross St Pancras, Farringdon, Blackfriars and stations from Rainham, Kent (Thameslink). 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).