Greater London, United Kingdom
One of the greatest ways to reach Greenwich is riverboat services on the River Thames. Our tour starts in Westminster Pier where you can take beautiful pictures of Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and Scotland Yard. By gliding through the Thames, you will encounter the most important Landmarks of London such as The Monument, St Paul Cathedral, London Bridge, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Docklands and many more towards Greenwich. During the cruise, you will be informed by the amusing and informative live commentary of the history, with anecdotes, of all the sights. This approximately 50 minutes journey is a relaxing way to learn about the city in comfort, but the best part is, of course, Greenwich.
It’s time to use the Greenwich foot tunnel under River Thames to reach Island Gardens. This is another good viewpoint to observe Greenwich. Via Docklands, you will return to the city centre where your tour terminates today.
Greenwich River Cruise Tour 08:30
Greenwich River Cruise Tour 13:30
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Pass By: Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD England
Located right in the middle of London's iconic landmarks such as Houses of Parliament, Elizabeth Tower (a.k.a Big Ben), Whitehall, Saint-Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Bridge. Parliament Square houses eleven state figures and world leaders, including Sir Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Parliament Square in London is a popular destination among tourists. The atmosphere is magnificent and it's one of the must-visit locations in the city.
Pass By: Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean's Yard Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA England
Westminster Abbey is a Church, burial ground, coronation site and much more, Westminster Abbey continues to attract visitors over 900 years after its founding. In many respects the architecture is common. There's the traditional cross-shaped floor plan with a nave, north and south transepts and several round side areas. But both its execution and use raise The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster (the official name) to among the highest examples of church construction. Here at Westminster Abbey lie buried kings and poets, scientists and philosophers who have themselves raised humankind to the highest levels. Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell (discoverer of electromagnetic theory, which later lead to radio and TV), Chaucer and Kipling, Dr. Samuel Johnson (creator of the first English dictionary) and many other justly famous names are interred here.
Pass By: Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, London SW1A 0AA England
The Houses of Parliament, known also as the Palace of Westminster is where the two Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) conduct their sittings. The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) lie on the north bank of the River Thames in the London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other government buildings in Whitehall. The oldest part of the Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) is still in existence, Westminster Hall, which dates from 1097. The palace originally served as a royal residence, but no monarch has lived in it since the 16th century. Most of the present Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) structure dates from the 19th century when the Palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. The architect responsible for rebuilding the Palace was Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin, and the building is an example of the Gothic revival.
Pass By: Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP England
Tower Bridge is probably city's most distinctive symbol for today. Bridge shows a lot to its medieval predecessor London Bridge with its starlings and elaborate twin towers that give the bridge its name but it's not just a homage to the past, hidden inside that medieval looking exterior there's a rather wonderful piece of Victorian engineering and in its day it was the biggest and most sophisticated lifting bridge in the world. Unlike London Bridge, the genius of the design is that the bridge can act as a gateway swinging open to allow tall ships to pass through. Plenty of things we will tell you about this masterpiece in London, just follow us!
Pass By: Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB England
Few prisons can claim to be as popular as the Tower of London, an attraction - unpleasant for some - for over 900 years. Its twenty towers are filled with an ancient tradition of royal blood, armor and jewels and the history to match.
The Tower of London central structure began as a fort - used by the original builder William the Conqueror who completed the first tower around 1100 AD. At its completion it was the tallest building in London. Henry III had it whitewashed in the 13th century and the name, White Tower, has stuck.
Later it evolved into a prison, used by Henry VII (and many others). Still later - and continuing to this day - it has acted as a repository for the extensive collection of crown jewels. Henry VII, nearly always short of money, had few jewels to store.
But the stone complex, near the Tower Bridge alongside the River Thames, has also been used at various times to house the Royal Mint, the Public Records, the Royal Menagerie (later to form the starting point of the London Zoo) and an observatory (built in 1675). Listen to the rest of the story of the Tower of London from us today.
Stop At: Greenwich, London SE10 England
Greenwich is a town, now part of the south eastern urban sprawl of London, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. The Royal Greenwich Observatory is located in Greenwich and the Prime Meridian passes through the building.
Greenwich Mean Time was at one time based on the time observations made at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, before being superseded by Coordinated Universal Time. While Greenwich no longer hosts a working astronomical observatory, a ball still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 p.m. (13:00), and there is a good museum of astronomical and navigational tools.
The Greenwich observatory is situated in Greenwich Park, which used to be the grounds of the Royal Palace of Placentia. At the bottom of the park is the National Maritime Museum which also includes the Queen's House, designed by Inigo Jones. It is free to visit all these buildings. Greenwich also features the world's only museum dedicated to fans, the Fan Museum, in a Georgian townhouse at 10–12 Croom's Hill (fee payable). Also on Croom's Hill, on the corner of the junction with Nevada Street is Greenwich Theatre, formerly Crowder's Music Hall.
The Cutty Sark (a clipper ship) is moored in a dry dock by the river. Nearby for many years was also displayed Gipsy Moth IV, the 54ft yacht sailed by Sir Francis Chichester in his single-handed, 226-day circumnavigation of the globe during 1966–67. In 2004, Gypsy Moth IV was removed from Greenwich for extensive restoration work to be followed by a return to the sea and a second sailing career.
By the Cutty Sark, there is a pedestrian tunnel, the Greenwich foot tunnel, to the Isle of Dogs. This comes out in Island Gardens, from where the famous view of Greenwich Hospital painted by Canaletto can be seen. On the riverside in front of the north-east corner of the Hospital is an obelisk erected in memory of Arctic explorer Joseph René Bellot.
The Millennium Dome was built on a disused British Gas site here. It is next to North Greenwich tube station, about three miles from Greenwich town centre, north of Charlton. The Greenwich Millennium Village is a new development nearby. The church dominating the western side of the town centre is St Alfege's Church, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1714, and marks the place where Archbishop of Canterbury Alfege (also spelt 'Alphege') was murdered in 1012. The town centre features Greenwich Market, a covered market popular with tourists at the weekends.
In 1997, maritime Greenwich was added to the list of World Heritage Sites, and in recognition of the suburb's astronomical links, Asteroid 2830 has been named Greenwich.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Cutty Sark, King William Walk Greenwich, London SE10 9HT England
This masterpiece of naval engineering, Cutty Sark, represents the pinnacle of clipper ship design and was one of the fastest ships of its day. Aged 14 years, Cutty Sark started recording remarkably fast passage times, under her Master Richard Woodget, and became the dominant ship in bringing wool from Australia to England. Cutty Sark was built for China tea trade but would carry a vast array of cargoes during its career. Cutty Sark, the Ferrari of the seas carried almost 10 million pounds of tea between 1870 and 1877. The opening of the Suez Canal marked the end for sailing ships in the tea trade and so Cutty Sark had to find new employ. Delve into the fascinating history of Cutty Sark, now an award-winning visitor attraction in Greenwich with our APTG qualified blue badge tourist guides. We celebrated Cutty Sark's 150th anniversary in 2019.
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: Palace of Placentia, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich SE10 9NN, UK
A description of the Palace of Placentia in one sentence would be “The Buckingham Palace of the Tudors”. This lovely English Royal Palace, built by Humphrey, the Duke of Gloucester, in 1443, was sadly demolished by Charles II in 1660 during the restoration period in order to construct the new palace which was never constructed till 40 years later. Instead, today's Royal Naval College was built in the foundation of the site. Palace of Placentia has a very deep background in English history. Humphrey, The Duke of Gloucester was the regent of Henry VI. He built this palace under the name of Bella Court but later on, things changed and Humphrey lost his life in prison. It was popularly believed that he was murdered by Henry VI. This is depicted in William Shakespeare’s plays in the Globe Theatre too. Margaret Anjou, the consort of Henry VI took over Bella Court and renamed as Palace of Placentia. Henry VI’s nephew Henry VII, the very first Tudor, who is also the father of our infamous King Henry VIII rebuilt this palace between 1498 and 1504. This is where Henry VIII was born in 1491 and the palace remained the principal royal palace for the next two centuries. Therefore, we may call this palace the Buckingham Palace of the Tudors if you like. Henry VIII’s very first child Mary Tudor was born in this palace in 1516 (Our Bloody Mary and we will tell you the story) from his first marriage with Catherine of Aragon. From his second marriage with Anne Boleyn, our Virgin Queen Elizabeth I was born in Palace of Placentia in 1533. After the loss of his third wife Jane Seymour who was the most popular amongst his 6 wives, he married with wife number four Anne of Cleves in this palace but we all know that marriage was a total disaster due to the blind date. Although they hated each other both Queens lived in the Palace of Placentia. During the reign of James I/VI and his son Charles I, the Queens House was erected to the south area of the complex. Our APTG guides have many stories ready to share with you today.
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Queen's House, Romney Road Greenwich, London SE10 9NF England
Queens House is the former residence of the consort of King James I/VI, Anne of Denmark, the mother of Charles I who lost his head during the Civil War. The Stuarts are such an important dynasty in British history. Our APTG qualified guides will share all important information about the kings and queens of England here in this house. Therefore, Queens House is one of the most important buildings in British architectural history. We can clearly see the trace of Italian architecture touches in this building and the reason for this is because the architect Inigo Jones built this masterpiece a year after his return from the grand tour in Italy in 1614. Construction of the house began in 1616 but work on the house stopped in April 1618 when Anne the consort of James I/VI became ill and died the next year. Work restarted this time when the house was given to the queen consort Henrietta Maria in 1629 by King Charles I, and the house was structurally complete by 1635 finally. The Queen’s House is considered remarkable for its break with the traditional, red-brick Tudor style of building, and its elegant proportions and the high quality of its interiors. Queen Henrietta Maria turned the building into her personal ‘house of delight’, filling the rooms with the most cutting-edge art and design of the day. Henrietta Maria’s white and gold colours, fleur-de-lis symbol and initials are present everywhere in the house’s original features. Therefore, we can see some significant connections between this house and Windsor Castle. The Tulip Stairs and lantern are the most iconic photo spots being the very first centrally unsupported helical stairs constructed in England. The stairs are supported by a cantilever from the walls with each tread resting on the one below. Queens House was only used for 7 years until the Civil War began in 1642 which meant that Henrietta Maria had little time to enjoy it – she went into exile, her husband was executed and his property seized by the state. Following the restoration, in 1660 Henrietta Maria returned to England. She lived at the Queen’s House from 1662 and was the last queen to do so. During the restoration period, Charles II, who began a new palace in 1664 (design by Denham and Webb, now incorporated as part of the Old Royal Naval College), redesigned and replanted the Park, and in 1675-76 founded and built the Royal Observatory (designed by Sir Christopher Wren). The Royal Observatory is Britain's oldest purpose-built scientific structure in London. James II, (as Duke of York and Lord Admiral to 1673) was often at Greenwich with his brother Charles. According to Samuel Pepys, it was James who proposed the idea of creating a Royal Naval Hospital. This was then established at Greenwich by his daughter, Mary II who commissioned Wren to design the Royal Hospital for Seamen, now the Old Royal Naval College, in 1692-3. The work began in 1696 under her widower husband William III, who supported it in her memory. Queen Mary insisted that the view from the Queen's House to the River Thames should be left clean and not blocked by the new buildings. This view continues to the present day. The sister of Mary II, Queen Anne and Prince George of Denmark continued to patronise the project (of which George was Grand Committee chairman from the 1690s to his death in 1708). In 1714 the Georgian era started with George I, who landed at Greenwich from Hanover on his accession. In 1735 George II granted the Hospital the forfeited Jacobite Earl of Derwent water’s estates (c. 80,000 acres mainly in Northumberland). This allowed completion of the Hospital by 1751. In 1805-06 George III, the grandfather of our Queen Victoria granted the Queen's House to the Royal Naval Asylum, an orphanage school under Royal patronage. In 1821-25 this amalgamated with the pre-existing Greenwich Hospital School. It was extended with the buildings which are now the National Maritime Museum and was renamed the Royal Hospital School by Queen Victoria in 1892. Queen Victoria’s uncle George IV donated nearly 40 paintings, including JMW Turner's only royal commission in 1824. This created the Naval Gallery of Greenwich Hospital in the Painted Hall, Britain's first public national historical art collection. We all know that George IV is a pleasure and art king of our nation. These now form the Greenwich Hospital Collection in the National Maritime Museum. William IV the son of George III and the uncle of Queen Victoria, our 'Sailor King' made further donations to the Gallery. Queen Adelaide continued to be a regular and popular visitor in his memory. Queen Victoria only occasionally visited Greenwich. When Nelson's Trafalgar coat appeared on the market in 1845 Prince Albert bought it for the Naval Gallery. He paid £150 for it. George V and Queen Mary both privately supported creation of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Queen Mary presented many items to it, both from her own Nelson collection, and other royal items. George VI the father of our Queen Elizabeth II, laid the foundation stone of the new Royal Hospital School at Holbrook, Suffolk. As Duke of York, in 1937, as his first major public act as King, just three weeks before his Coronation - George VI opened the National Maritime Museum. In 1948, whilst still princess, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh made their first joint visit to Greenwich. This was also the year that the Duke of Edinburgh became a trustee of the National Maritime Museum. Both have opened or visited countless projects at Royal Museums Greenwich, including the opening of the Cutty Sark in 1957.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Royal Observatory Greenwich, Blackheath Avenue, London SE10 8EJ England
Greenwich Mean Time was at one time based on the time observations made at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, before being superseded by Coordinated Universal Time. Whether it's observing the stars, standing astride the Prime Meridian or marvelling at John Harrison's timepieces, the Royal Observatory Greenwich provides a treasure trove of fascinating information. Marvel at the history of space, time and navigation, stand on the world-famous Meridian Line with one foot in the west and one foot in the east at the Royal Observatory. Enjoy one of the most loved views of London at the home of Greenwich Mean Time. Hear about the story of Docklands and explore how great scientists first mapped the seas and the stars in Charles II's magnificent Christopher Wren-designed Octagon Room - dating from 1675. Marvel at the Great Equatorial Telescope, the UK's largest historic telescope which gave astronomers new views of the universe over 100 years ago. While Greenwich no longer hosts a working astronomical observatory, a ball still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 p.m. (13:00), and there is a good museum of astronomical and navigational tools.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Greenwich Foot Tunnel, Cutty Sark Gardens Greenwich, London SE10 9HT England
Greenwich Tunnel is one of the marvels of late Victorian period in England. The project began in June 1899 and the tunnel opened on August 4, 1902. The tunnel is actually replaced an expensive and often unreliable ferry service enabling staff living south of the Thames to access their workplaces in the London docks and shipyards in or around Isle of Dogs. It’s the only pedestrian tunnel beneath the River Thames that allows walkers, cyclists passing by. The tunnel is restored after destruction during World War II. The entrance shafts at both ends are under glazed domes. Built-in 1904, lifts were upgraded in 1992 and again in 2012, and helical staircases allow pedestrians to enter this sloping, tiled tunnel. This cast-iron tunnel is 1,215 feet (370.2 m) wide, 50 feet (15.2 m) deep and about 9 feet (2.74 m) in diameter. The cast-iron rings are coated with some 200,000 white glazed tiles. Bombs weakened the northern end during World War II, and repairs required thick steel and concrete inner lining that significantly reduces diameter for a short span. The North Tower has 87 steps, the South Tower has 100 steps. Greenwich Foot Tunnel is actually one of the best examples to understand London’s subway system. Because cast iron tunnelling is the main principle of building the tunnels in the late Victorian eras.
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: 5B Greenwich Market Greenwich, London SE10 9HZ England
Since the middle ages, all stalls have constantly been trading in the historic district of Greenwich where you can find a wide range of goods including street foods, books, vinyl, CD’s, DVD’s, vintage clothes, beads, crocheted and knitted items, jewellery, antiquity, fruits, vegetables, olives, freshly prepared products such as breads, cakes, cookies, scones, healthy foods, meat products, fish and dairy products, any type of second hand goods including bikes, garden plans, flowers, electronic gadgets, mobile phone accessories, typical English art and craft stands, hand made things, yarns, embellishments, totes, bags, suitcases, simply beyond your imagination. The Greenwich Market also offers to flourish local street food, arts and crafts market on scheduled days selling organic produce from local farmers and work from some of the region's most talented artists, craftsmen, potters, sculptors and photographers. To feel the soul of this vibrant district, historic Greenwich Market would the best hit in this historic naval town. For art & craft lovers, do visit market on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends; for antique and collectable buffs don't forget to pop in on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. You will love this lovely market we bet.
Duration: 20 minutes