This weekend just gone, I had the opportunity to head into London and spend the day exploring Greenwich. Armed with a budget of £75, my aim was to shed a light on the neighbourhood of Greenwich and hopefully shed a light on some hidden gems in the area.
I love London through and through so having the chance to put together a blog post/guide on a particular area of London was right up my street and, even better, I had never really had the chance to explore Greenwich beforehand so it was nice to wander around somewhere new. Although I only spent the day there, I really wished I’d looked into hotels near o2 and Greenwich however as by the end of the day I was exhausted and would have loved to had somewhere to have a nap before heading out to explore the nightlife too!
There’s always next time though! Here’s what I got up to during my day in Greenwich.
EMRITES AIRLINE CABLE CAR
Whenever I head to somewhere new, I always try and start my excursion by heading up high – whether that’s on an open top bus tour (in York, for example) or somewhere higher like Blackpool Tower! Despite the rain on Sunday, London was no exception and I started my sightseeing by taking a ride on the Emrites Airline Cable Car. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, so it made sense to use this unique form of public transport to head across the river. The views at 300 feet were stunning, even in the rain. I managed to get an amazing view of the o2 and the Royal Docks, the latter of which I heard more about during the trip. Because it wasn’t too busy, I had an entire cable car to myself which was nice, but when I felt it shake a little when the car reached its highest peak, I did get a little scared! Normally things like that don’t scare me but being alone, I imagined if cable snapped and I plunged down into the Thames below, I wouldn’t have much chance of survival alone..still, it was well worth the adrenaline rush. I took a round trip as I mixed up my bearings and thought the single trip would take me across the river to where I wanted to go next..but it turns out I was already on the right side of the river, do’h!
A single ticket (or Boarding Pass, as they’re known as!) on the Emrites Airline Cable Car costs £4.50. A round trip is simply two singles.
Budget left: £66.00
THE GREAT BRITISH SEASIDE EXHIBITION @ THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
Eager to get out of the rain, I ducked into the National Maritime Museum and quickly wondered why I hadn’t considered visiting this sweet museum before. The National Maritime Museum is the world’s largest maritime museum and boasts ten free galleries. I didn’t spend too long exploring this museum, but I particularly enjoyed one of the galleries which offered an insight into what everyday life was like for a sailor. For example, I never knew that sailors at sea actually ate really well and often in some cases they ate better than those on land! They had plenty of stocky food such as meat and vegetables and definitely did not live on rationed foods or old tins of food which I previously believed.
The main reason I visited the National Maritime Museum however was because I wanted to visit The Great British Seaside Exhibition – a collection of photographs between the 1960s until today – all based around the classic British seaside. I have so much love for seaside holidays – I mean Blackpool is my favourite place ever and I don’t think any summer is complete without a day spent at Southend or Brighton. So I enjoyed wandering around these galleries and viewing the beautiful and sometimes funny photography of families and couples visiting the seaside.
Entry to the National Maritime Museum is free but an adult ticket to special exhibitions is £11.50.
Budget left: £54.50
STAND ON THE PRIME MERIDIAN LINE AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY
Head outside the back of the National Maritime Museum and walk through the beautiful deer park for around ten minutes or so to be greeted with the Royal Observatory. Here, you can learn all about time in this small museum by viewing artefacts and wandering around the home of Astronomer Royals. The main selling point however is being able to stand on the Prime Meridian Line which divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth. Once I snapped the all important Instagram shot, I grabbed my free audio tour and continued my exploration of the site. Oh, and the view from here is amazing too..!
An adult ticket to The Royal Observatory is £15.00.
Budget left: £39.50.
LEARN ABOUT THE HUNT FOR DARK MATTER AT THE PETER HARRISON PLANETARIUM
Just a stone’s throw away from the Royal Observatory (and technically part of it) is the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Here there is a cafe and three small galleries all about the exploration of space and how our universe came to be – it’s certainly eye opening. When it was time, I headed down to the planetarium to wait for my show but here I also found another small exhibition – the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017. The photographs of stars and galaxies were absolutely gorgeous.
But it wasn’t long before I headed into the planetarium, got comfortable and laid my head back to learn all about dark matter. I’ll let you visit for yourself to learn more (I couldn’t possibly relay all the information correctly) but the visuals are stunning. A visit to the planetarium is simply a must do on any given day.
Entry into the Peter Harrison Planetarium is covered under a ticket to The Royal Observatory, but an adult ticket to a planetarium show is £8.00.
Budget left: £31.50.
GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH DINOSAURS AT DINOSAURS IN THE WILD
Look, I know technically it’s for kids, but I kind of really love dinosaurs so now that the rain was getting heavier, a visit to Dinosaurs In The Wild was a no brainer! I may have been the only adult on my tour without kids (apart from the hot dino expert who led our tour and looked like Brendan Urie of Panic! At The Disco) but it didn’t take long for me to become too involved to care. Upon arrival, I was given special protective glasses to wear and was led onto/into a time machine – and the first thing we saw when we landed back in the past was the stunning creatures. Next, we got to visit TimeBase67…and the rest you’ll have to see for yourself. Families, children and adults alike will love this unique experience and the attention to detail throughout is absolutely amazing – the whole thing felt so realistic and immersive and was definitely one of the highlights of my entire day.
An adult ticket to Dinosaurs In The Wild costs £29.50, but I booked online for a discounted ticket of £18.00.
Budget left: £13.50.
With a budget of just under £15.00 left, my stomach was rumbling and I had late plans to meet a friend for dinner.
I had planned to grab some lunch from one of the museum cafes and eat it in the deer park earlier in the day, but sadly the weather did not allow.
So I spent the remainder of my budget doing what I do best in any new place – I grabbed some light snacks and took a final trip on the Emrites Airline Cable Car across the river to meet my friend just as the sun was beginning to set. After the time exploring and walking all over Greenwich, there really was no fitting way to end the day with some beautiful views as I kind of flew away from the neighborhood I now knew a lot better.
Beforehand, my favourite London spots were definitely the cheap and cheerful Shoreditch and Camden. However, given a budget to explore somewhere a bit more upper class but full of hidden gems has given me a soft spot for the Greenwich area of our capital. It’s rich in history and cultural things to do – there really is something for everyone.
My advice to you would be to definitely take a trip to Greenwich sometime soon as it’s so enjoyable even in the rain. And in future? Next time you want an adventure just set yourself a budget and choose a new area of London to explore. You’ll be surprised at how fun it is discovering new things especially if you have a set budget.
Have you ever taken the time to explore Greenwich? Let me know!
Please note, the spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.