London’s Greenwich: Top 8 Attractions For UK Staycations
July 30, 2020 7:54am
Located just five miles from central London, not only is leafy, family-friendly Greenwich the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), it’s also one of the most beautiful and historic parts of the UK capital. Though calmer and quieter than many areas of London, this doesn’t make Greenwich any less interesting. Indeed, it’s positively brimming with world class attractions, many of which are related to its rich royal and maritime heritage, making it ideal for the most enjoyable of UK staycations in the age of COVID, and, indeed, for holidays in general.
Staycity also has a delightful aparthotel located perfectly in the centre of Greenwich, and here its highly knowledgeable team share their top 8 recommendations of things to see and do there. Do please bear in mind that while most of these attractions are reopened or are reopening soon, these are fluid and unusual times, so we strongly advise you check in before visiting to be aware of any changes in operations and booking procedures, etc.
1) Royal Museums Greenwich (reopened)
This comprises four historic and popular attractions, namely the iconic sailing ship Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House art gallery. With all four within easy walking distance of each other in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a visit to each makes a highly enjoyable day out in Greenwich.
2) Greenwich Park
No stay in Greenwich is complete without a day in the historic Greenwich Park, where Henry VIII once hunted deer. Today, the beasts are safely inside an enclosure, and this gorgeous park also boasts fragrant herb and pretty flower gardens, Roman remains, a huge playground, and, most famously, incredible views of London from the aforementioned Royal Observatory.
3) Eltham Palace and Gardens (reopened)
With 19 acres of stunning gardens against the backdrop of the historic Eltham Palace, there’s no finer place to while away a summer’s day. An important royal palace turned 1930s millionaire’s mansion, features of particular beauty and interest include the Rock Garden, a picturesque moat, London’s oldest working bridge and a sunken rose garden.
4) Old Royal Naval College (reopened)
Featuring sprawling grounds and home to the University of Greenwich, this riverside estate boasts 500 years of rich and diverse history, the highlight of which is the restored Painted Hall. Known as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’, this 18th century baroque masterpiece features 40,000 square feet of walls and ceilings covered in striking paintings of kings, queens and mythological creatures. The Luna Cinema is also showing a fantastic range of socially distanced open air movies here from the 4th to the 9th of August, so be sure to check them out too!
5) Ranger’s House (reopens August 1st)
This elegant Georgian villa on the edge of Greenwich Park was built in 1723 and is now home to The Wernher Collection, a world class art collection of over 700 pieces. These feature everything from ornate medieval jewellery, Italian ceramics and bronze sculptures to Renaissance paintings, 18th-century French furniture and British portraits.
6) Greenwich Market (most markets and shops reopened)
This 18th century market in the heart of Greenwich houses over 120 stalls specialising in antiques, arts and crafts, and is surrounded by many independent stores and fashion chains making it a shopping destination for all tastes. And speaking of taste, there’s also plenty of food and drink stalls to fuel your browsing, with everything from Brazilian churros to Chinese dim sum. Yum!
7) The 02 (partly reopened)
While the 02 arena and indigo at the 02 remain closed, Icon Outlet Shopping and Up at The 02 are both open. Bargain hunters will love Icon, which features up to 70% off the RRP of some of the biggest brands in fashion and lifestyle, including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Levis, Nike, Ted Baker and Tommy Hilfiger. Meanwhile, adrenaline junkies will favour Up, the world famous venue’s vertiginous climbing facility affording breath-taking views of London.
8) GDIF 2020
After much hard work adapting the programme and prioritising safety, this year’s Greenwich and Docklands International Festival takes place from August 28th to September 12th, and, as always, will feature stunning installations, theatre and dance, and street arts. This will make GDIF the UK’s first full festival since lockdown began in March, and much of the programme addresses the challenges and positives therein.
Inspired to staycation in gorgeous Greenwich?! Well our stylishly self-contained apartments offer the safest of stays in a new era of travel, so be sure to stay with us at Staycity Aparthotels, London, Greenwich High Road!