Discover the Story of Greenwich at the Old Royal Navy College

No trip to London would be complete without visiting one of the most important historical sites in the UK, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Greenwich. It’s home to a range of significant scientific, artist and architectural achievements, as well as being the biggest green space in London. It’s also home to some of Britain’s most important maritime stories that changed the course of the countries history, one of those being the Royal Navy College – an extraordinary cultural destination, visit this iconic English estate to discover 500 years of rich history!

What are London's UNESCO World Heritage sites?

London is home to four different UNESCO World Heritage sites, one of them being Maritime Greenwich. This historical site is home to a range of internationally significant buildings, including the Old Royal Navy College. You can find it a short journey away from the city centre, taking the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and changing to the DLR or taking the bus 188 and 129 which stop just outside.

This site has an amazing history that dates back hundreds of years – originally constructed as a hospital in the late 17th century, the buildings are considered the masterpieces of famous architect Christopher Wren. It’s story is connected with some of England’s most historically powerful and influential figures, including William Shakespeare, Lord Nelson and the monarchs such as King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1873, the hospital was acquired by the Naval College of Portsmouth to establish the Royal Naval College, where elite naval officers from around the world would go on to study, acting as a state-of-the-art training centre for thousands of young officers during World War 2 and establishing itself as one of the countries most important sites.

The site is so incredible that it has acted as the location for a range of famous films, so much so in fact that Empire Magazine named in the most popular filming destination in the world! It has appeared on critically acclaimed TV show The Crown, Les Misérables and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It even acted as the battleground for the climactic battle scene in Thor: The Dark World!

Things to see at the College include the majestic Painted Hall, a true sight to behold that feature over 40,000 square feet of stunningly painted walls and ceilings – this masterpiece took 19 years to complete! Opposite the Painted Hall you can also visit the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, two peaceful vistas to relax and reflect in. The Riverside grounds are open to all for free, where you can take a tranquil stroll or stop for a picnic in the company of some of the worlds most beautiful architecture.

The Old Royal Navy College makes for a fantastic family day out, or an ideal spot for any history lovers – head to their website now to book your tickets!

  • Admission:
    Adults: £13.50/£12.50 online
    Children aged 16 and under: Free (with accompanying adult)
    Royal Navy serving personnel: Free
    National Art Pass Holder: £6.75
    Groups of 10 or more people: £10.50 per person
    Carers accompanying a person with a disability: Free
    Concessions: £8.50/£7.50 online
  • Film tours run every Saturday and Sunday, available as part of your admission – see here for details.
  • Accessible for wheelchair users and facilities for visually/hearing impaired also available.
  • The Painted Hall, Chapel and Visitor Centre are open daily, 10am–5pm, gardens/grounds open daily 8am–11pm.

 

 

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