Discover a magnificent 17th-century landscape, glorious gardens and a wealth of history at Royal Greenwich Park.
- Explore Britain’s seafaring history at the National Maritime Museum.
- Immerse yourself in the colour and scent of the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden and the Queen’s Orchard.
- Learn about the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory.
What to see and do
Stand with one foot in each hemisphere at the Royal Observatory
Stand at the centre of the world at the Prime Meridian Line, the perfect place for a selfie! The Weller Astronomy Galleries and the Planetarium at the Royal Observatory should not be missed. Child-friendly, interactive displays explain how the universe formed and the origins of the stars and planets.
Spot the deer at The Wilderness
The Wilderness, near the Flower Garden at Greenwich Royal Park, is home to herds of both red and fallow deer and is the oldest deer park in the capital. The historic landscape with its ancient trees also provides an ideal environment for over 70 species of nesting birds, as well as bats, foxes and woodmice. A hide at the Secret Garden Wildlife Centre is the perfect place to watch the deer and other animals without disturbing them.
Stroll through the lavishly planted gardens
Garden lovers will find much to admire in the various gardens within Royal Greenwich Park. The magnificent Rose Garden is at its colourful best between May and July while the Flower Garden, first planted in the 1890s, is a popular picnic spot for families with young children. The herbaceous border is a must-see – at 200m, it’s the longest flower border in London. Don’t forget to visit the Queen’s Orchard, where rare varieties of fruit trees are grown.
Walk through history at Royal Greenwich Park
Step back in time with a self-guided walk that explains the rich history of Royal Greenwich Park. The booklet “Walking through History” is available at Greenwich Park Office (Blackheath Gate) and offers fascinating facts about the monuments and buildings within the park.
Get active at Royal Greenwich Park
From cycling to tennis, and from cricket to boating on the lake, there’s something for everyone at Greenwich Royal Park. Or for some informal family fun, simply bring along a football or a frisbee. The Greenwich Park playground offers modern play equipment to suit children of all ages and abilities – the perfect spot for kids to let off steam.
Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)
- Royal Greenwich Park was one of the favourite haunts of King Henry Vlll. He was not only born here himself but he married two of his six wives in the former palace. It was also the birthplace of his two daughters, Queen Mary (later known as Bloody Mary) and Queen Elizabeth l.
- The park is home to one of the oldest trees in the capital. Queen Elizabeth’s Oak (actually a chestnut) dates back to the twelfth century. The park boasts many other ancient trees that are home to rare insects and birds.
- King James ll was the last monarch to use the Royal Greenwich Park. His daughter Queen Mary donated the palace site to be used as a naval hospital.
- Greenwich Park is located on the only hill on the eastern approaches to the capital. In Victorian times, a fair was held here every spring. The main attraction was “tumbling” down the hill – a chance for the gentlemen to admire the ladies’ ankles!
- During the Second World War, enemy aircraft would fly along the course of the River Thames so anti-aircraft gun emplacements were set up within the park. The tops of some trees had to be removed to allow the gunners a clear line of vision. This resulted in some strangely shaped trees that can still be seen today.
- 1433 – The park is enclosed by the Duke of Gloucester. After the death of the Duke, the park was seized by Henry Vll. His wife transformed it from a hunting park into a Manor of Plesaunce and a royal palace was constructed.
- 1633 – Charles l completed the building of the Queen’s House, a summer retreat for his queen.
- During the reign of Charles ll, the park was landscaped and the Royal Observatory was built.
- 18th century – a sailor’s hospital is founded here and the public is allowed into the park for the first time.
- 1997 – Royal Greenwich Park and Greenwich Town Centre were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Facilities and accessibility
Royal Greenwich Park is open to the public between 6 am and dusk. The easiest way to get to the park is by bus or train, or take a riverboat trip to Greenwich Pier. Car parking is available (fee payable) with free parking spaces for Blue Badge Holders.
Paths throughout the park are tarmac and there are some slopes. Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park but should be kept under control. Exceptions are the Flower and Rose Gardens, the Wilderness Deer Park and the Royal Observatory Garden.
Food and drink is available at the Pavilion Café, the Park View Coffee Cabin and the White House Cafe.