The National Maritime Museum, set back on the spacious grounds of Greenwich Park, has a collection of over 2 million items that chronicle Britain’s seafaring history.
Excellent displays here explore Britain’s pivotal role in exploration, warfare, trade and the slave trade, and include original uniforms, weapons, charts, maps, timekeeping and navigational items and more from hundreds of years ago to the modern era.
The Museum, which sits adjacent to the Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory, opened in 1937, features a wave- making machine, large propellers from historic ocean liners and warships, and a splendid Royal barge from the 18th century. You’ll find a café and coffee bar here, as well as three full floors of exhibits.
Its location on one of the highest points in London affords stunning views of the city, and its proximity to the Observatory and art gallery at Queen’s House means that you can make an entire (and fascinating) day out of a visit here.
Admission, hours and location
Admission to the National Maritime Museum is free, though you must get a ticket at the desk about 15 yards inside the main door; here you’ll be given a handy little pocket plan that covers the museum, as well as the Queen’s House and Royal Observatory.
The museum is open from 10am-6pm in summer, 10am-5pm in winter, and is closed 24-26 December.
To get here, take the Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich station or take a river boat to Greenwich, then just follow the signs from either; it’s a five-minute walk to the park and a ten-minute walk to the top of the hill. Visit my post on Public Transport in London for more details. – Map