Greenwich, the ‘green port’, is London at its most graceful. Quirks of geography – the sublime, sheltering curve of Greenwich Hill, the flat riverside terrace, the power and depth of the river at this point – made it a perfect place for a maritime settlement. And its distance from the medieval city made Greenwich a haven for aristocrats and merchants seeking to escape from London’s squalor and delinquency: for centuries this isolated village was home to palaces, mansions and monasteries. But as Britain extended her global reach through trade, conquest and exploration, and as the city grew outwards, so Greenwich took on a new role as London’s window on the world, the oracle of global time and a notorious hotspot for spies, saboteurs and pleasure-seekers. Join us for a walk around this exotic entrepot – half port, half palace – and get a rare breath of London’s historic sea air.


Tap ‘View Map’ to see the route and stops. Tapping the numbered syringes on the map will take you to each stop. Once you’re ready to go to the next stop, tap ‘Back’ at the top of the screen to return to the map. If you want to jump straight to a particular stop, use the links below ‘View Map’. 


Distance: 2.3 miles / 3.8 km


Start / end: Cutty Sark DLR station

 




MAP

1. Tall Ships & Tropical Diseases - introduction

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2. Deptford Creek

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3. Vikings in Greenwich

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4. The lost palace of Placentia

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5. Anarchists and spies

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6. The Royal Observatory

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7. Blackheath Fair

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8. The Roman temple

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9. Greenwich Fair and the real meridian

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10. The Queen's House

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11. The Trafalgar Tavern

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12. The Old Royal Naval College

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13. The Dreadnought Hospital

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14. The Cutty Sark

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Greenwich – ‘the rural port’ – has been many things over the past thousand years, not least an expression in brick and stone of British naval power. At the first stop, we’ll hear about its origins as London’s window on the world.

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This muddy stretch of riverside is one of the most important places in English history. But what dark tales of murder and intrigue lay behind Deptford’s glory days of sail?

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This magnificent Baroque edifice is one of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s masterpieces. Here we’ll discover the bloody martyrdom that led to the foundation of the church.

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Beneath the National Maritime Museum lie the remains of a great lost Tudor palace – Placentia, Henry VIII’s birthplace and his favourite place on earth. But how did Placentia end up as a Roundhead biscuit factory?

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Here at the foot of Observatory Hill we’ll discover the explosive connections between a postmodernist masterpiece, an Edwardian thriller and a French anarchist.

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The Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian have made Greenwich famous around the world. At this stop we’ll find out why this London hilltop became a centre of global science and navigation.

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Here we’ll discover the double face of Blackheath – on the one hand, a place of rebellion and subterranean mystery, on the other the venue for a raucous and drunken fair.

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A few Roman tesserae set in a piece of concrete may not look impressive, but what do they tell us about some of the earliest residents of Greenwich?

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For centuries One Tree Hill was the focus of drunken frolics at Greenwich Fair. But as we’ll discover, it has a little-known connection to the invisible networks of modern global navigation.

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The Queen’s House was the first purely Classical building in Britain, and has had a remarkable effect on the history of Western architecture. But what ghostly echoes haunt the Queen’s House today?

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The Trafalgar Tavern is famous for its London beer and its views of the Thames. Here we’ll discover how Londoners’ eating habits have revealed the changing health of the Thames over a century or more.

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Christopher Wren’s Royal Naval College was founded in an act of ostentatious royal charity. In the three centuries of its existence, the College has housed wounded sailors, trainee officers – and a functioning nuclear reactor.

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Throughout the mid-nineteenth century a retired warship, moored here on the riverside, provided care and treatment to sick and wounded sailors. But what role did the Dreadnought Hospital take in protecting ordinary from epidemics?

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The Cutty Sark – newly refurbished and gleaming – marks the end of this walk, and symbolises the spiritual home of English trade and exploration.

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