It’s not the centre of London, but it’s kinda the centre of the world.
Why go there?
Because it’s where time begins and ends. The Greenwich Meridian divides east from west, and is the line to which all other places on Earth are relative. Greenwich is also the maritime centre of the world.
What’s the vibe?
Kind of touristy (it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site), but undeniably magnificent.
What’s to see and do?
The place is like a blinking architectural theme park. There’s Inigo Jones’s Queen’s House, Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Naval College and a church by Baroque genius Nicholas Hawksmoor. Greenwich Park is dramatically landscaped and offers amazing views of the Thames, London and the heavens: at its centre is Wren’s Royal Observatory. If it’s chilly, visit famous tea clipper the Cutty Sark: it’s often on fire.
Time for some food?
If you’re wandering, grab some chop from the Covered Market. Its food stalls run the gastro gamut from roasts to sushi. For more dramatic dining, Meantime’s Old Brewery Restaurant in the Naval College is spectacular at night, with its giant copper fermentation tanks all glowin’ an’ that, and hearty food with matched beers. Buenos Aires Café on Royal Hill offers an understated but top-quality daytime option.
Time for a drink?
The Cutty Sark (4 Ballast Quay), with three floors of exposed beams and Thames views, is the best of Greenwich’s riverside pubs. A street away, The Pelton Arms (Pelton Road) is super-friendly and snug, and has live music. Beer fans should also visit Meantime Brewery’s very own pub, The Union on Royal Hill.
Time for some shopping?
The market offers antiques, vintage and crafts stalls from Tuesday to Sunday. South Street fixture The Junk Shop is a trove of tat and the occasional discovery. If you’re planning a soirée, get your plonk from Theatre of Wine (Trafalgar Road) and accompaniment from Royal Hill’s sublimely stinky Cheeseboard. Frightfully delish!
Time for time to stand still?
Head down to the O2. It has giant gigs, plus Building Six, a swanky club venue. Nearby mega-club Studio 338 (on Tunnel Avenue) attracts some the biggest international DJs.
Time for just one thing?
Clamber up to One Tree Hill in the park, and gaze magisterially at the mighty Thames and this noble city. Then go and photobomb all the selfie-takers on the meridian line.
By Chris Waywell, who has seen the legendary white ghost dog of Greenwich’s Crooms Hill.