the Greenwich tour

Back to my travel diary and our last few but extra busy days in London….

Our ‘Londoner’ daughter had once taken one of the walking tours of London and enjoyed it so she suggested we all take the Historic Greenwich tour because it combined a boat ride on the Thames as well as the walk. We thought the children would particularly enjoy it.

A bus and tube ride to the meeting point by The Tower started that sunny Sunday in early May. A surprisingly large group showed up but our expected guide did not because his tube was down that morning. Soon a replacement came, a pleasant and energetic fellow but we were to learn, not as knowledgeable and often rather difficult to hear over the large group. So, I don’t have all the names and facts of what we saw. Check out their description and interesting video on their website.






The half hour boat ride was very enjoyable as we passed under the Tower Bridge and past a mix of older and modern architecture. Coming in to Greenwich we could see the unique clock of the Royal Observatory. We were guided around immense classically designed buildings, many former royal homes like the Queen’s House, with delightful glimpses of art work like Hans Holbein’s portrait of King Henry VIII. We were entertained by stories of the romances, scandals and foibles of the royals of the day. Our tour ended with a watch of the movement of the timeball on the observatory up on the hill beyond the green green park.




Afterwards we were on our own for we learned the return trip was not included. We wandered around the town including the flea market, had an ice cream to cool us as we weaved through huge crowds of visitors; I don’t remember now what special event was on in the town that day. Way way past lunch time, kids and adults starving, we found a pub and had good old English fish and chips and ale! We eventually found the train back into London and our tube home, very tired, both happy and a just wee bit disappointed. The children were amazingly well behaved for such a long day and what must have been at times a boring tour for them. Opa’s pocket full of trail mix was a life saver!

Photos by my husband, again, and just a small selection from a great number.

August 2, 2009 in Culture, History, Travel by Marja-Leena