Posts filed under ‘Greenwich’

Day Out in Greenwich

Day 7 in London was a sunny Thursday, and our class was scheduled for a field trip with Peter Wilson, who has some position at London Metropolitan University that I cannot recall, but it’s okay because he’s retiring anyway. But before he retired, he took us to Greenwich and showed us around. I’d been to Greenwich in ’07 and was happy to return. I think Greenwich is pretty stellar, especially on perfect days with perfect weather and perfect blue skies with puffy white clouds.

Paddington Station
We set off for our journey from Paddington Station on the District/Circle lines. These lines were some of the original network of the London Underground, and they’re not very deep. Because the trains were steam engines for the first two decades or so, some of the stations were opened up to allow the soot to escape. The skies probably didn’t look so pretty here in about 1890!

We took the DLR to Greenwich. The DLR is a driverless train. That crosses bridges. I tried not to think about either of these things and I stayed calm. When we got off at Island Gardens, we walked a foot tunnel under the Thames. Others were excited about this, but I don’t deal well with things that go over or under water. I held it together until we were halfway, and then I felt the overwhelming need to get out as soon as possible, so I broke into a jog. At least I got my exercise!

Painted Hall
In Greenwich, our first stop was the painted hall at the university. Kelsey, who’s a student at London Met, was at Greenwich for a semester in undergrad. She said that people studied here, or ate lunch. Can you imagine studying here? Don’t you think you’d just feel smarter?

The chapel is across the lawn from the painted hall, and it’s equally impressive. Actually, I think I like the chapel even more. The ceiling is so intricate, all painted wood, and it remains quite serene, even though it is so ornate. I’d missed both of these buildings on the ’07 trip, because I was so obsessed with wanting my photo at the Prime Meridian. This time, different priorities!

Greenwich View
One of the most compelling aspects of the view at Greenwich is the way that the Canary Wharf modern skyline falls between the 18th-century domes of the university buildings. Especially on a gorgeous day! I was even luckier to have a bit of white cloud behind the silver buildings to provide some extra contrast. Awesome. Thanks, Greenwich, this photo is a keeper!

Painted Hall
The building that houses the painted hall, exterior shot. Obviously.

Queen's House
We then headed over to the Queen’s House, which Prof. Wilson had really built up as a lovely art gallery. Unfortunately, as we were crossing the lawn towards it, we were stopped by a security guard because the house was closed for a private event. We then realized that everyone entering the building was dressed in pretty fancy duds, and our jeans and shorts probably wouldn’t blend in.

From there, we decided to split. Options for continuing the Greenwich visit included a trip up the hill to the conservatory (& the Prime Meridian photo op), the National Maritime Museum, and the market. Since I’d already done the conservatory and Prime Meridian, but not the Maritime museum, I went for the museum. Later, I learned that they were waiting for me up the hill because Prof. Wilson had convinced them to let our whole group in for free, and he didn’t want me to miss it. I felt really bad, but I was excited about the museum!

Maritime Museum
A lot of the museum was under construction and they were adding exhibits, but what was done was just gorgeous. It was informative, but also designed well, with a lot of natural light, some interactive elements to the exhibits for kids, and it was just eye-catching in general. I read a lot about boats and British explorations, which appealed to my nerdiness, and had a nice time.

I also had a nice time walking through the town, where I found some cheap fish & chips for lunch. Win! The Greenwich Market is nice, too. It’s not too big, so it’s not worth a special trip just for the market alone, but it rounds out a visit to Greenwich very well. Some of the stalls were selling “antiques” that kind of looked like someone’s grandma’s junk drawer. Which was awesome. My favourite stall was the one with antique posters and maps, even more so than the stall with homemade vegan cupcakes, only because the cake was super dry. The key lime icing, though, made it worth it.


July 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm 2 comments


A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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