An active break in Greenwich
Maritime attractions and equestrian fun
Get active in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, a historic pocket of south London famous for its royal and maritime connections, and more recently as the venue for the Games equestrian events.
First stop has to be Greenwich Park , a glorious 15th-century stretch of land with a long-standing royal connection. Once used as a hunting ground by the likes of Henry VIII, the park plays host to the world’s greatest equestrians in 2012. It continues to be a green haven for Londoners, with tennis courts, boating lake, deer park, Roman ruins, ancient oak trees and, of course, the iconic Royal Observatory all to discover.
Climb on board the Cutty Sark and drink up 142 years of nautical history. This majestic clipper has faced some serious challenges, both at sea and on dry land, but it’s recently been re-opened after extensive restoration and looks better than ever before. The ship’s vertigo-inducing broad sails have carried her across the world’s oceans, and you can step into the history of those voyages, the ship’s construction, and its careful conservation. You’ll learn about the story behind her name and stand suitably awestruck directly beneath her glowing copper-encrusted hull.
Wind down with dinner at the 16" West Brasserie sat within the National Maritime Museum . It prides itself on locally sourced and sustainable modern British dishes. After polishing off herb-crusted pork fillet with wild garlic mashed potatoes and bruleed strawberry and prosecco parfait with vanilla shortbread in modern monochrome surroundings, dip into Greenwich’s many bars and pubs along the high street or take in a show at Greenwich Theatre .
Get to grips with a gee-gee for yourself, horsing around at Mudchute Farm and Stables , a British Horse Society approved riding school just across the river. Get there via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel – journeying under 50ft of water – before jumping on a horse or pony. The stables run a number of classes for novices and experts of all ages and can teach you everything from how to mount a horse to jumping fences. After your lesson, make friends with over 200 animals in one of the largest inner City Farms in Europe where sheep, pigs and even llamas frolic in front of a contrasting backdrop of Canary Wharf’s towering skyscrapers.
It’s easy to work up a sweat to inside The O2 arena with the likes of Prince, Take That and Paul McCartney whipping crowds into a dancing frenzy, but now you can get your heart racing from the outside too. Up at The O2 takes you on a guided climb across the iconic convex tent-like structure via a two metre-high fabric walkway that stretches across the entire diameter of The O2 arena. Stop off at the observation platform in the centre, to catch your breath and scan the London skyline and glittering River Thames weaving between.
Jump on the brand new cable car from just outside The O2 arena and glide above the Thames snapping the sleek futurist structures of Canary Wharf along the way before hopping off at Royal Docks just five minutes later. From here you can hop on a train to the Olympic Village or to the über cool district of Shoreditch , famous for its plethora of independent bars, shops and restaurants. Brick Lane is also nearby. Once a haunt of Jack the Ripper, it’s now famous for its long stretch of curry houses with hip bars and trendy Sunday markets slotted between.
Did you know?
King Henry VIII stocked Greenwich Park with deer in 1515 and their descendants are still there in the wilderness area near Blackheath Gate.
More about... Greenwich
Visit Greenwich - The official tourism website for Visit Greenwich.
Things to do
From events and attractions to nights out; discover all things to do in Greenwich.
Hopping on at Westminster or Embankment to take in some iconic sites on the way to GreenwichThames Clipper