Greenwich is a short tube ride from the center of London. But, it’s much more fun to take a boat there or back. On this boat, you’ll get a beautiful view of Big Ben (who’s currently hidden under a bunch of scaffolding), The London Eye, Tower of London, and other historic landmarks that line the different parts of London. Being on the river also offers the fresh air that a tube does not.
Greenwich is full of food. While the cafes are all cute, I would suggest checking out the Greenwich Market before making any decisions. It’s full of great street food ranging from Gnocchi made on-site and really good falafel. Trying food at the market seems key to the experience. However, also make sure you go to one of the bakeries before you leave because they all have delicious options.
The market has a variety of clothing and trinket vendors. Everything is beautifully decorated and fun to look through as you explore the roofed complex full of “street-items” that would make good Christmas presents. As you walk, you’ll notice that on the sides there are some cute boutiques and dessert/coffee places waiting for your attention. Most of the dessert places offer free samples, so be ready to eat! Our favorite was Turnips. It had a picturesque interior and mouthwatering brownies.
After feeding yourself, make sure you walk through Greenwich Park and up to the Royal Observatory. We were greeted by Fall when we walked through the park. The path was littered with yellow leaves and the trees were all beginning to look golden. The English rain made everything seem a little bit more gloomy and cozy. The park is a nice place to walk and talk with friends while you watch locals and tourists alike stroll through. It was easy to be comfortable there.
The Royal Observatory is home to the Meridian Line and a beautiful view of the city. Here’s the catch: You have to pay 10 to 16 pounds to go in and take a picture with the line. As someone trying to live in London on a budget, that didn’t seem worth it to me because I could walk to the fence outside the area and see the line. So, if you’re satisfied with simply seeing the line, that’s a free option.
The view of The City from this hill is spectacular. We walked up and got a hazy view, then within about 30 minutes it had all cleared up and we had a new view before we left. The perspective change of the city gave a complete mood change.
Here’s the thing about day trips, there are always going to be lists of things to do. I typically choose two things on that list to make sure I’ve done what I really want to see, and for the rest of the time, I just walk around and explore new things as they come. Hang out at a cafe and sip some coffee while you watch people rush by and live. Seeing a new place is more than seeing the place, it’s about seeing the culture of it.