Royal Observatory

Address: Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, London, SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 8858 4422

- Free


Take a journey to the centre of the world.

Drawing over 1.5 million people a year, the Royal Observatory is one of several historic attractions that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Maritime Greenwich. Most of them go to see and straddle the Meridian Line, 0º Longitude, which since 1884 has been the starting point for measuring time and distance around the world. In fact, there is a great deal more to enjoy here - not least the terrific views north from the hill in Greenwich Park where the world's first purpose-made scientific building was constructed in 1675 by order of King Charles II. There is a planetarium, an Astronomy Centre devoted to unravelling the mysteries of the universe, and - my favourite section - the Time Galleries where you can admire the ingenious timepieces and instruments constructed in the 18th century to solve the great problem of how to measure longitude.

Value for money

Price advice

Access to most parts of the Royal Observatory is free. From 8 March 2011 visitors to Flamsteed House and the Meridian Line pay £10 adults, £7.50 concessions, children aged 15 and under are free. Tickets are valid for return visits for a year. Charges also apply to planetarium shows and some special events.


Expert tips

To avoid the crowds go as early as you can and see the Meridian Line first.

Book a timed ticket for a planetarium show - they last up to 30 minutes and take you to a whole new world.

Recommended for

  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Education
  • Great views / scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • History