This half day London tour
visits the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, where the Meridian Line makes it the center of World Time. You also pay a visit to Greenwich Park which is the oldest Royal Park in the UK and home to wonderful city views.
After meeting your private guide you drive to Greenwich, a district in south-east London, on the bank of the River Thames in the Borough of Greenwich. It is best known for its maritime history and as giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0 degree longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time.
The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by the University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music.
The Greenwich Meridian Line, Longitude 0, is the center of world time, defined by transit instrument and line across the Royal Observatory courtyard. So, if you wish, you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere. Endorsed by international agreement in 1884 as the Prime Meridian of the world, it attracts visitors from around the globe to stand astride the line that divides East and West. You can see the 17th century rooms occupied by the first Royal Astronomer, the observation room with its early Tompion clocks and displays on the development of improved navigation at sea that led to Britain's leadership in world exploration and trade for several centuries.
The most important, intricate, marine timekeepers of John Harrison, the carpenter/inventor, are all on display alongside the earliest accurate clocks used to establish Greenwich as the world standard for accurate time signals. These Greenwich clocks became the center for sending the time signal throughout Britain and later by cable to synchronize with other nations.
Covering 183 acres, Greenwich is the oldest Royal Park and home to a small herd of Fallow and Red deer. From the middle of the Park, you can enjoy some of the best views of London across the River Thames to St Paul's Cathedral and beyond. The Park is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site and dividing the park in two is the famous Meridian Line
You can also admire the dramatic architecture of The Royal Observatory, Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House.
After your tour of the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park are completed, your guide will bring you back to your hotel in central London.
: Folding wheelchair OK, some sites may be inaccessible (advance notice required)
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