Visit the home of Greenwich Mean Time and stand on the world’s Prime Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the place where the eastern and western hemispheres meet.
Overlooking the Queen’s House and the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory promises to take you on a journey through space and time. Among the many reasons to visit, an iconic photo op on the Meridian Line is a must. Since the late 19th century, this line has divided the Earth’s eastern and western hemispheres, and in 1884, the Prime Meridian was defined at the Royal Observatory, with a precise longitude of 0°.
Next, visit the Harisson clocks: Developed and constructed over John Harrison’s lifetime, the Harisson clocks were revolutionary in that they could determine longitude at sea, thereby reducing the risk of ships being lost. At the Royal Observatory, you can learn all about their impact on the world of timekeeping and see displays of scientific objects and animations.
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Flamsteed House is the historic home to Britain’s Astronomers Royal. Here, you can visit the stunning Octagon Room and its astronomical instruments and timepieces, watch the Time Ball drop at exactly 1 pm every day, and visit the Astronomers Royal apartments, where they once lived and worked.
Eyes on the sky
See the Great Equatorial Telescope and its marvelous onion dome, one of the biggest telescopes in the world. Book a ticket for Evenings with the Stars to glance through the stunning telescope yourself. You can also visit the Victorian great free of charge without booking a ticket and observe the sky.
Go out of this world
Take a tour of the universe at London’s only planetarium, the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Here, you can watch a selection of space-themed shows with commentary from real astronomers. Find out about the moons of the solar system, the night sky, or our next door neighbors in space. A truly eye opening experience!
When to go
It’s always a good time to go. Opening hours are from 10 am-5 pm daily, though closing times vary during the summer. Rates are £16 for adults, £8 for children, and £10.65 for students under the age of 25. Find out more at rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory.