An aspiring journalist currently studying for a BA in International Relations and Modern History. I've lived in South London for all my twenty-one years.
Published July 27th 2012
Pass on steep museum prices and see Greenwich best for free
Start your journey fighting through lunching city big wigs at buzzing Canary Wharf and ride the DLR through the heart of shiny skyscraper-land to the Cutty Sark stop. It'll seem an attraction in itself.
Arriving in Greenwich, make your first stop a lazy lunch. The Gipsy Moth has a contemporary beer garden with a fantastic view of the Thames and the recently reopened Cutty Sark practically close enough to touch. Enjoy traditional English pub grub and a pint amongst a busy mix of tourists and locals.
A busker ignores the rules and puts the tunnel's acoustics to good use.
Greenwich is perfect for those on a budget. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel, built in 1902 and running the breadth of the Thames, proves worth the hundred step spiral descent. Despite the 'No Busking' sign at the entrance, you'll often find a fellow Londoner strumming, the wonderful acoustics making for a surprisingly profound experience. The eerie strip-lit atmosphere makes it easy to see why the tunnel has gained a reputation as a photographers' (and film-makers') playground.
Re-emerging (on the same side), keep your camera handy, as you'll be able to capture some of the best shots of the Cutty Sark from here, and all without paying the £12 entry.
You don't have to pay the entrance fee to achieve some great shots of the Cutty Sark.
Bear left out of the tunnel and take a wander through Christopher Wren's imposing Seventeenth Century architecture before facing the winding up-hill struggle through the picnicking students and Olympic construction workers in Greenwich Park (it will play host to this summer's equestrian events) to the Royal Observatory.
Unless you have a burning interest in the history of clocks or the life of astronomer John Flamsteed, you'll be paying the £7 admission fee simply for the privilege of queuing for the obligatory foot either side Meridian line photo and the viewing of a camera obscura that's more than underwhelming on a cloudy afternoon.
In fact, the space just outside the observatory provides a much more picturesque photo-opp, ticking off all the landmarks in a sweeping view of London across the Thames. That's of course if you can stand the mounting tension from other photo hungry day-trippers baying for your spot.
Finally descending on the hill's Western side, the Greenwich Tavern presents itself as the perfect opportunity for a pavement drink and a spot of tourist-watching before a meander back to the station past boutique cafes and kooky shops to the station.
View the skyline best from just outside the Royal Observatory.