An African mum living, learning, and documenting the process.

Marcy Madzikanda: On day trips in the city you live – Greenwich

If you aren’t quite able to go away on holiday I firmly believe exploring where you live is equally important. We often over look what is on our doorstep. We had a great summer doing just this in 2019. I meant to post some of our trips but didn’t get to, this post was something I didn’t complete, I have tweaked it and hope you add this day trip on your to-do-list. I’d suggest a visit now when it may not be busy and definitely save it for the summer and enjoy a mini picnic on the grass while people watching.  

We spent a day in Greenwich and had such a great time. I wanted to book a hotel for the night as there is a lot to see around the area but alas someone said that wasn’t necessary and we could do it all in one day….

Greenwich 

Greenwich is in South West London and is well known for its maritime history. This is also where you will find the longitude line and also lends its name to the Greenwich Mean Time. The borough is located along the river Thames and I specifically wanted to visit the Cutty Sark. I’d wanted to see this for years but never made time for it. It is in the city we live albeit on the opposite end and takes about an hour to get there. I don’t naturally end up in the area and can count the number of times I’ve visited the area. 

Emirates Cable Car

Emirates Cable Car

We decided to be tourists for the day and highly recommend this excursion. For both locals & tourists. It took us three train changes before we got to Royal Docks to board the Emirates Cable Car. You can use your Oyster card for the fare as you’d the tube (tap in and tap out) you can also stay on it when you reach the other side or stay for a return journey. You get great views over the river and an interesting way to see the area (leaving the politics aside of its construction).

We specifically chose this route so we could see the new garden designed by the duo behind the Highline in New York City (a must do if you like walking and people watching). When we got off the other end, the Emirates staff had no idea what I was referring to. when I asked where ‘The Tide’ was? I had to show them the press clipping I had from The Metropolitan (Eurostar) prior to that, the guy I’d asked thought I was referring to the tide coming in?! As in the rise and fall of the river. Thankfully I kept my cool and he asked another staff member who knew exactly what I meant.

The Tide: Greenwich Peninsula

The Tide

It is yet to be completed however the first stretch around the Greenwich Peninsula is complete and a great location to take photos. If you haven’t visited the O2 Centre you could pop in, but we skipped this. We were going to get a bus to our next stop but realised we could hop on a water bus at the end of the walk. You can use your a Oyster for this and it is more expensive than the bus, but it is cheaper than a tourist boat.

The Tide

The Tide

Catching the river boat to Greenwich

Greenwich

We got off at Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark. Children 3 and under go in free. I’d highly recommend visiting If you have children check in advance if there are any activities when you visit.

Enjoying the ride along the river

On The Cutty Sark

On The Cutty Sark

Imagining what it was like to sleep in a cabin

We picked up the audio guides – which I usually only use in a foreign country but with the toddler it was great. She was able to listen to the tour and got a lot more engaged in the tour of the boat as she we walked about.

Chatting to the actors

There were actors on the day we visited so she was able to chat to a few and questioned each one as to where the pirates were! They were all such good sports.

I hadn’t truly grasped the scale of the boat until we were on it. When we finally made it to the basement (you can see under the ship) and walk around it, we discovered a craft corner and a really attentive woman was making kites and spinners. Which was good fun, we could have easily spent an hour there but left after 30 minutes.

Getting into crafts

In the zone

Yes we were dragged onto the carousel

Quite the spread we had

There was reasonably priced street food on the Royal Navy grounds, and we had a picnic on the grounds and bought drinks from Marks and Spencer’s. 
Tip: carry a lightweight rug for impromptu picnics

Needless to say we didn’t get to see everything and a repeat trip will be necessary. I’ve already got tickets to see the painted ceilings tour at the Royal Navy College I believe up to four children under seventeen can go in free with a paying adult. I aim to visit before the end of February before my voucher expires (£7 from Travelzoo with a free hot chocolate). If you go on Wednesday you can pay what you think it’s worth and if you show your lottery ticket you can go in for free. 

We took the boat to Embankment and took the tube home. I’d highly recommend this trip and do check what’s on over half term! 
Mx

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