"Royal Astronomer's Digs" Greenwich Royal Observatory Tip by grandmaR

Greenwich Royal Observatory, London: 64 reviews and 104 photos

  Bob at the Royal Observatory Entrance
by grandmaR
  • Bob at the Royal Observatory Entrance - London
      Bob at the Royal Observatory Entrance
    by grandmaR
  • Listing of places on the prime meridian (digital) - London
      Listing of places on the prime meridian (digital)
    by grandmaR
  • Taking pictures of the prime meridian - London
      Taking pictures of the prime meridian
    by grandmaR
  • Film picture of prim meridian display - London
      Film picture of prim meridian display
    by grandmaR
  • Ceiling inside the observatory - London
      Ceiling inside the observatory
    by grandmaR

The Royal Observatory was founded on 22 June 1675 by King Charles II, and was built specifically to do work which would help to solve the problem of finding longitude - one's exact position east and west - while at sea and out of sight of land. The Royal Astronomer was given a stipend for his work.

Because the observatory was accidentally built just slightly off the prime meridian, the astronomer did most of his obervations in a shed at the bottom of the garden instead of in the actual (more comfortable) observatory.

The Prime Meridian is the line on which all time zones is based. It goes from pole to pole, on the opposite side of the earth from the International Date line.

This is a very important location to sailors and pilots or navigators. GMT is Greenwich Mean Time - sometimes referred to as Zulu time. When you set your GPS (Global Positioning System), it will ask for the number of hours offset from GMT

The observatory was built on the site of on the site of Greenwich Castle, which originally belonged to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (brother of Henry V) and was often used as a guest house and hunting lodge by Henry VIII. At that time this was the richest part of London.

There is also a planetarium which we didn't visit. Short courses for the whole family, which take place in the Planetarium and Discovery Room (in the South Building) from 10.30 to 12.00 on Sundays. Suitable for age 8+

Greenwich Park which includes the Royal Observatory with the meridian is open daily: 10:00 - 17:00 (10am - 5pm) NOT OPEN 24 / 25 / 26 December. Last admissions 30 minutes before closing. It's free.

Address: Greenwich Park, Greenwich , London SE10
Directions: There is a shuttle bus available for (1.50 each RT) from the Maritime Museum
Phone: +44 (0)20 8858 4422
Website: http://greenwichmeridian.com/

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Apr 22, 2005
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 2 5
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 9

Have you been to London?

  Share Your Travels