London 2016: Day 3

It was “freezing”, cloudy, and windy this morning, so I probably didn’t enjoy my walking tour of Greenwich as much as I otherwise would have.  Greenwich is one of the parts of London I haven’t visited before, and was on my short list of must-dos this time.  I decided to take another London Walks tour so I would be able to learn more about what I was seeing.  The tour didn’t start until 10:30, so I had some time to walk around Westminster and the Tower Hill area before meeting up with the tour group.

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Our tour to Greenwich started near the Tower Hill tube station.  We walked over to Tower Pier and took a City Cruise boat ride to Greenwich Pier.  The boat ride took about 25 minutes.  By the time we arrived, the previously sunny skies had turned completely cloudy, and the wind had picked up.  It wasn’t a biting cold, but more the type where after about 15 minutes in it, you feel chilled to the bone.  The walking tour was entirely outdoors, and we walked around the main attractions in Greenwich, including the Old Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum.  We also stopped for pictures at a less-well-known spot where the Prime Meridian is marked.  

Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, Old Royal Naval College
Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, Old Royal Naval College

After the tour ended, I had one thing on my mind: warmth.  I walked through the Maritime Museum and made my way back to the Naval College to visit the Painted Hall.  Both the ceilings and the walls are painted, and the room is absolutely beautiful.  Across the green is the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, another beautifully designed space.  After warming up a bit in the buildings, my next stop was to find some food.  I walked through the main “town” area of Greenwich, then headed uphill towards Royal Hill.  My plan was to visit a tea room for a scone, but the tea room was both tiny and crowded, so I ended up at the Greenwich Union pub for lunch instead.  The Sheppy Cider (a medium-dry from Somerset) and croque monsieur (though more of a ham and cheese than a French croque) were a perfect mid-afternoon lunch!  After lunch, I walked to the top of the hill by the Royal Observatory to take some photos overlooking London before taking the DLR train back to the city.

I went through and edited my pictures from the Greenwich part of my day and then decided I had warmed up and rested enough to tackle another walking tour tonight.  Tonight’s walk was my favorite so far… “Old Westminster by Gaslight”.  Liam was the guide and he was incredibly knowledgeable and likable right from the start.  We started at the Westminster tube station, and quickly made our way to some of the back streets in the area.  As we walked, Liam pointed out historical buildings and told us about the history of the gaslights.  Today, there are only about 1,500 gaslights left in London, kept burning by a team of just 5 men.  An interesting article tells more about these “guardians of the lamps”.  After the tour wrapped up, it was time to call it a night and give my tired feet a rest!

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
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