Today in Greenwich

Animal decorations

As it was a holiday, we decided to go out for the day. Unfortunately, so did a lot of other people. This meant that on the way home we ran into traffic jams so bad that we abandoned the bus and walked. In Oxford Street, because of the crowds, we somehow got in a tangle and ended up on different buses! Thank goodness for mobiles phones, eh? It all came out right in the end.

Arches within arches
Arches within arches

We got off the bus and walked through Millwall Park. An old railway viaduct runs through the park and some of the arches have been closed off with netting to serve as storage areas. Someone has had the good idea to decorated the netting with drawings of animals, perhaps down by school children. The picture at the top shows the pictures on the first arch. Rather good.

In each open arch, there is a smaller one, so you can walk the whole length, not forgetting first to take this slightly dizzying photo. I’ll bet the painted ‘M’ is a supporter’s tribute to Millwall football team.

Woman and Fish
Woman and Fish
Frank Dobson

Also in Millwall Park is this sculpture, a replica of Frank Dobson‘s Woman and Fish, which was done in around 1950. It is a replica because the original is apparently lost. Was it destroyed or perhaps stolen and secreted away? It is an intriguing story.

The buildings in the background include the famous pyramid-topped Canary Wharf office block (not visible in this photo), which was to be a continual presence during our walk. It’ll no doubt pop up later.

Greenwich Foot Tunnel entrance
Greenwich Foot Tunnel entrance

This curious domed building is in fact one end of the celebrated Greenwich Foot Tunnel which passes under the Thames and provides access to Greenwich.

If you are hardy enough, you can walk down the staircase (and up at the other end) but as the distance is about 50 feet, we took the lift.

Foot Tunnel lift
Foot Tunnel lift
(No photos allowed)

If the photo of the lift looks a bit snatched-in-a-hurry, that’s because it is. You’re not allowed to take photos in or around the lift and I knew that as soon as the liftman saw me he would tell me to desist. And he did. So I got one in before he could say it.

It must be a curious life going up and down all day, seeing the people come and go (and occasionally saying “No photos!”).

We chatted with him on the way down to show there were no hard feelings.

The tunnel slopes down then evens out There is a white line to mark the midpoint
The tunnel slopes down then evens out
There is a white line to mark the midpoint

Think of all that water above us! On second thoughts, best not think about it…!

Thames and Canary Wharf
Thames and Canary Wharf

We emerged from the Tunnel to the Thames and the ubiquitous Canary Wharf building.

Greenwich is a pleasant town to visit and has a covered market. We usually take a stroll around the stalls as there is always something different. Neither the town nor the market was our destination today, however. First stop was Starbuck’s for espressos to gather energy for the next stage, a visit to the complex of the Old Royal Naval College.

Royal Naval College
Royal Naval College, Greenwich

The buildings throughout the site are magnificent and it is always a pleasure to walk around enjoying them. There is also a very interesting museum though we didn’t visit it today.

We did, however, spend some time in the rather peculiar Painted Hall. I can’t say I really liked this very much, despite the much praised painting on the ceiling and the other painted trompe l’oeil decorations. That, to me, was what is wrong with it: elsewhere, the buildings are decorated with beautiful carvings but the Painted \hall looks more like a piece of stage scenery.

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall
Lamp detail
Lamp detail
This is not a window
This is not a window

The Royal Observatory
The Royal Observatory

We now set out to climb the hill to the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum. This beautiful building is of huge historic importance, of course, and is stuffed full of interesting and historically important artifacts to do with astronomy, navigation and time-keeping.

Today, unfortunately, it was also stuffed full of people, so I really didn’t enjoy the visit. I hope to return another time, perhaps during the week.

View from the Royal Observatory
View from the Royal Observatory

The views from the hill are magnificent but the visibility was poor today, unfortunately. It would be worth coming back when the sun is shining.

From the Observatory, when walked on into Greenwich Park. There is a deer enclosure but the deer were too far away for photographs. Two of the locals, however, did consent to sit still for me and my camera.

Pigeons, Greenwich Park
Pigeons, Greenwich Park


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Today in Greenwich

  1. Oh you have made me feel so nostalgic. I once dated a navy officer and stayed at the Royal Naval College and dined in the Painted Hall before it was taken over by the University. The rules and regs and what I could and couldn’t do were so scary.

    I love that foot tunnel.

    Tracy also lived in that area – on Shooters Hill – so we often walked through the tunnel. I love the dripping water from the roof.

    Greenwich is a wonderful place. Great bookshops.

    • SilverTiger says:

      It is certainly a fascinating and pleasant area. There is so much to see.

      Although I disliked the crowds in the Royal Observatory, I could feel glad that so many people were visiting the place and taking their children to see it.

      We are sure to go back again and again.

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