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A town just outside London, with loads of maritime history and the home of Greenwich Mean Time

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Greenwich is just about 10 kilometres or so to the east of Central London. You can get a good view of the city from the hilltop in Greenwich Park, which is one of the largest green areas in the capital. Close by to this spot is probably the most famous place in Greenwich, the Old Royal Observatory. This institution was commissioned by King Charles II in 1675, and it used to be an important centre for research. It's known as being the home of Greenwich Mean Time, to which all other times on the globe are officially set. Remember to adjust your watch before you leave, because this might be the most accurate it ever gets! The observatory is also the origin of the Prime Meridian, which is also known as the International Date Line. All other time zones are classed as being ahead of, or behind this central line. You can stand with one foot in the eastern hemisphere, and the other foot in the west.
The Greenwich area is also famous for its maritime history. The most important location for this is the Royal Naval College, situated just next to Greenwich Park on the banks of the Thames. It's made up of beautiful 18th century buildings, designed by the some of the greatest architects in British history. It originally served as a hospital, but has spent much of its history as a naval college, training up Britain's officers. Nowadays it's used by Greenwich University, and the Trinity College of Music, but many of the most attractive areas are still open to the public. The greatest sight is surely the Painted Hall, with its incredible art display on the ceiling. The room was once used to display the body of Lord Nelson, the British admiral, before it was taken to St. Paul's Cathedral for his funeral.
If you're looking at the college from the river, then framed between the two main domes, you'll be able to see part of the English monarchy's old Royal Palace, which is now known as the Queen's House. In fact, the naval college was expressly designed with this view in mind. The building is no longer a royal residence; instead, it forms part of the National Maritime Museum, and is used to display a range of aquatically-themed paintings and portraits. The other buildings in the museum contain articles such as maps, plans, compasses and other instruments.
Along with all these artefacts, Greenwich is also the final resting place of one of England's most well-travelled and well-known sailing ships, the Cutty Sark. Built in 1869, this fast vessel started life delivering tea from China. It was also one of the last and finest before steam power technology dominated merchant ship design. Recently, it became a museum ship, open for public viewing. Unfortunately, it recently suffered from fire damage, which means that it's closed until repairs are complete.
Together, all of these historical places and interesting attractions add up to form Maritime Greenwich, an official site on the World Heritage list. If all this makes you feel like arriving in an appropriate vehicle, then river boat trips are available along the Thames, from lots of different places in the city.
Greenwich town centre itself features a jumble of pretty Victorian and Georgian houses, surrounding a covered marketplace. Markets are held 5 days a week under various different themes, such as food, antiques, or crafts. Elsewhere, there are plenty of good shops and restaurants, with much more to discover if you wander round. One surprise in particular is the Fan Museum, the only museum in the world designed exclusively for fans of fans.

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