Royal Greenwich Observatory

Royal Observatory Greenwich and the Painted Hall

NB: this is an updated version of the page originally released.

A copy of the complete flyer with detailed directions for this event can be found at the REMS site: . Click on the 'Events: current' tab to the left of the header page  to go to a table of flyers. You are advised to take a copy of the flyer with you.

To book places for this event contact [email protected]   

To pay for booked places, post a cheque made out to the Institute of Physics (not IOP please) to Tony Colclough (REMS), 34 Sugden Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0AE. See 'Cost' below for the charge per head.

This visit has been organised by Stewart Coulter who volunteers at the site.

Description:  We will visit the Great Equatorial Telescope (GET) the largest refractor in the UK and 7th largest in the world, the Meridian Buildings which house Greenwich’s historic meridian transit instruments including Airy’s whose cross-hairs in 1884 defined the Prime Meridian of the World.  We will also visit the Octagon Room and finally the Time Galleries, which house the Harrison Clocks along with Flamsteed House, home of the early Astronomers Royal. 

After lunch at The Yacht on the riverfront we will visit the newly restored Painted Hall, “England’s Sistine Chapel” for a guided tour followed by a walk around the history of the Royal Naval College. Lunch pre-order will be requested a week ahead.

Where and when to meet:  10:30 for 11:00 in the café on the east side of Blackheath Avenue.

How to get there


By car: Parking is plentiful at the site, entry from Blackheath. £1.20/h, 4h max.  Pay until 13:30 by which time we will have driven down the hill to lunch. 

By DLR: alight at Cutty Sark then a 10 min walk with a short sharp climb at the end.  For a gentler climb, keep to the road-side pavement.  If you wish to take a taxi alight the DLR at Greenwich Station where there is a rank.  If empty phone Excel minicabs 020 8469 0099 who are ½ mile away.

Lunch: a 10-minute downhill walk to the riverside.  Free parking might be available at the Royal Naval College below. If not there is plenty in a council car park but at £3/h.  The organiser will speak about options on the day.

Timetable Tony Nixon and Mike Dryland are our expert guides:

10:30  Gather in Pavilion Café on E side of parking

11:00  Introduction in Courtyard then Octagon Room

11:20  Split tours: Meridian Building / GET and Time Galleries, some free time at end 

13:00  Meet outside ticket office for the 15 min walk/10 min drive to lunch - offers of lifts please

13:30  Lunch at The Yacht (pre-orders will be requested the week before) then a 5 min walk to…

15:00  The Painted Hall: public guided talk (½h)

16:00  500 Years of History: public guided walk of the Royal Naval College (1h)

17:00  Depart/refreshments at The Old Brewery


Afternoon talks/walks:  If your time is limited you are not obliged to follow this timetable, you can DIY:

  • Painted Hall:   these last 30 min and take place on the hour and half hour, last talk at 4pm
  • Royal Naval College: these last 1h and take place on the hour, last walk at 4pm.


There is a great deal to see around the Royal Museums, Greenwich.  This visit will be the first of three or even four visits which the organiser will arrange in the near future.


Size of Party   maximum 40

Cost                £28, incl £5 deposit for pre-ordered lunch (the £5 will be taken off the cost of your meal)

Contacts         Stewart Coulter [email protected]   07747 800837

Late arrivals Tony Colclough [email protected]

09730 171307

Further information including getting there and parking: please visit

Organised By
Stewart Coulter for the Retired Members' Section, LSE Branch
28 Jun 2019 10:30 to 17:00
The Royal Observatory
United Kingdom
SE10 8XJ
Invite Friends