What better way than to spend your daily walk with the children than on one of our Child Centric Tours. This one is ideal for anyone who lives within walking distance of Greenwich Park.
May I suggest you take paper and pencil/pens for the trip.
Remember, it is very important not to participate in this as large groups. Please only take part with members of your household and adhere to the two-metre social distancing guidance.
If you are following the tour on a mobile device try following the tour below. Alternatively, you can download and print the tour . You can also click on the map below to download a copy of that too.
Start from the top of Greenwich Park at the main gate on Blackheath.
- Before you enter the park from the main gate, take a moment to think about the Romans who in 43AD came marching along past where you are standing now on their way to discover this country, eventually settling in London or as the Roman’s called it, ‘Londinium’.
- Continue into the park – a whole 183 acres for your pleasure. You have just entered the oldest royal park in London. It first became a park in the 15th Century.
Infront of you is an avenue of sweet chestnut trees, believed to have been planted in 1660/1.
Have a go at drawing a picture of a sweet chestnut tree.
No, let’s turn right and go straight into the beautiful flower gardens. (No dogs allowed in this part of the park, so skip the flower gardens if you have brought your dog).
The first tree you see on your right is thought to be the oldest tree in the park (a sweet chestnut) it is 356 years old! During a storm in the 1980s many people were worried it would be lost but she survived tall and strong.
3. Notice the beautiful floral displays, the pond and all the wildlife that enjoys living in the park.
How many different kinds can you see? Draw as many as you can.
4. Follow the path (to the right) through the park and you will come to the deer enclosure.
The pond is on your left. Continue past the deer and the park opens out to a beautiful collection of trees – many of them are evergreen which means they do not lose their leaves in winter and stay green all year round. Look at their sweeping branches that come down to the ground. You will see cedar trees and tulip trees. Go under and look up. Is this what a squirrel feels like?
- The floral displays are all looked after by the Royal Park They grow many of the flowers in the nursery and then bring them out to create these lovely displays when the plants are at the peak of their beauty. The Gardens were laid out in the 1890s.
- If you follow the path round and come out of any gate you will see the band stand in the middle of the green. Imagine being a band player playing to your audience. What instrument would you play? Maybe you could draw a picture of your musical instrument.
- Follow the big main path towards the car parks. Turn to your right (away from the main entrance) and you will see a large statue. Go and find out his name …You can check him out later online or in a book.
Turn around and look at the amazing view across London.
Can you see St Pauls Cathedral? At one time, this would have been the tallest building in view – now there are many others that tower above it.
Can you see the Masts of the Cutty Sark? Here is a great opportunity to draw the London skyline. Even if you just follow the shapes, give it a go. This is a great one to keep on the fridge when you get home. You may want to take a picture of it and have a go at drawing it when you get home.
- To the left of you are some fabulous buildings. The Royal Observatory built by Sir Christopher Wren (the same man that built St Paul’s cathedral which took 35 years to build!).
If you look up to your left, there is a large Red Ball on a spire. This has been there since long before everyone was able to read and write. Long before everyone even had a watch or a clock. However, the captains of the ship would need to have a watch….
Greenwich is famous for its Maritime History. Its where Henry VIII Started the Navy and just up the Thames towards Deptford is where the Ships were built.
So, the red ball will rise at 5 mins to 1pm and at exactly 1pm, the ball will drop.
Imagine all the river full of ships with tall masts. The captains would look up and set their watches to 1pm. This is the beginning of Greenwich Mean Time, the benchmark time used by the whole world today. They would then adjust their clocks depending on where they were in the world. They also used the meridian line to help them set their charts as they sailed around the world.
This walk takes in the top of the park. The Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House is open under normal circumstances maybe come back when everything is back to normal.
- Lets turn around and go back past all the buildings on our right, cross the road and follow the path towards the rose garden.
Beyond the rose garden originally planted in 1960. You will see the back of the rangers house.
Walk to your left and you will see two great pieces of history. The first is thought to be the remainder of a sunken bath that was part of the Old Montagu House. Queen Carolin stayed in this house, she was the wife of George VI (1798 – 1813). She was known to have wild parties here. Imagine the large beautiful house that went all the way along this wall.
Also, here you can see a memorial to Ignatius Sancho, He was an amazing man of his time…
After being born on a slave ship in 1729, Ignatius Sancho lived in Greenwich for much of his life and was the first person of African heritage to vote in a British election. He spent his early years working for three sisters in Greenwich before running away to live with and work for the Montagu family.
He became a shop keeper in 1774 with John Mantagu’s support, and through his shop in Westminster he met and befriended some of the most famous and influential writers, politicians and actors at the time. As a financially independent male he qualified to vote in the 1774 and 1780 parliamentary elections, becoming the first person of African heritage to do so.
I hope you have enjoyed your walk around the park.
Please remember to enjoy the open space and fresh air in a safe and respectful way.