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Old Royal Naval College

Marvel at a famous ceiling mural in the elegant dining hall where war hero Horatio Nelson’s body lay after the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Old Royal Naval College is an inspiring landmark by the River Thames in London and houses several outstanding attractions. It was once home to a hospital and then the Royal Naval College, which closed in 1998. Now, it has historical artifacts and intriguing buildings. Britain’s most famous architect, Christopher Wren, built the symmetrical domed structure at the turn of the 18th century. It is a UNESCO site due to its remarkable design and cultural significance. 

Admire the large structure’s twin domes, which tower over the River Thames. Explore the elegant Painted Hall, which was originally designed in the 1700s to be one of the finest dining halls in the world. The hall is now known as the place where British war hero Horatio Nelson’s body lay after defeating Napoleon in the Battle of Trafalgar. Artist James Thornhill took 19 years to complete the interior decorations and ceiling painting.

Discover the neoclassical designs in the site’s chapel. Marvel at the gold statues, stone columns and Baroque works of art. Attend a religious service and see an exhibition on 500 years of history in the Greenwich Visitor Center. End your visit with a beer at The Old Brewery. Admire stunning views of the River Thames and the financial district’s skyscrapers on the horizon from inside the buildings.

The site opens daily from morning until late in the evening, though each building has its own closing times. Admission is free. 

The attraction was once home to the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, which then became Greenwich Hospital. In the 17th century, the Palace of Placentia was situated on the same site. It was the birthplace of Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth II and was allegedly the favorite spot of King Henry VII.

The Old Royal Naval College sits on the edge of the River Thames in the southeast of London. It is near to Greenwich Park, the Royal Museums and Greenwich Market. There are many transportation links to the site. Take the Docklands Light Railway to the Cutty Sark station, just a 5 minute-walk away. You can catch the River Bus, railway or take the London Underground to Canary Wharf nearby.


Guide to Exploring Old Royal Naval College


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ibis London Greenwich £62
ibis London Greenwich

ibis London Greenwich

30 Stockwell Street, London, England
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Greenwich, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Cutty Sark DLR Station is only a 3-minute walk and Greenwich DLR Station is 6 minutes.

    De Vere Devonport House £89
    De Vere Devonport House

    De Vere Devonport House

    King William Walk, Greenwich, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Greenwich, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Cutty Sark DLR Station is only a 3-minute walk and Greenwich DLR Station is 7 minutes.

      Beautiful Cottage in the Heart of Greenwich
      Beautiful Cottage in the Heart of Greenwich

      Beautiful Cottage in the Heart of Greenwich

      30 Hardy Cottages, Eastney Street, London, ENG
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Greenwich, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 2 miles (3 km). Cutty Sark DLR Station is 9 minutes by foot and London Maze Hill Station is 6 minutes.

        Admiral Hardy £99
        Admiral Hardy

        Admiral Hardy

        7 College Approach, London, England
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Greenwich, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 2 miles (3 km). Cutty Sark DLR Station is only a 2-minute walk and Greenwich DLR Station is 8 minutes.

          The Collective Canary Wharf £68
          The Collective Canary Wharf

          The Collective Canary Wharf

          20 Crossharbour Plaza, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Canary Wharf, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. O2 Arena is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away. Crossharbour Station is only a 2-minute walk and Mudchute Station is 6 minutes.

            Novotel London Greenwich £82
            Novotel London Greenwich

            Novotel London Greenwich

            173-185 Greenwich High Road, London, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Greenwich, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Greenwich DLR Station and London Greenwich Station are within a 2-minute walk.

              Britannia The International Hotel London, Canary Wharf £45
              Britannia The International Hotel London, Canary Wharf

              Britannia The International Hotel London, Canary Wharf

              Marsh Wall, London, England
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Canary Wharf, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. Tower Bridge is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away. South Quay Station is 5 minutes by foot and Heron Quays Station is 6 minutes.

                Charming 3 Bedroom Apartment From Cutty Sark
                Charming 3 Bedroom Apartment From Cutty Sark

                Charming 3 Bedroom Apartment From Cutty Sark

                Rockfield House, Welland Street,, Greenwich, London, ENG
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Greenwich, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park and O2 Arena are also within 3 miles (5 km). Cutty Sark DLR Station is only a 2-minute walk and Greenwich DLR Station is 8 minutes.