Royal Observatory

Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, London SE10 8XJ
Blackheath Avenue London England SE10 8XJ GB

The Royal Observatory is the historic home of British astronomy. Established in the 17th century as the first state-funded scientific centre in Britain, it was from here that the great scientists of the time first mapped the stars and the seas, and from here that the Prime Meridian of the World, the starting point of world time, is measured.

Stand at the centre of time and space, walk in the footsteps of scientific pioneers, see their inspiring inventions, and experience the past, present and future wonders of astronomy.

Facilities: The Royal Observatory (ROG) is set on a hill in Greenwich Park.

There are two paths to the ROG from the National Maritime Museum through Greenwich Park. If you take the left fork you’ll head up a very steep hill to the entrance of the Observatory. At the top of the hill on the right are ornate wrought-iron gates which are usually closed. The entrance to the site is a short distance to the left through the central arch.

If you take the right fork the path is slightly longer but less steep, taking you along ‘The Avenue’, a road that runs through the park and round the south side of the Observatory site. Follow this path around for 150 metres to the entrance on the north side.

Having passed through the entrance you enter the Meridian Garden. If you take the path to the right, a ramp provides access to the Meridian visitor reception area which leads into the Astronomers’ Garden, Flamsteed House, the Meridian Courtyard and the Meridian Line. The left-hand path leads to the Astronomy Centre and the Planetarium. Both routes are fully accessible.

The newly redeveloped Astronomy Centre that houses the Astronomy Galleries and the Planetarium is fully accessible via a lift. Mobility scooters may be too large for lift access, and visitors are requested to approach a member of staff on duty for assistance. There are limited spaces for wheelchairs and mobility scooters in the Planetarium, but pre-booking is recommended.

The older Royal Observatory buildings to the north of the site have more restricted access, including the Octagon Room in Flamsteed House, the Time and Society galleries, and the 28-inch telescope in the Meridian and Great Equatorial Buildings.

Access to the Time Galleries in Flamsteed House is via an external lift in the Astronomers’ Garden. This is unsuitable for buggy access. To get access to the Time Galleries, use the lift to the upper level for the Longitude gallery housing John Harrison’s clocks. You will need to press the bell by the doors

Opening Times: 10.00–17.00 daily, last admission 16.30

Costs: Entrance to the Astronomy Centre is FREE. Entrance charges apply to Flamsteed House and the Meridian Courtyard.

Photo Credits: © Copyright RGM – Royal Museums Greenwich

For further information please visit: