Cheating or Smarts?

Some quick tips to visiting the Greenwich Meridian.

VIew from the top. Greenwich Observatory hill, Greenwich, England. Spetember 2015.
View from the top. Greenwich Observatory Hill, Greenwich, England. September 2015.

There are so many things to do in Greenwich beyond just standing on a line marked inthe ground (not that that isn’t reason enough for some visitors). From visiting universities to the maritime museum to wandering the cute streets and shops to boat trips to the observatory, this area can easily fill a weekend(+) or a quick day trip given your availability.

But—as covered constantly—you always have to consider some money factors when traveling through pretty much any area.

While the usual wandering around town is sure to save you quite a bit of money—as well as packing a lunch that you can enjoy out on Greenwich Park—here are a few more tips of the money saving variety.

We’ll start off more traditionally and say planning! Plot out your travel including times to find the best and cheapest way to Greenwich. Depending on where you are coming from, you may be using multiple types of transport which (depending on how you are paying for it) can start to add up. Luckily, if you are using an Oyster card, this maxes out relatively quickly on trips like these, so you aren’t spending too much compared to the distance traveled.

Also, if you do have an Oyster card, you can get discounts for the cable car, if don’t mind the heights and spending a little money, that is.

If you are trying to stick with the free model for this visit, however, you should try visiting The Maritime Museum, The Queen’s House, and Greenwich Naval College. These are all right next to each other and run along Greenwich Park.

On a less traditional route, let’s consider why most of us head out to Greenwich in the first place: visiting the Greenwich Meridian Line. The main space where this line is mapped out is held inside the Royal Observatory and this area is chalk full of things to go and see… but they also cost you.

Therefore, if you want the official picture, this also costs you.

If you want to see everything that the admission ticket gives you and you have the time for it, it is definitely worth a look. If you don’t, however, but don’t want to miss the photo op, there are two less conventional options to save that cash:

First, if you can find Park Vista Street—near Park Row Gate—and take a careful stroll down it, you’ll come across a row of large metal dots and a little plaque nearby: these are denoting the Meridian just as much as the one in the courtyard but for nothing more than the time it takes to stroll down the street.

I walk the line. Greenwich Prime Meridian Line, Greenwich, England. September 2015.
I walk the line. Greenwich Prime Meridian Line, Greenwich, England. September 2015.

The second way in is a little sketchy but easier. When you are at the top of the hill looking at Flamsteed House (the building with the big red ball), look to the left and you’ll see a black gate where people (who paid for the ticket, mostly) are exiting. You can open this gate from the outside and walk a few feet and there you will find a smaller but still very real golden line marking the path of the Meridian line.

While this feels sketchy, there is no sign telling you not to enter, no security stopping you, nothing. Basically, it’s an honor code or as my friend decided “a savvy traveler test.”

This is just a judgement call: if it bugs you too much, don’t do it; if it doesn’t, go for it. I still recommend subtly and taking the picture quickly, but, hey, do what you need to do, right?

Anyway, hope you find this useful and travel well,

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Cheating or Smarts?

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