National Maritime Museum
Good for: history
Lonely Planet review for National Maritime Museum
Narrating the long and eventful history of seafaring Britain, this museum is one of Greenwich's top attractions. Museum space increased with the Sammy Ofer Wing, which opened in late 2011.
The exhibits are arranged thematically and highlights include Miss Britain III (the first boat to top 100mph on open water) from 1933, the 19m-long golden state barge built in 1732 for Frederick, Prince of Wales, and the huge ship's propeller installed on level 1. The museum also owns the uniform coat that Britain's greatest seafaring hero, Horatio Nelson, was wearing when he was fatally shot (and the actual bullet), plus a replica of the lifeboat used by explorer Ernest Shackleton and some of his men after the Endurance sank on their epic mission in Antarctica. The restored stained glass from the Baltic Exchange, blown up by the IRA in 1992, is now a memorial to the victims of WWI.
The Your Ocean exhibit on level 1 examines the science, history, health and future of the sea. On level 2, kids will love firing a cannon in the All Hands exhibit or manoeuvring a tanker into port by using the Bridge Simulator. Tours depart from the ship's propeller at noon, 1pm and 3pm.