Queen’s House


Designed by architect Inigo Jones, Queen's House was the UK's first classical building, and it's as enticing for its form as for its art collection. Many pieces on display are portraits and have an unsurprising maritime bent; don't miss the iconic Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, which depicts the queen in a vibrantly coloured lace and jewelled gown and commemorates the failed invasion of England by the Spanish in 1588. It's in the immaculately restored Queen's Presence Chamber on the 1st floor.

Side galleries radiate off from the cube-shaped Great Hall, which has an elaborately tiled floor laid in 1635, best viewed from the upstairs balcony. In 2016, Turner Prize–winning artist Richard Wright was commissioned to add an intricate gold-leaf design on the ceiling, the first art there since 1708 when the original painted panels were removed. The stunning helix-shaped (and reportedly haunted) Tulip Stairs in the northwest corner of the hall form England's first self-supported staircase.

The house was begun in 1616 for Anne of Denmark, wife of James I, but wasn't completed until around 1636, when it became the home of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Greenwich attractions

1. National Maritime Museum

0.08 MILES

Narrating the long, briny and eventful history of seafaring Britain, this excellent museum has three floors of engrossing exhibits. Highlights include JMW…

2. Chapel of St Peter & St Paul

0.12 MILES

With its mix of Greek revival and naval motifs, the beautiful Chapel of St Peter & St Paul, built in 1742, is decorated in an elaborate rococo style…

3. Painted Hall

0.14 MILES

Designed as a dining room for retired and disabled sailors and completed in 1726, the Painted Hall is an over-the-top banqueting space that's covered…

4. Old Royal Naval College

0.17 MILES

Home to the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Christopher Wren–designed Old Royal Naval College is a…

5. Old Royal Naval College Visitor Centre

0.22 MILES

A handy introduction to the royal borough of Greenwich, this exhibition delves into the history of the area with models and hands-on exhibits, many aimed…

6. Fan Museum

0.23 MILES

For fan fans, this small but lovely museum has a wonderful collection of over 4000 historic and modern fans (only a small portion are on display) from…

7. Cutty Sark

0.26 MILES

The last of the great clipper ships to sail between China and England in the 19th century, the Cutty Sark was launched in 1869 and carried almost 4.5…

8. Royal Observatory

0.26 MILES

Rising like a beacon of time atop Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory is home to the prime meridian (longitude 0° 0' 0''). Tickets include access to the…