Even though I live in London , I sometimes forget about the iconic things we have here. One such thing is the Cutty Sark. I’ve been to Greenwich many times, seen it and thought how cool it looked, but never actually explored it! When we got given the chance to go and visit, we jumped at the chance.
The Cutty Sark has a prime position in Greenwich: She is now permanently out of the water and hoisted 10 feet in the air so as to be preserved, and the restoration following the fire in 2007 is nothing short of magnificent. As you walk towards her, that is your first WOW moment.
Essentially, there is a glass building surrounding the ship, so as you walk through the main entrance you see the gold hull of The Cutty Sark. That is the second WOW moment.
Once onboard, there are three parts to discover. It seemed at every turn, there was something interesting to see, read or watch.
Sitting down in the theatre as you enter the ship, we discovered what The Cutty Sark was built for: One of the very last tea clippers built to carry trade goods around the world: She carried tea, wool, straw hats, sardines and even pianos with the boxes all stacked up within her hold.
Next floor up on the ‘tween deck, was the most interactive floor with plenty of games, activities and things to do, and as an added bonus, had air conditioning, so rather cool in this heatwave we are experiencing.
Here, we met Mrs Ray, whose son was an apprentice on the ship, and she missed him desperately and loved his letters. One of his observations? Sleep on the top bunk, as if someone vomits it won’t land on you! Many of the crew pop into the Cutty Sark to tell you of their experience, you never know who you may meet.
My son’s favourite bit here, was an interactive game to try and beat The Cutty Sark’s record time of sailing back to London. We didn’t manage it, but had a great time trying!
Next up was the top deck and it was the third wow moment: The views over the Thames, city and Canary Wharf are spectacular.
On this deck, you get more of a feel of how the crew lived on this ship as you can have a nose around the cabins and even climb into the bunks and peek at the toilets.
Of course, we both had a go and manning the steering wheel, and we felt we’d make great captains.
To finish out trip, we went down to the cafe. As I sat underneath the hull of the ship in the rather futuristic glass building, I couldn’t help but think it was one of the more unusual places in London I had sipped a flat white.
If you are looking for a great place to visit in London this summer holiday, I would definitely recommend The Cutty Sark. Not only is she a beautiful ship, both and I and my 10 year old son found her history so interesting: From her record breaking sails to when she was saved from being scrapped and restored.
– Greenwich and The Cutty Sark is easy to reach on the Tube, DLR, mainline or indeed the Thames Clipper. We actually drove, and there is a carpark metres away (Cutty Sark Gardens Pay and Display), for £2.50 an hour. Make sure you have change!
– The cafe is air conditioned and has a good range of food and drink for adults and children.
– Expect to spend at least an hour here, including our trip to the cafe we spent two hours at the attraction.- There’s a great gift shop, we now have a replica Cutty Sark model to remember our time there!
– For more information, including prices and opening times, visit The Cutty Sark’s website
We were gifted entrance to the attraction, but all opinions, words and images are my own
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