14 Things to Do in Greenwich (You Won’t Have Done Before)

14+ things to do in Greenwich that aren't super famous - but still worth your while...

You might not appreciate it now, but what a wonderful position you’re in - looking around for things to do in Greenwich. 

Things to do in Greenwich

The leafy, fascinating, entertainment-filled borough of Greenwich is home to plenty of world-famous tourist attractions, museums and legendary landmarks that make finding things you haven’t done before a bit of a slog.

But not anymore! As fabulous as the main attractions are, they are definitely not the only things to do in Greenwich. Read on to find out what else you can get up to…

And just so you know, nobody pays us to be featured on this list. No affiliate links here: they’re just our recommendations to you, so you can find the best things to do in London.

The Best Things to Do in Greenwich

Go on a Treasure Hunt For Hidden Gems in Greenwich

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The point is, Greenwich is full of quirky sights, interesting monuments and hidden gems, most of which go totally unnoticed. 

The only trouble is, these smaller snippets are often overshadowed by Greenwich’s major attractions, but they are there, hiding in plain sight. And you can find them! 

Spice up your day with a Greenwich treasure hunt that turns a stroll into a riddle-filled quest. 

Team up with your friends, family, partner or go it alone and have an adventure entirely of your own. Riddles and clues guide you around Greenwich’s major landmarks while pointing out unique oddities, fascinating facts and intriguing stories - and there are even optional pub stops along the way to keep you fed and watered! 

Delve into The History of a Once-Loved Fashion Accessory at The Fan Museum

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From being used to cool Ancient Egyptians in the 12th century BC to becoming flirtation devices for well-to-do ladies in 18th century England, fans have left an indelible mark on history the world over. But what do you really know about them? 

This neglected accessory has a fascinating history that involves everyone from Salvador Dalí to Japanese noblewomen - and it’s all here for the taking in Greenwich. 

One of the top things to do in Greenwich, a trip to the Fan Museum provides a fascinating insight to the once-coveted accessory of every fashionista’s arsenal and much more besides. Explore the collection, attend a fan-making workshop or just use your time to explore a little-known gem - it’s absolutely worth your while! 

Visit The Famous Imprisoned Oak Tree Shrouded in Tudor Lore

- © Steve Daniels / Queen Elizabeth's Oak in Greenwich Park via Wikipedia

For me, there are few things as enjoyable as encountering bizarre objects or places shrouded in local lore - like Queen Elizabeth I’s Oak, for instance.

Spoiler alert, if you didn’t know this tree was known as Queen Elizabeth I’s Oak, you probably wouldn’t go out of your way to see it. 

On the surface, this old oak tree, lying peacefully on its side like a wounded landmark isn’t much to look at. It’s dead (sadly) and has been for over a hundred years, but the stories it could tell us are phenomenal.

It’s said that this tree bore witness to Queen Elizabeth I’s picnics, was danced around by her notorious parents, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, and legend also has it that the hollow trunk was used to incarcerate misbehaving people in the park!

Whatever the truth is behind these stories, the tree itself is now concealed behind bars - but not because of its behaviour. It’s for the tree’s privacy (no 490-year-old wants to be climbed on) - but you can still visit and see this legendary symbol of English history for yourself.

Get a View of The Observatory at 1.00pm (Or Should That Be 13:00?)

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Do you know what a time ball is? No, I didn’t either - until I took the time to look up at the Greenwich Observatory roof at 1pm (trust me on this - it’s a very cool detail that most people miss). 

As you probably already know, timing is everything in Greenwich. This is especially true at 1.00pm at the Observatory. Make sure you’re standing far enough away to see the roof (near the gates is good), look up and see if you can spot a large red ball - that is a “time ball”. 

Traditionally used to synchronise watches, time balls were used by mariners before clocks and watches were a thing. Dropped at exact times, this one aligns with Shepherd's clock, climbing and then dropping at precisely 1.00 pm. You’re welcome!

Enjoy the Fleeting Beauty of Cherry Blossom

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If you’re looking for things to do in Greenwich in early springtime, you’re in for a treat.

For a brief, magical period, Greenwich Park gets tickled pink. The cherry blossoms bloom, transforming ordinary paths into blush-tinted wonderlands. It's an Instagrammer's dream and a reminder of beauty's fleeting nature—catch it before it vanishes!

More Top Things to Do in Greenwich

Visit Thomas Tallis’ Tomb at St Alfrege Church

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Visit whose tomb at what church? If you haven’t heard of Thomas Tallis, you’ll probably be surprised to hear that he was one of the most famous composers of the 16th century.

These days of course, it’s unlikely you’d recognise a tune composed by Tallis, but in his time, he was pretty much the musical icon of the era. 

Tallis’ main job was writing music for the Royal Court (and his music was so enjoyed that it united the famously divided Tudor family; Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth I all employed him during their respective reigns). 

Perhaps fittingly, Tallis was buried at St Alfege Church in Greenwich - the same church that Henry VIII was baptised in. Even if the composer's tomb is a bit beyond you, the church itself is beautiful and an interesting place to have a nose around - and see if you can spot Tallis on one of the stained glass windows, he’s depicted standing in front of an organ! 

Play Mini-Golf (Or Something With Higher Stakes) Beside the O2 Arena

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What’s life without a little competition? If that sounds like your kind of mantra, consider bulking up your list of things to do in Greenwich with a few rounds of mini golf beside the iconic O2 Arena.

Battle Bar Games is a Greenwich hotspot where games are just the beginning of entertainment. This hub is Greenwich’s playground - home to plenty of games, drinks, and classic bites to eat. 

Personally, I feel a game of “crazier” mini-golf is more than enough to keep my afternoon packed with fun but if you fancy it, you could give shuffleboard, beer or prosecco pong, American pool or even axe throwing a try! 

Hunt Down Some Bargains at Greenwich Market

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Looking for things to do in Greenwich that involve bringing home a bargain? Head to Greenwich Market.

As a bibliophile, I gravitate towards the book stands (there really are some gems in there) but there’s also plenty of vintage finds, artisanal crafts, and the odd quirky souvenir to be found that reminds you of somebody you know.

If you’ve just decluttered and don’t want more stuff entering your home, this is a great place to find something delicious to fill your tummy instead - from Brazilian churros to Punjabi street food, it’s yours for the tasting! 

Visit The Royal Naval College

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While the Royal Naval College often tops first-time visitors’ lists, I feel there are parts of it that many don’t take the time to see - or realise there’s more to it than “just” history.

For instance, fans of The Crown, Les Miserables, Thor: The Dark World or Four Weddings and A Funeral will love visiting the many set locations on the Blockbuster Tour. Theologians or those who like beautiful architecture will enjoy a serene visit to the incredible Chapel, and if you’re a yogi, you can even enjoy a yoga session in the Painted Hall, Britain’s answer to the Sistine Chapel. 

Just make sure to look up what’s on ahead of your visit! 

See Some Stand Up Comedy at Up The Creek Comedy Club

London is absolutely buzzing with comedy talent, and while Up The Creek Comedy Club doesn’t have the international fame of the Apollo Theatre, you’d be wise to check it out if you’re in town.

Once a church hall, Up The Creek Comedy Club has become a great venue that hosts everyone from comedy icons to up and coming talent. Just a minute’s walk away from The Cutty Sark and home to its own brewery, this is the ideal place to bring some friends or even go by yourself to enjoy a few laughs at someone else’s expense (or yours, if you sit near the front row!). 

Walk The Legendary Greenwich Foot Tunnel

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If you haven’t already, a walk through Greenwich Foot Tunnel is a must - if only to appreciate that it’s been possible for over a hundred years.

An engineering marvel beneath the River Thames, this pedestrian passage, linking Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs, offers a unique underwater experience. Don’t expect the walk to be picturesque - the rewards very much lie at either end of the tunnel - but it’s a great way to get around the city when you don’t want to take the tube.

Track Down Unusual Blue Plaques

Greenwich is nicknamed The Royal Borough for a reason - its connection to Royalty go back several centuries and, as you’ve probably noticed, the Tudors in particular used Greenwich as their stamping grounds.

But since then, plenty of famous faces have made their mark on Greenwich’s streets - and you can find them by looking for distinctive blue plaques on buildings. 

Take, for instance, Cecil Day-Lewis (father of the actor Daniel Day-Lewis and Poet Laureate from 1968-1972), Benjamin Waugh (founder of the NSPCC), and General James Wolfe (a controversial figure and soldier in the 18th century who was instrumental in taking back Quebec, Canada from France). 

Play Basketball at London’s First Rooftop Basketball Court

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When you fancy shooting some hoops, do it with a breathtaking view of the Thames. 

While it’s not the cheapest option around town (hiring the court will set you back £30 per hour), it’s not so bad if you divide the cost between friends. You also might think you’re more focused on the hoops than the view, but it’s truly a great space to see London from (and snap some pics). 

The court is open from 8am to 8pm, so it’s ideal for catching a sunset while you get your heart rate up.

Visit The Trafalgar Tavern, a Pub That Features In Charles Dickens’ Last Ever Novel, Our Mutual Friend

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When you’re looking for things to do in Greenwich that involve a literary twist, step into the pages of history at a pub featured in Charles Dickens' last novel, Our Mutual Friend. 

Even though The Trafalgar Tavern is one of Greenwich’s newest pubs (it was built in 1837 so it isn’t that old compared to, say, The Plume of Feathers, built in 1691), it still has a great literary backstory.

In the novel, the Trafalgar Tavern is where Dickens sets a scene for a wedding breakfast. 

Beautifully restored to reflect its true Victorian grandeur, the pub is now home to a posh restaurant called The Nile, and the pub garden has a statue of Admiral Nelson to polish off the maritime theme of Greenwich nicely! 

Find More Fun Things to Do in London with CityDays

CityDays #LONDON

So there you have it, 14+ things to do in Greenwich you can do today, tomorrow, or whenever you fancy! 

Want to find more things to do in London?

Whatever your interests are, there’s always something new for you to discover. 

In fact, you don’t have to go out of your way at all to find them - you just have to know where to look. 

Discover London’s secret sights and noteworthy nooks by playing one of our London treasure and scavenger hunts, urban adventures, escape room games or walking tours.

You’ll find curated trails and hunts all over London, including Central London, Greenwich Mayfair, Shoreditch, Kensington and Southwark. 

All you have to do is team up with your partner, friends, family or whoever to solve riddles, complete challenges and answer trivia to lead you on an unforgettable journey around London’s most intriguing streets. 

The best part? We’ll recommend top-rated pubs, cafés and restaurants and give your team the chance to earn rewards by competing on our leaderboard. 

CityDays gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages.