From history to seafaring, eating out, park life and play areas Greenwich really has it all. Hannah Feldman reveals her itinerary for a fab family day out in and around Greenwich.
9am: Board the Thames Clipper at Embankment
You'll feel like you're on holiday as you board the clipper (especially if you're lucky enough to get one of the glass-fronted newer ones) and the kids will love spotting all the London landmarks on the way (top tip: under 5s go free, but everyone else will need a ticket, so buy this before you board). It's around a 40-minute journey to Greenwich, your final destination.
9.40am: Stroll over to the Cutty Sark
When you disembark, you'll be a short walk away from the wonderful Cutty Sark, beautifully restored since its maiden voyage in the 19th century. There are three levels to explore with a mix of displays and interactive exhibits for all ages to enjoy. On the top deck you can visit the cabins and communal areas and even have a go at being Captain. At weekends and on Bank Holidays there are often kids activities and we enjoyed a storytelling session from the "mother" of one of the crew members in period dress - I would suggest this session would work best for school age + kids. Meanwhile, don't miss the rocking benches on the 'tween deck at Cutty Sark and the interactive sailing map.
11.30am: Have a picnic lunch and explore Maritime Museum and Greenwich Park
Younger children will probably be asking for lunch by this time - after the Cutty Sark, we moved on via the bustling High Street which has a whole host of family-friendly eateries, but if the weather's nice, you could just as easily take a picnic and eat it in Greenwich Park. It's right next to the National Maritime Museum which, as well as being free to enter, is beautifully light and airy - those who are interested in life at sea will be in their element perusing the exhibits. Kids who love a bit of rough and tumble will be in their element at the Ahoy! play zone directly to the left as you enter. This play area is fantastic for little ones - I would suggest up to about 7 years old (with a separate section for babies and toddlers) and had some really imaginative areas to explore from a play fishmongers shop to a cargo loading area for a ship and a shipbuilders yard. There are also some water features outside by the Maritime Museum café that the kids loved. Another tip – bring a ball or some games and a picnic mat to enjoy Greenwich Park. At peak times there is a short queue for the Ahoy! play area - try to visit either shortly after opening or towards the end of the day to avoid the rush. (PS If you prefer to drive, you could get to the museum super-early and park there, but remember that spaces are limited).
3pm: Hop on the Emirates Cable Car
It's a good idea to check out the timetables as you don't want to waste time waiting for the clipper, but if you time it well (and the weather is good), hop back on for one stop to North Greenwich. From there it's a five-minute walk to the Emirates Cable Car, which is an absolutely brilliant experience - and offers the best views around! You can buy a return ticket, so you can stay on it and go back and forth, then go to the exhibition at the end, which is full of all things aviation, including simulators and interactive cockpits.
5pm: Get the Clipper back into central London
Grab a vantage seat at the front if you can, and enjoy playing 'spot the London landmark' on the way home. And then pencil in another day to come back - there are so many more brilliant things to do in Greenwich, the whole family will definitely want to come back!