Old Royal Naval College Greenwich

Back in the day when I first came to London, the Royal Naval College at Greenwich was out of bounds to those of us not in the Navy.  Beautiful buildings stood tantalising just out of reach behind high railings, whispers of stunning interiors were heard.  Now would-be sailors are trained elsewhere and some of the buildings are open for you and me to wander around at will.  Earlier this week I visited the Maritime Museum and took the opportunity to stroll through the Naval College grounds en route to the DLR.  A short cut that was all it was until I saw this open door and tempting vista.  People were walking in and out, so I reasoned I could too!

Old royal Naval College Greenwich

It led me into this courtyard, the King William Court, mirror image to the Queen Mary Court visible through the colonnade.  Stunning and I’d never seen it before.  To my right was the exterior of the Painted Hall, which is shut for two years whilst it is being refurbished.

Old Naval College Greenwich

Opposite the Painted Hall is the Chapel with its stunning blue and cream ceiling.  Apparently it not only beautiful but is also responsible for the excellent acoustics of the Chapel.


I knew that it was possible to visit the Chapel and the Painted Hall but hadn’t realised before that wandering round the wider grounds was possible.  The buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren and form one of the most important collections of baroque architecture in Europe: they are one of the reasons why Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Even better, access if free.


Grounds open daily  8am-11pm

Buildings open Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm

The Old Naval College is a popular film and wedding location, so sometimes buildings may not be accessible: a list of closure times can be found on the website.




  1. November 6, 2016 / 1:14 am

    Such an impressive building, one to add to our next London visit

  2. mrsteepot
    November 6, 2016 / 1:20 am

    Looks like a wonderful place to visit, great photos

  3. November 6, 2016 / 7:35 am

    I can’t resist and open door either. Looks like your short cut paid off though. Stunning pics. That ceiling! #MySundayPhoto

    • Catherine
      November 6, 2016 / 8:16 am

      Always worth meandering!

  4. sarahmo3w
    November 6, 2016 / 7:55 am

    Wow, it all looks stunning! It’s great how times change and something that was once totally out of bounds is now open to the public.

    • Catherine
      November 6, 2016 / 8:16 am

      It feels slightly naughty walking through the gates!

  5. November 6, 2016 / 8:09 am

    It’s a lovely place to visit, such a calm and peaceful setting, great pics.

  6. November 6, 2016 / 8:19 am

    . It pays to explore. A lovely site, I once attended a wedding in there, we ate in the painted hall. #mysundayphoto

    • Catherine
      November 6, 2016 / 8:41 am

      What an amazing wedding venue

  7. bavariansojourn
    November 6, 2016 / 11:04 am

    I love Greenwich, it’s so beautiful isn’t it? Lovely shots! 🙂 #sundayphoto

  8. November 6, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    I can remember going there as a child – and would love to pay another visit to photograph it. Your images are beautiful x

  9. November 6, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    Such beautiful pics and somewhere I really want to visit x

    • Catherine
      November 6, 2016 / 8:33 pm

      Greenwich in general is brilliant place to visit

  10. November 7, 2016 / 12:47 am

    Wow, that’s so beautiful. I’ve never been to look round, but would love to. My mum was once engaged to a trainee naval officer there, so spent a lot of time walking the Greenwich tunnel

    • Catherine
      November 7, 2016 / 8:35 am

      Didvshe climb the stairs at each end or ride in the huge lifts?

      • November 7, 2016 / 10:48 am

        I can’t remember, probably the steps. That’s what she used to take us in when we went through the tunnel as kids

  11. November 8, 2016 / 9:59 am

    I love that ceiling. Will have to put on list for my next visit to Greenwich #citytripping

  12. November 8, 2016 / 10:26 am

    The ceiling frieze is beautiful.

  13. November 8, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    I’ve been inside too:) great place! #citytripping

  14. November 10, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    It’s such an amazing building – the painted ceiling is astonishing and I had a quick wander through as part of a Greenwich walking tour once. Such a lovely location too, great to have a peek further inside. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  15. November 10, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    I went to an amazing wedding there a few years ago. I had never been before and was totally awestruck by how magnificent it was. Be good to go back and have a bit more of a nose around it. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • Catherine
      November 10, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      Just wandering around was great

  16. November 15, 2016 / 5:57 am

    I used to live not far from Greenwich but never made it here. I am planning a trip back soon so I must try and visit this time. #citytripping

Leave a Reply