Greenwich Royal Observatory

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London, England
Greenwich Royal Observatory - The Meridian
Greenwich Royal Observatory - The view
Greenwich Royal Observatory - The view
Greenwich Royal Observatory - The observatory
Greenwich Royal Observatory - The observatory

Greenwich Royal Observatory London Reviews

Daniel_TheCyclist Daniel_T…
5 reviews
Great for nerds, scientists and historians. 17th century silicon valley. Not free. Aug 02, 2015
I actually went a few years ago, and passed by today. My opinions:

For me, the museum is a great place to understand the scientific process, and the relationship between science and economic activity. If the battle to make a timepiece precise enough to find your longitude while travelling the seas sounds exciting to you, this is a great museum. It took me back in time, to some pretty heroic characters; the equivalent at the time of the Silicon Valley.

The dateline is a bit if a gadget, and there is a queue to take your picture there. Some people like taking their picture in iconic places. Problem is, they are probably not the same people who will like the exhibit.

And the museum is not free; it's £9.50. The dateline used to be free, but today it required the entry fee to the museum.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich May 16, 2010
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is a fascinating museum that shows the history of astronomy and timekeeping, and how important they were to the development of shipping and commerce in Britain. It is free entrance.

The main reason people come to the Royal Observatory is to straddle the prime meridian, the point where longitude is 0 degrees and where we compare time is (however many hours ahead of or behind GMT). There is no scientific reason why we start timing time at 0 degrees, Greenwich – there was an international conference at some point in history, and despite the best efforts of the French to run the line through Paris, 70% of shipping already navigated from the Greenwich meridian and so it stuck. And the reason why people come to look at the meridian is because it is hard not to be amused by sticking one leg over the Western hemisphere whilst keeping the other in the East. We are travellers, after all. But the Observatory also has displays on the development of accurate ways of measuring longitude (which allowed better, faster trade because it made it easier not to get lost and run aground at sea) and time (which, amongst other things, made it possible to run national railway schedules). I was particularly interested in the development of hyper-accurate soviet pendulum clocks. Denied access to quartz technology, the USSR discovered that pendulums were still the most accurate non-quartz way of measuring times and had hyperaccurate pendulum clocks that controlled hundreds of clock screens electronically, to keep time safely.

I’m lurching more into a blog than a review, here, but I found the Observatory fascinating. It also has wonderful views out over the Thames, is free entrance, and there is a nice sausage stall just opposite. Well worth a quick look.
The view
The Meridian
The observatory
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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sarahelaine says:
thanks everyone!
Posted on: May 25, 2010
Doninseattle says:
hah! You have to be pretty quick with this crowd.
Posted on: May 24, 2010
Doninseattle says:
I agree, one of the coolest things I did on all of my trips to London.
Posted on: May 24, 2010
CFD CFD
138 reviews
Mar 10, 2007
This is the place where the prime meridian is located. Here you can stand with one foot on the western side of the world and the other on the eastern side of the world. The exhibition is free(!) so you dont need a ticket. There is alot of stories about seaman who lost their life at sea beacause there where no way to find your accurate possision. Thats all change when a clockmaker from London managed to make an clock that was accurate enough to find the time of day.. If you know the time of day and measure the posision of the sun then you can pinpoint you posision..

Do you want to know things about clocks this is the place. And much about learning the very basic means of navigating before new electronic instruments made these old instruments obosolete.

For engineers and mariners this is a paradise. You can see how all of the old clocks are built up and get history of the times with less reliable clocks and watches.

PS: They also have a telescope where you can see pluto! This is a must see when you visit the Observatory
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