London audio tour: Greenwich: Where Time Begins

Greenwich: Where Time Begins

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

On this walk you will learn how Greenwich Mean Time (or GMT) became the standard from which all the world's times are worked out. You will hear of the murder of an Archbishop by the Vikings in the 9th Century and discover Queen Elizabeth's Oak Tree, where Henry VIII is said to have cavorted with Anne Boleyn, resulting in the birth of England's iconic queen. Visiting the Painted Hall you will hear the macabre story of Lord Nelson's corpse and the brandy which was supposed to preserve it.

Tour Producer


Brian Cookson

After qualifying as a Russian Interpreter during National Service, I obtained a BA in Russian and German at Oxford University. I spent most of my working life as a computer consultant, mainly working for IBM. When I retired, I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide. I lead guided walking tours all over London and have written two books - 'London Waterside Walks' and 'Crossing the River', published by Mainstream.

Information on my tours and lectures can be found at

Major Landmarks

  • Cutty Sark

  • Queen's House

  • National Maritime Museum

  • Royal Observatory

Directions to Starting Point

Catch the Docklands Light Railway to Island Gardens Station and ascend to the road.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Cutty Sark, Discover Greenwich Museum, Painted Hall, Chapel, Queen's House, Royal Observatory

Best time of day

Any time during the day.


Keep an eye on your possessions at all times.


The tour chooses a beautiful route starting on the northern side of the river and takes you across to Greenwich. It happened to be a beautiful summer evening when the shallow was long and light soft. Brian’s voice and knowledge were perfect to roam around Greenwich. I took Brian’s advice and took the ferry back to the city - best decision!

Posted by Yao , over 2 years ago

Thanks for your kind comments, Yao, and i am glad you enjoyed the walk. I was there this morning taking a group around the beautifully restored Painted Hall. Always a pleasure to visit Greenwich especialy when the sun is shining

Posted by Brian , over 2 years ago

Hi Rob. Thanks for letting us know! We've replaced the broken file.


Posted by Lauren , almost 6 years ago

Great tour, but the colonade audio is broken. Can you fix it please?

Posted by Rob Stevens , almost 6 years ago

to clarify, colonnade won't download.

Posted by Rob Stevens , almost 6 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.