London audio tour: The Royal Arsenal Tour: From the Battlefield to the Football field

The Royal Arsenal Tour: From the Battlefield to the Football field

Walking Tour

35 mins

About the Tour

Three hundred years ago an accident occurred that would change the history of Woolwich forever and set it on a path to becoming the biggest munitions manufacturer in the world.

This walking tour takes you around London’s Royal Arsenal neighbourhood, where you’ll hear the reasons the arsenal was built and the history of some of the original buildings in the area. Our tour will also touch on the birth of two of the most important branches of the military, and a world famous soccer team.

With an eye on the present day, you’ll find out about:

• Woolwich’s Cultural Quarter
• London’s 2012 gift
• Who the stone statue that leans against the Brass Foundry depicts
• The oldest surviving ordnance building in the country
• How an explosion caused a brass foundry to move from the city centre to the Royal Arsenal

Join me on this hour-long circular walk and savour this slice of London’s colourful history.

Tour Producer


Richard Smith-Gore

I have been a manager of museums and historic houses for over 20 years. Tour guiding is a passion of mine as I love story telling and sharing history with others. Royal Arsenal Tours was set up after the closure of The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich to continue to be able to tell the stories of the area. I particularly love military, social, and industrial history. We currently run live tours of the history of Royal Arsenal plus Ghost Tours and Women's History Tours.

Major Landmarks

  • The Brass Foundry

  • The Academy

  • Dial Arch

  • Dial Square

Directions to Starting Point

Thames Clipper - The most fun way to get to the start of the tour is via Uber Boat by Thames Clipper
Woolwich Arsenal Station - A 5-10 minute walk from the station. Use your map to head to the Royal Arsenal Pier
Crossrail - One day we hope it will open
Bus - Various buses serve Woolwich, most stop in Beresford Square by Woolwich Arsenal Station

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Con Gusto - Italian Restaurant a real treat
The Guard House - Gastro Pub, more for a meal
The Dial Arch - Gastro Pub with plenty of outdoor seating for a drink
Boulangerie Jade - Coffee Shop and Café perfect for lunch or take away
Tesco Express - Just along from Boulangerie Jade a 2 minute detour from the route
Duke of Wellington Park - Lovely rest stop

Best time of day

As the tour starts on the Royal Arsenal Pier it is best to come when the Clippers are running. If it is closed you can listen to the first stop from the Thames wall.


Most of the tour is around pedestrian only areas, but you will be crossing some roads which are used by residents so care should be taken.
This is the UK so check the weather and plan accordingly.


As I grew up around this area it was interesting to hear about its history in a straightforward way and with a narrator that was clear and easy to listen to.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago

Interesting and well delivered with a mixture of humour and also passion for the topic. Very enjoyable.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 4 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
The Royal Arsenal Tour: From the Battlefield to the Football field