Cutty Sark: a clipper in Greenwich
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Cutty Sark is the last Clipper of its time open to the public. Beautifully restored, its visit allows you to discover the smallest details of this legendary boat: hold, between-decks, upper deck, cabins for officers and crew, all complemented by explanations and interactive games for children.
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The story of the Cutty Sark clipper
The Cutty Sark is a three-masted sailing boat also called the Clipper built in the 109th century in Scotland to be used to transport tea from China and then wool from Australia. Today it is the only vestige of that brief period when the fastest ships linked the Far East in 73 days and Australia in XNUMX days.
The Cutty Sark trade died out with the arrival of more profitable, more reliable steamboats using the newly constructed Suez Canal.
Evicted from the tea and wool trade, the clipper then served under the Portuguese flag before returning to Great Britain as a training ship until 1953.
Since 1954, he has been in dry dock on the banks of the Thames in Greenwich, where a restoration project began a few years later. Unfortunately, following a violent fire in May 2007, the Cutty Sark, still under restoration, was seriously damaged and a new appeal for donations was launched to the public.
The clipper was reopened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II on April 25, 2012.
What do we visit on board the Cutty Sark?
The Cutty Sark tour begins with the hold where more than 10 tea chests were stored, or around 000 tonnes of tea! Today, as a visitor, we discover replicas of tea crates, models of sailboats, interactive games for children and several documentaries on the Cutty Sark and its many adventures in the world.
The upper deck
The upper deck is the most interesting part! It is here that you will discover the living conditions of the crew and the contrast between the living space of the spacious and comfortable officers and that of the very spartan sailors ...
Above are the rudimentary berths for the crew who, due to lack of space, had to sleep doggy style.
It is also on the upper deck, that you will take the helm and imagine yourself conquering the oceans !!!
Lift your head and admire the masts facing the skyline!
The visit ends under the hull of the sailboat raised over 3 meters, in dry dock. You will no doubt be surprised by the coating of the hull, an alloy of copper and zinc which prevented crustaceans and algae from clinging!
It is in this space that the largest collection in the world of leading figures of the Merchant Navy is exhibited.
A visit to do with children?
Definitely yes! Activities have been specially designed for young audiences to discover the history of the sailboat and life on board the crew. In addition, strolling on the upper deck and taking the helm will make children dream and not only…!
What is the entrance fee to visit the Cutty Sark?
Count € 18,50 for an adult. Reduction for students and seniors over 60 years old.
Good plan ! The Cutty Sark tour is free for children less than 4 years old.
You can book your visit on the site of the tourist office.
This visit is also included in the London Pass and London City Pass.
What are the opening hours?
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. Last admission at 16:30 p.m.
Closed on 24, 25 and 26 December.
What to visit near the Cutty Sark?
Although Greenwich is far from central London, this district south of the Thames concentrates many points of interest not to be missed:
- The Old Royal Naval College, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO
- Queen's House: houses the painting collections of the Maritime Museum
- National Maritime Museum : the most important British maritime museum and one of the most important in the world.
- Royal Observatory where is the famous meridian symbolically represented on the ground
- Greenwich Park from where we have a beautiful view of Canary Wharf
- Greenwich market, a very pleasant little outdoor flea market
Where is the Cutty Sark located?
To get to Cutty Sark, do not hesitate to take the boat which will drop you off right in front of the sailboat. As a reminder, you can use your Oyster Card if you borrow the company's catamarans Thames Clipper.