Greenwich Park and Royal Observatory
Picnic and astronomy
(Photos © urban75, Saturday 28th June 2008)
We enjoyed a picnic in Greenwich Royal Park, which covers 183 acres of land originally laid out in the 17th century.
Greenwich Park was once a hunting park and now forms one of the largest single green spaces in south east London.
Enclosed as far back as 1433, it's now part of the protected Greenwich World Heritage Site.
Our picnic in the park with lovely fresh bread, cheese and olives from Greenwich Food market.
Sadly, the tranquility was broken by a bunch of braying yuppie halfwits straight out of 'The Apprentice' who settled close to us and then proceeded to loudly boast about how many co-workers they'd sacked in their 'powerful' jobs.
There's some fantastic vistas to be had on the climb up to the Royal Observatory, with views over the River Thames, Canary Wharf, the Isle of Dogs and the City of London.
Looking down at the The Queen's House, Greenwich, which was built in 1614-1617 by architect Inigo Jones
Subsequently altered by Jones around 1635 for Henrietta Maria, the House is now regarded as one of the most important buildings in architectural history, being Britain's first consciously classical building.
The Queen's House is now both a grade I listed building and a Scheduled ancient monument.
Lurking inside this 45-ton bronze-clad truncated cone is the new Peter Harrison Planetarium, a 120-seat digital laser planetarium, opened in May, 2007.
The structure is tilted at 51.5º to the horizontal (the latitude of Greenwich), and stands on the prime meridian.
Hands-on exhibits in the Observatory.
The red time ball which sits atop the Octagon Room of the 1675 Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
Tourists queue up to take photos of themselves straddling the Prime Meridian (i.e. where longitude is defined to be 0º).
Heading south from the North Pole, the Prime Meridian first passes through the United Kingdom (the most northerly land on the meridian is the shore (53º45º34ºN) southeast of the exotic Sand-le-Mere caravan park east of Kingston upon Hull, England).
The line that goes through France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Ghana, and then through Queen Maud Land to the South Pole.
The Prime Meridian and the opposite 180th meridian (at 180º longitude), which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
Old and new. Canary Wharf with the Royal Naval College in the foreground.
The view from the top of the hill by the Observatory is stunning.
Old Greenwich power station and the o2 dome/Millennium Dome/whatever it's now called in yonder distance.
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