The Story of Greenwich Starts Here

Steeped in over 500 years of history, the Old Royal Naval College is the centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering over 18 acres of beautiful buildings and grounds to explore.

Encounter Tudor kings and queens, architectural awe and wonder and a proud naval tradition in a place where the past meets the present, the river meets the land, and the gateway of Greenwich opens before you.

Originally the site of Greenwich Palace, and birthplace to Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the baroque buildings standing today were designed by Sir Christopher Wren as the Royal Hospital for Seamen. Later it became home to the Royal Naval College and is now open to the public as the Old Royal Naval College.

The Painted Hall

The magnificent Painted Hall is a must-see hidden gem. It's beautiful interior have amazed and delighted visitors for more than 300 years. 

Housed in one of the Old Royal Naval College’s striking domed buildings, the Painted Hall is an epic 18th century masterpiece. Intended as a ceremonial dining hall and covering 4,000 sq meters, it’s known as Britain’s Sistine Chapel.

Step inside this breathtaking work of art to learn about the Hall's fascinating meaning, its celebration of Britain’s naval power and prosperity at the time, and the story of how it took Sir James Thornhill 19 years to paint it.  

Recently reopened following a major conservation project, tickets for the Painted Hall includes use of a multimedia guide, expert talks throughout the day, hands-on exhibits and free kids activities. Plus tickets include the option to take a guided tour of the whole of the Old Royal Naval College and the chance to see the Victorian Skittle Alley where you can have a go at getting a strike.

The Chapel

Housed in the eastern domed building at the Old Royal Naval College, the Chapel is a beautiful place to visit and is still an active place of worship. Visitors can admire the fine neoclassical interior, which was redecorated by James Stuart in 1779 following a disastrous fire. 

Visitor Centre 

Discover the story of this riverside masterpiece at our Visitor Centre, with interactive exhibits and activities for all ages.

Tourist Information

The tourist information desk located in our Visitor Centre will help you orientate yourself in Greenwich and London.

The Skittle Alley

Created in the 1860s to help entertain the Greenwich Pensioners, tickets for the Painted Hall include entry to the Victorian Skittle Alley where you can try your hand at getting a strike using a practice cannon ball! 

Grounds 

With 18 acres of spectacular Greenwich riverside grounds and beautiful architecture to explore, the Old Royal Naval College is a fantastic place to come for a day out. Free to visit and open daily to all, our grounds are a perfect place to relax, stroll, or have a picnic, surrounded by some of the finest buildings in the world. 

Shop, eat, drink 

Enjoy coffee, delicious lunches and tempting cakes in the new Painted Hall café, or visit the Old Brewery, our on-site pub for fresh British food, and craft beers. Plus look out for seasonal pop-ups across our grounds, or simply bring your own picnic to enjoy on our lawns. 

Painted Hall Café 

Enjoy a wide range of freshly prepared seasonal salads, sandwiches and daily hot and cold specials. Delicious cakes and selection of speciality teas are available throughout the day, alongside a range of wines and beers. All served in the grandeur of the newly restored and beautifully designed Undercroft, beneath the Painted Hall.  

Download the Breakfast menu

Download the Lunch menu

Download the Afternoon Tea menu

The Old Brewery 

A unique and historic pub serving fresh, seasonal, British food sourced from around the South East of England, and a fantastic range of London-brewed craft beers and London-distilled spirits. The Old Brewery regularly hosts events and tastings. 

Seasonal Pop-ups 

Look out for our seasonal coffee, snacks and ice-cream pop-ups across our grounds. Sit, relax and enjoy your coffee alfresco. 

Picnics

If you have brought your own packed lunch or want to eat food from The Old Brewery, Painted Hall Café or Greenwich Market outdoors, why not sit on the lawns of the Old Royal Naval College and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. All we ask is that you help us to keep our grounds tidy and throw away your litter in one of the designated bins. 

Visitor Centre Shop 

Everything from guidebooks and souvenirs to toys for the kids. Forgotten your umbrella, need a sunhat or simply a bottle of water - come and visit our shop in the Visitor Centre. 

Painted Hall Shop 

For beautiful gifts, a curated range of homewares and accessories and a full range of informative and historic books, our shop in the Painted Hall has it all.

Plus you can visit our online shop to see a small selection of products available to buy online. You can also call our shop to order over the phone items from our shop.  

Tickets 

500 Years of History Tour & Painted Hall

Discover the UK’s Sistine Chapel: the Painted Hall at Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College, an epic 18th-century masterpiece now reopen following an £8.5-million makeover. 

Tickets allow unlimited re-entry for a year and includes a new multimedia guide for use in the Painted Hall, live talks and tours throughout the day, hands-on exhibits and free kids activities.  

Ticket Walk up Online
Adult £12 £11
Children (16 and under*) Free with accompanying adult Free with accompanying adult
Concessions (Students and Jobseekers) £8.50 £7.50
National Art Pass Holder £6 £6
Groups (min 10 pp) £9.50 £9.50

Pay for a day and come back free for a year. Tickets are valid for unlimited re-entry up to a year after your purchased ticket is redeemed on your first visit. 

Book Tickets

Good to know 

Dogs

We love dogs, and strongly encourage your four legged friends to visit our grounds (but please do keep your dogs on a lead). Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas of the Old Royal Naval College, including the Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel.

If you have any photos of your dogs at Old Royal Naval College we’d love to see them! If you upload your images using the hashtag #DogsofGreenwich we’ll be sure to spot them.

Photography

Photography on the site for personal use only is free of charge, though the use of tri-pods, lighting etc. are not allowed. For commercial or wedding photography, see our filming and photography page.


Banner image: © Alys Tomlinson


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