Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark

Slightly later than planned, here is the second in my series of blog posts about our recent trip to London.

On the Saturday, we went to visit the Cutty Sark, a ship in a dry dock in Greenwich, east London. The ship was built in the late 19th century, initially to deliver tea from Asia to Britain. In 1954, the ship was moved to a dry dock in Greenwich, and became a tourist attraction. I first visited it with my parents in the 1990s.

In 2006, the Cutty Sark was closed to visitors to allow it to be restored; forty years of standing on its keel meant that the ship began to sag. Despite a major fire, the ship re-opened as a museum in 2012, now raised on a series of supports. The dry dock has been glassed in, to make it an all-weather attraction and mimic the effect of the ship on water. This also means that visitors can walk under the ship for the first time, and there’s now a café at the bottom of the dry dock.

The tour starts inside the ship’s hold, with various displays telling the history of the ship and the cargo it carried. Some of these are interactive, and I particularly enjoyed the bench seats which simulate the swaying of the boat on rough sees. You then climb up to the top deck, which has been extensively restored, and you can pop into the captain’s quarters.

At £13.50 per head for adults, it is a little pricey for somewhere that most people will spend a couple of hours at, but discounts are available. We used a 2-for-1 voucher from Days Out Guide as we’d travelled to London by train. Cutty Sark DLR station is just around the corner so it’s easy to reach by public transport.

It was nice to see the Cutty Sark again, having been as a child. The restoration has been done very well, and the glass enclosure is a nice touch.

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