Visit Greenwich in 2012 Diamond Jubilee events & Royal Borough status, Re-opening of Cutty Sark, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and much more…

The Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site has an outstanding programme of festivals and inspiring events in 2012 to mark an eventful year which will see the borough of Greenwich receive Royal status and act as one of the host venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And, in a year of re-openings and new beginnings, the Cutty Sark opens its doors again after years of careful conservation and Greenwich Pier re-opens with state-of-the art ticketing and waterside restaurants. Cutty Sark herself will be on show from April 2012 in a new and stimulating environment where you will be able to walk beneath her famous hull while you contemplate her amazing story.

A weekend of entertaining and illuminating events will be held on 2-5 June 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Greenwich’s Royal Borough status.

On 21 July 2012, Greenwich will be the first place in London to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay when it begins its journey through the capital. The torch will start its journey at the Meridian Line in the Royal Observatory Greenwich , as Olympic excitement spreads across the country.

Other major events and openings include the National Maritime Museum ’s ‘Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames’ exhibition on 27 April 2012. The exhibition will be the first large-scale object-based exhibition in the new Sammy Ofer Wing and will be guest-curated by David Starkey.

Royal River examines the monarchy’s use of the river Thames as a stage for pageantry and procession, leisure, transport and as a point of arrival and departure from the Tudor period to the second Elizabethan age.

Greenwich will host the inaugural Sail Royal Greenwich from 25 July to 12 August 2012. For three weeks some 20 tall ships will ply a scenic route along the Thames, from the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich to Tower Bridge. One of the best places to catch a glimpse of these beautiful, full-sailed craft will be along the banks of the river in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

The O2 arena will host the 2012 Brit Awards for the second time on 21 February. The awards will return to the world’s most successful music venue which is located in North Greenwich and will bring a host of world-class performers with it.

The Old Royal Naval College will be running Royal themed tours to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from 25 May – 22 June. The tours will explore the links between this historic site and the Royal family, beginning with the Tudors through to the present day.

Between 26-29 April 2012 the College will be running Movie Tours as the Sundance Film festival comes to Greenwich. On these tours you can hear anecdotes and stories of the many Hollywood blockbusters filmed on this site from the staff who work behind the scenes.

Throughout the year the Greenwich Tour Guides Association will offer themed walks to tie in with special events. A ‘Royals of Royal Greenwich’, guided walk to celebrate Greenwich’s Royal Borough status will take guests through the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College and into Greenwich Park where walkers can discover how Greenwich has been influenced by Royal Characters and events.

St Alfege Church will host a series of commemorative events to mark the millennium of the martyrdom of St Alfege, with a special event on 19 April 2012. The events will also show the unique associations the church has with important moments in English and global history. There will be many small and large events hosted, with the participation of various dignitaries from church and state from here and abroad. Highlights of the celebrations include a cycle pilgrimage, a big picnic and bell ringing workshops.

And, of course, the biggest show in the world is in town when the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games begins and Greenwich Park welcomes the Equestrian and Paralympic Equestrian events. The Park will also host parts of the Modern Pentathlon while the North Greenwich Arena (The O2 arena) will play host to the Basketball finals, Artistic Gymnastics, Trampoline Gymnastics and Wheelchair Basketball.

Other exciting 2012 events include the London Marathon, the Bt River of Music, Dance GB and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The details of all these and a number of additional London 2012 Cultural Olympiad events can be found at

For more information on Greenwich go to

Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site

Set alongside the Thames in south east London, the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site is home to a number of world-famous visitor attractions including the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Peter Harrison Planetarium and the Prime Meridian – longitude zero. The Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark, the latter currently under restoration, are also part of the World Heritage Site as are Greenwich Theatre, The Fan Museum, the Queen’s House, Greenwich Market, Greenwich Park, St Alfege Church and many vibrant bars, shops and restaurants. Close by is The O2 and British Music Experience.

Greenwich will be awarded Royal Borough status in February 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It will also be a host borough for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with events taking place at Greenwich Park, North Greenwich Arena (The O2 arena) and Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.

Greenwich is just 20 minutes from central London in Zone 2 of London’s travel network. Maritime Greenwich is easily reached via the Docklands Light Railway alighting at Cutty Sark station, or the Southeastern rail service from Charing Cross, London Bridge and Cannon Street. Alternatively visitors can take to the water in a speedy Thames Clipper or a scenic riverboat tour, from piers along the River Thames to Greenwich.

Image credits: ©Visit Greenwich

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