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4. The Cutty Sark, Greenwich

The Cutty Sark, Greenwich

The Cutty Sark, Greenwich is the only surviving tea clipper in the world today. It was an absolute delight to re-visit this legendary 19th century sailing ship that was the fastest ship in her time. Besides, my kids had a ball here, loved it every time and brought back many happy memories.

The Cutty Sark, Greenwich - the world's only surviving tea clipper.
The Cutty Sark, Greenwich – the world’s only surviving tea clipper.


A Fun Day at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich

A fun day at the Cutty Sark is really a day filled with fun suitable for family and children from three-years upwards. Fun for kids as they have a splendid time learning how to steer the ship’s wheel and taking the 963 tons of Victorian tea clipper through storms and the drama of sea-life. They also get to meet various characters from the past such as Captain Woodget, Nannie the Witch, James Robson who was the cook and Jock Willis who built the Cutty Sark.


History of the Cutty Sark, Greenwich

There is no doubt that the Cutty Sark is a state-of-the-art Victorian tea clipper that was built to overcome the challenges of the sea, go at great speed of 17 knots and has had a dramatic life around the globe, visiting every major port. She was built in 1869 to challenge other tea clippers on the China tea run, to bring the finest and freshest tea back to London.


The Wheel, Cutty Sark, Greenwich

The wheel itself has undergone restoration work but the original steering mechanism had been preserved. The design reflects an ingenuity for it is smaller and takes-up less space within the ship compared to other tiller designs in a cargo ship of that time.


The name “Cutty Sark”

The name “Cutty Sark” – is said to have been inspired by a poem called Tam O’Shanter, which was written by Robert Burns in 1791. It is a story about a farmer, Tam, who was mesmerised by the beauty of a young witch called Nannie. Nannie was clothed in a revealing outfit, a short shift called “cutty sark.” He was then chased by this witch and he fled for his life on his horse, Maggie. You can read the full story here.


Cutty Sark, Greenwich: Image of Nannie, in a cutty sark, chasing Tam O'Shanter
Cutty Sark, Greenwich: Image of Nannie, in a cutty sark, chasing Tam O’Shanter


Traditional Afternoon English Tea at Cutty Sark, Greenwich

A traditional afternoon English Tea was the highlight of my visit this time. There is a  café, located underneath the original hull of this iconic ship. I was pleasantly surprised at the relaxed atmosphere and the selection of sandwiches, raisin scone, mini cakes and a pot of English breakfast tea offered as part of the traditional English tea experience .

The cost of this experience was £27.00 per person. This price includes the price of admission to the Cutty Sark which is otherwise £13.50.


My final thoughts on Cutty Sark, Greenwich

My overall experience at the Cutty Sark was a positive one. I did not spend a lot of time watching the tour with the kids as I had none of my own on this visit. The traditional English tea and the cakes was definitely what I needed after all that walking in Greenwich.

Summary of Experiences at the Cutty Sark:

  1. Family fun-day with characters from the past.
  2. Discover the history of the World’s only surviving tea clipper.
  3. Steer the Ship’s wheel and imagine going through storms and the drama of sea-life.
  4. The story behind the name “Cutty Sark”.
  5. Traditional Afternoon English Tea.
  6. Value for money!


Travel tips and Useful information:

Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00 (Last admission: 16:15)

Admission:      Adults – £13.50          Child – £7.00

                        Cutty Sark Afternoon Tea – £27.00 (includes entry to Cutty Sark

Day Explorer ( includes Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, Meridian Line, &  Free               Museums)  –    Adults – £24.25     Child: £11.50

[Day Explorer does not include Planetarium shows and Special exhibitions]



  • Toilets and baby changing facilities are wheel-chair accessible.
  • Located on the lower ground floor, near the Even Keel Café.


Getting to Cutty Sark:

Address: Cutty Sark, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT

Nearest stations: Cutty Sark DLR

                            Greenwich Rail Station and Maze Hill Rail Station

                            Greenwich Pier

Oyster Cards are valid on all local journeys via trains and buses.



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5 Responses

  1. Georgina

    The Cutty Sark is quite a memorable experience at any time, I think. Glad you had a great time. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Georgina

    Many thanks Heather. I try to provide as much info as I can to encourage my readers to visit and experience the adventures as I have. Your views are much appreciated.

  3. Heather Brown

    I love that you have everything you need to know about visiting.

  4. watchingthedaisies

    I have fond memories of visiting The Cutty Sark in 1987 minus the afternoon tea. Sadly, not available back then…

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