The Royal Observatory is home to the prime meridian; the prime meridian, zero degrees longitude, runs through the courtyard of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, which was founded in 1675 by...
The Royal Observatory is home to the prime meridian; the prime meridian, zero degrees longitude, runs through the courtyard of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, which was founded in 1675 by King Charles II.
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known for the fact that the prime meridian passes through it, and thereby gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. The ROG has the IAU observatory code of 000, the first in the list. ROG, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and Cutty Sark are collectively designated Royal Museums Greenwich.
Find us at...
- Royal Observatory
- Blackheath Avenue
- SE10 8XJ
Facilities and Access
Find out useful information about facilities at our museums including cloakrooms, baby change and accessibility and information for visitors with disabilities coming to the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House. Includes information for visitors with physical disabilities and our provision for visitors who are blind, partially-sighted, deaf or hard of hearing.
There is a cloakroom (£1 per item) on the ground floor of the National Maritime Museum, to the right of the ticket desk in the Sammy Ofer wing. Visitors can leave coats, suitcases, rucksacks and bags. There are no cloakroom facilities at the Royal Observatory or Cutty Sark.
To enquire about or hand in lost property, please go to the information desk in the Sammy Ofer Wing on the ground floor of the National Maritime museum. If you are retrieving an item you may be asked to fill in your details on our Lost Property forms.
Any found items or enquiries can also be directed to one of our visitor assistants at the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark.
Toilets & baby change
All the toilet and baby-change facilities at the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House, the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark are wheelchair accessible.
National Maritime Museum
Toilets, baby-change facilities and an accessible toilet are located opposite the ticket desk on the ground floor at the Stanhope entrance off Romney Road.
Further facilities are located to the left of the Admissions desk in the Sammy Ofer Wing facing Greenwich Park.
Additional facilities are located on the first floor at the rear of the Baltic Memorial Glass Exhibit.
Toilets, baby-change facilities and an accessible toilet are located in the undercroft at the base of the Tulip staircase. For level access please use the entrance to the house at the base of the external horseshoe stairs.
Royal Observatory and Planetarium
Toilets, baby-change facilities and an accessible toilet are located in the Astronomy Centre on the Lower Ground floor at the base of the central staircase, near the café and shop. For level access please use the lift adjacent to the staircase.
In the Historic Royal Observatory an accessible toilet and baby-change facility is located on the right-hand side after exiting the Admissions area.
Additional toilets are located at the base of the external staircases in front of Flamsteed House.
Toilets, baby-change facilities and an accessible toilet are located in the lower ground floor by the Even Keel café.
All Royal Museums Greenwich sites have accessible toilets, and our cafés and gift shops are wheelchair-accessible.
Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are welcome across all our sites.
Our Visitor Assistants are also trained in disability awareness, so please ask a member of staff for any assistance you may need during your visit.
Download our full access documents to help you plan a visit to the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House, from transport options to building entrances and lifts:
Free admission for carers
Royal Museums Greenwich offers free admission to carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. This includes admission to our main ticketed exhibitions and shows at the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark and Planetarium, plus special exhibitions. The National Maritime Museum and Queen's House offer free entry to permanent exhibitions. Some smaller events, such as one-off evenings, talks and courses, may include a charge for carers.
Wheelchair access and mobility aids
All cafés and gift shops across the Royal Museums Greenwich sites are wheelchair-accessible and all our museums have accessible toilets. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are welcome across all our sites.
Wheelchairs can be borrowed from museum information desks on the day of your visit, but we recommend booking these in advance, due to limited availability, by emailing email@example.com.
Wheelchair and disabled access at the National Maritime Museum
All floors of the National Maritime Museum have lift access.
Wheelchair and disabled access at the Queen's House
All floors of the Queen's House have lift access.
Please note that if you are visiting the Queen’s House with a mobility scooter you may need to seek assistance from staff. This is because some models of scooter do not fit in the lift and ramps will be required if visiting the Great Hall and the Orangery. Ask at the information desk upon arrival.
Wheelchair and disabled access at the Royal Observatory and Planetarium
Access at the royal observatory is limited to the Meridian line, Meridian building ground floor, Astronomer’s Garden and Camera Obscura, with no disabled access to the older, Grade I listed buildings including Flamstead House and Great Equatorial telescope.
The Royal Observatory and Peter Harrison Planetarium are at the top of a steep hill in Greenwich Park. There are two routes through Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium and these are signposted from the Sammy Ofer Wing park gates.
- The main walking route follows the path directly up the hill and takes up to 13 minutes. This includes a short pause to take in the view of the city halfway up the path.
- The less steep route, which we particularly recommend for wheelchair users, takes approximately 25 minutes. This timing is based on an adult pushing an adult wheelchair-user and taking a short break along the route.
Alternatively, paid public car parking is available in Greenwich Park at the top of the hill.
The Astronomy Centre galleries and the Planetarium are fully accessible via lift. Mobility scooters may be too large for lift access and visitors are requested to ask a member of staff on duty for assistance. Wheelchair spaces at the Planetarium are limited and pre-booking is recommended by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the older parts of the Royal Observatory have restricted access: the Octagon Room is only accessible via a staircase, as is the Great Equatorial Telescope, and Flamsteed House apartments are not recommended for wheelchair-users due to the narrow interior; wheelchair access to the Time Galleries in Flamsteed House is normally by an external lift in the Astronomer’s Garden.
Please note: Due to the narrow interior of the building, buggies are not suitable for either Flamsteed House or the Planetarium, but there are external Buggy Parks provided outside both areas.
Wheelchair access at Cutty Sark
For safety reasons, wheelchair access spaces for Cutty Sark are limited to three visitors at any one time.
Cutty Sark is wheelchair accessible with lifts providing access to all levels of the ship. For safety reasons, wheelchair spaces on the ship are limited to three visitors at any one time. Some areas of the Main Deck are not wheelchair accessible, but virtual access is provided to these spaces.
The original ship structure restricts the size of the lift on board, so unfortunately mobility scooters cannot be accommodated onboard.
Please also be aware that there are steps and gradients in Cutty Sark Gardens on the approach to the ship. There is a step-free route from King William Walk and Greenwich Pier.
A number of our staff are trained to give pre-booked audio-described tours at our museums.
Guide dogs and assistance dogs are welcome across all sites. Please contact the Bookings team for more information.
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6608
It is possible to touch objects from all Royal Greenwich Museum sites, except the Queen’s House. While at the Royal Observatory, don’t miss the chance to touch a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite in the reception area of the Astronomy Centre, and the 32-inch astronomical quadrant in the Octagon Room of Flamsteed House.
Tactile exhibits at Cutty Sark have braille and embossed labels, and braille and large print guides are available from the admissions desk.
Large print guides
Large print guides are available for visiting Cutty Sark and temporary exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory.
A braille guide to Cutty Sark is available to download before a visit.
Audio guides for the historical part of the Royal Observatory are available free for ticket holders. In addition, most of the interactive exhibits in the Astronomy Centre and Altazimuth Pavilion have audio interpretation.
There are currently no audio guides available for Cutty Sark, but there are a number of audio exhibits on board the ship.
For more information please contact us. Email: email@example.com
We have regular access events across our sites throughout the year.
We have an ongoing programme of D/deaf awareness and communication training.
British Sign Language (BSL)
A number of our Visitor Assistants are trained to British Sign Language Level 1 standard. British Sign Language supported and subtitled film and touchscreens are available at selected points within the permanent galleries across all our sites.
Pre-booked groups visiting the Planetarium, accompanied by a British Sign Language interpreter, can request a low-level spotlight during the screening to allow for interpretation. Please contact our Bookings team for further information:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6608
Hearing loops are fitted at all site information desks and at key locations across the sites. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to install a loop system inside Cutty Sark due to interference caused by the original wrought iron structure, but subtitles are included in all films with audio soundtrack. Hearing dogs and assistance dogs are welcome across all sites.
Read more at https://www.rmg.co.uk/plan-your-visit/facilities-access#KCMdVoCfWeFozbaH.99