Family day out at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich

cutty sark and the view on Canary Wharf

Half-term week, May, which means parents everywhere will be wracking their brains for entertaining things to do with the little ones. I got an idea for you: a family day out at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich!

Though it’s located just five miles from central London, a visit to family-friendly Greenwich almost feels like a retreat. There is so much to see in this leafy district east of London that one day is not enough. We took the DLR and walked out right to the Cutty Sark tube station, just two-minute-walk from the ship.

The ship is close to the Thames Bank. I suggest to set the tone for your family day out by taking the boat trip down the Thames. Or as we did, on your way back home.

 

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WHAT DOES CUTTY SARK MEAN?

The figurehead of the Cutty Sark

The figurehead of the Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark means short nightie in Scots and refers the figurehead that adorns the bow and which depicts the semi-undressed witch Nannie, character n the Tam O’Shanter poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

 

WHAT IS THE CUTTY SARK FAMOUS FOR?

the wheel of the Cutty Sark

The wheel of the Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship, built in Scotland in 1869. She was one of the last and fast tea clippers to be built, designed when the tea business was lucrative and speed was important. Survived two fires, it was reopened in 2012 following a large restoration and conservation project.

She sailed in 16 countries and traveled the equivalent of two and half voyages to the moon and back.

It is one of the only three original compositions (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century. 

Royal Greenwich Museum, which includes Cutty Sark, along with the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory, is one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the UK and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

VISIT CHE CUTTY SARK WITH SMALL CHILDREN

Toddler holding Guide to visit Cutty Sark

The trail book to help small children to get involved into the visit

 

Cutty Sark has much to offer to children (even small). At the entrance you will be given a family trail book to discover each area of the ship. With free writing-and-drawing activities it helps children to take part to the visit. The booklet is free and has a page for each area of the ship. My children really enjoyed doing this!

You can also delve into the history of the Cutty Sark with the free audio guide.

 

Collection of stamps in the path for children of the Cutty Sark

Collecting stamps on the trail book

 

WHY VISIT THE CUTTY SARK?

Under the hull: Sammy Ofer Gallery

Under the hull: Sammy Ofer Gallery

 

Climbing aboard the world-famous Cutty Sark with its stunning architecturally designed glass dry dock is really a thing. In this way everyone can visit the Cutty Sark come rain or shine! And have a unique perspective walking under the copper-clad hull and fully appreciate the greatness.

 

External view of the Cutty Sark

The ship is suspended above the glass structure and can be visited entirely, even admiring the hull from the outside

We started the visit of the ship by walking through a hole cut into the hull of the ship. We entered the hold, known as Dry Berth, where once 1,305,812 lbs of tea would have been transported around the world. Here, there is a theatre seating area where you can watch an interesting video about the most important facts and numbers of the ship.

 

View of the film in the hold of the Cutty Sark

The theater sitting are with the informative video about the Cutty Sark

 

Some of the things we discovered: 653 men from 30 different nations worked on the ship over the history, including the youngest who was only 14 years old.

The maiden voyage was held in 1870, and each voyage could carry up to 10.000 crates of tea.

Between 1870 and 1878 she traveled 8 times to China.

In 1885 the Cutty Sark took 73 days to return from Australia. It was her fastest trip!

 

Video in the hold of the Cutty Sark

Video screens to simulate how it was to be staying aboard the Cutty Sark

 

Toddler looking from the porthole

Looking outside

 

Then we visited the Tween Deck, where various play activities have been set out, just begging little visitors to have a go. Children can try to be captain of the ship and simulate to drive the ship following the routes of the winds. There are also wooden boxes of tea and wool that became chests that hide goods or music

There is also a wooden boat free to play. Here you can also learn more about those who have made the history of this ship, such as Captain Woodgett, the longest-running commander and Jock Willis, the man who built the Cutty Sark.

 

Kids in front of a bright plane that's an interactive game

Interactive games

 

Two children playing

Explanatory panels and mistery boxes

 

Two children trying to find out how a game works

Discovering the music onboard the Cutty Sark

 

Map of the world

Map of the Cutty Sark cargo stations around the world

DISCOVERING THE MAIN DECK

the main deck of the Cutty Sark

The main deck of the Cutty Sark

Up to the main deck we admired the grandeur of the Cutty Sark, and its stunning trees for the sails. Children really liked walking the main deck and steer the wheel.

We visited the decks and find out how the crew lived, ate and slept. I was surprised to see how the spaces were rather cramped, certainly the sailors were not to be very high.

Inside of a Cutty Sark bunk

The Kitchen

 

inside a bunk

 

EXPLORE UNDER THE HULL

The hull in the foreground of the Cutty Sark

The grandeur of the hull of the Cutty Sark

Finally we went down to the modern gallery area under the ship itself.  Here you can see and touch the hull of the ship. There is a small bar, a refreshment and buggy area.

 

Sammy Ofer Gallery

Under the hull of the Cutty Sark

At the far end of the gallery you can also admire the largest collection of figureheads in the world!

collection of Collection of figureheads

Collection of figureheads

 

We all enjoyed this day out in Greenwich to visit the Cutty Sark. We pictured of what life aboard Cutty Sark was like for the sailors who survived the high seas and storms.

All in all, this is one of the best attractions for youngest visitors we’ve come across.

 

You may also be interested in reading:

 

 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO VISIT THE CUTTY SARK:

  • Website: here
  • Admission: 13.50 Adults, 6.75 children (Buy online tickets to save 10%)
  • There is also the possibility to buy cumulative tickets with the other museums in Greenwich. All the info on the site of Cutty Sark
  • Nearest station: Cutty Sark

 

Have you already visited the Cutty Sark? Let me know in the comments below.

 

If you liked the post, share it and save it! 🙂

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See you soon!

Francesca

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. We have received complimentary tickets to visit the Cutty Sark. However, all points of view, opinions and photos, are my own and remain copyright of Mum what else.

 

 

 

 

”CulturedKids”
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14 Comments

  1. May 28, 2019 / 10:38

    I was so impressed with the immersive activities for kids (and big kids!) when we were there. Cutty is a cut above the rest. #CULTUREDKIDS

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 28, 2019 / 11:40

      Cutty Sark is impressive and kids (also big 🙂 ) will love it!

  2. May 28, 2019 / 17:22

    Great post, I really enjoyed seeing it through your family’s eyes. Brilliant to see that it’s a great day out, even with young kids #CulturedKids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 28, 2019 / 22:56

      Oh thank you Vyki!!

  3. May 28, 2019 / 21:54

    Bellissimo … mio marito mi ha detto ma perché non ci siamo andati !! La prossima volta ??

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 28, 2019 / 21:59

      Barbara ci sono tantissime cose da fare a Londra e Greenwich impegna almeno una giornata intera.. infatti la prossima volta dai 🙂

  4. May 29, 2019 / 10:10

    Wow, so much to see there. I have been to Greenwich and seen the Cutty Sark, it is very impressive! #CulturedKids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      May 29, 2019 / 20:35

      It’s a cut above the rest 🙂

  5. May 31, 2019 / 22:56

    We love Cutty Sark but funnily enough last time we’ve been I was heavily pregnant (40 weeks DD) with the youngest, so should go back with him as well in tow! Thanks so much for linking in on #CulturedKids!

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      June 1, 2019 / 07:22

      Wow really challenging with a 40 weeks belly!

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      June 4, 2019 / 18:45

      It’s a family must 🙂

  6. June 6, 2019 / 18:07

    it is such a brilliant, historical, educational, interactive exhibition. Both my son and I equally enjoyed it. We loved the racing game! #culturedkids

    • mumwhatelse
      Author
      June 7, 2019 / 20:19

      It is a magic place 🙂

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