Greenwich and Windsor

Greenwich is a very beautiful parkland and picturesque spot in the outskirts of London, on the bank of the river Themes. The Thames, a major waterway of England, flows from Cotswolds to the North Sea and is about 210 miles long. It flows via Oxford, Reading and London.

Greenwich is famous for Greenwich Mean Time, the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum.

The National Maritime Museum tells the story of Britain and the sea. The star attraction of the Museum is the Neptune Hall, which explains the development of boats from prehistoric times to the present day. In the Nelson’s galleries you can see the uniform jacket with a bullet hole in the left shoulder, which Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The old Observatory is part of the Maritime Museum and consists of a few historic buildings, high on the Hill above the Thames. Early telescopes and time-measuring instruments are displayed in Flamsteed House where John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, lived. The large Gate Clock measures Greenwich Mean Time, the standard by which time is set all round the world. And you can stand astride the Greenwich Meridian, marked by a brass strip crossing the Observatory courtyard.

Tourists enjoy visiting Greenwich. They can get there by train or by boat and it’s not far from the centre of London. There is a special tunnel beneath the Thames to Greenwich. It is called the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. There are two elevators on both banks of the river.

Londoners and tourists enjoy expeditions by steamer down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich. They pass under the bridges, and see the grim walls of the Tower of London. It was a fortress and a prison for hundreds of years. When a ship moves under Tower Bridge, a bell rings

Windsor lies 34 km west of London and is famous, first and foremost for Windsor Castle, the residence of the royal family. Many parts of this historic castle are open to the public while some other parts are always closed and some are closed when the royal family is in residence.

The site of Windsor Castle was first defended by William the Conqueror in 1070, and for the next 900 years the building was continually enlarged, growing from a medieval castle to a vast and complex royal palace.

The most impressive of all the castle buildings is St. George’s Chapel, a masterpiece of perpendicular Gothic architecture. The State Apartments, which are closed to the public, comprise 16 rooms, and each is a treasure house of superb furniture, porcelain, and armour. The rooms are decorated with carvings by Grinling, Gibbons, ceilings by Verrio and works from the royal collections. They include Van Dyck’s paintings.

Part of Windsor Central Railway Station has now been converted to a waxworks museum run by Madame Tussaud’s, recreating the scene in 1879 when a special train arrived here to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria, the longest running monarch in Britain, who lived in 1837–1901. It symbolizes the unity of the nation, the British Empire and the progress of the nation in the 19th century.