Cutty Sark Visitors Center
Visit the Cutty Sark Visitors Centre and enjoy a unique voyage of discovery as you step back in time and experience life on board the last surviving tea clipper. Learn about the stories that earned Cutty Sark her reputation as one of the world’s most famous sailing ships.
Impressively positioned on the riverbank at Greenwich, the Cutty Sark Visitors Centre stands at the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, alongside attractions including the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the London Planetarium. On board, you’ll firstly explore the lower hold below deck that once transported 10,000 tea chests back from China, and then wool from Australia from 1883 after steam ships drove Cutty Sark out of the tea trade.
A Scottish ship built in Clyde in 1869 by John Willis, Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea clipper, famous for her record-breaking passages to almost every major port across the world during a service of 52 years.
Climbing the stairs to ‘Tween Deck, see the historical artefacts that have survived for almost 150 years – including a telescope, seaman’s chest and a Star of India stern decoration. As you take the air on main deck, step back in time and imagine yourself as a seafaring Victorian. Take the helm at the ship’s wheel and put yourself in the shoes of Captain Richard Woodget, explore the master’s cabin and climb into the bunk beds where the crew slept. Looking up at the masts and 11 miles of rigging, it isn’t hard to believe how Cutty Sark earned her reputation as the fastest ship in the world.
Finally, there’s the opportunity to walk underneath the ship’s impressive copper-clad hull, of which 90% dates back to 1869. Here you can find out about the large-scale conservation work to treat Cutty Sark’s fragile structure in 2007 following fire damage, and have a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the ‘Even Keel’ café. Don’t miss the Long John Silver Collection of figureheads – the largest collection of Merchant Navy figureheads in the world.
Children will be kept entertained by navigating the ship on interactive displays, guessing the ship’s cargoes through smell and touch samples – from tea to wool, coal and cocoa beans. Play ‘Captain Woodget’s Apprentice’ on the main deck by downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play.
If you’d like to take a memento home, there’s a gift shop selling everything to do with sailing, from Cutty Sark Whiskey, to sailors’ shirts, model ships and compasses.