Time as we know it has only existed since 1847.
Before then, every town and village kept its own local time. They could decide when a day started or ended, or how long an hour was. It’s honestly amazing that anyone ever managed to get anything done. The only real reason that people decided a universal measure of time would be useful was when the UK’s railways started running in the 1840s.
And so it was that all time was aligned to the clocks astronomers were using in Greenwich, meaning that the south-east London’s neighbourhood straddles the line where time begins, and that separates the eastern and western hemispheres of the entire world. Mental.
Once you’ve had enough fun hopping between hemispheres, other things to do in Greenwich include the Royal Observatory, with its planetarium and exhibitions on space and time. That sits above an enormous park, with live music from the bandstand and stunning views across the city and beyond. Then there’s the maritime connection – take boat rides along the Thames, or climb the rigging of the Cutty Sark, a genuine 19th century ship. And that’s all before you walk through immersive artwork at NOW Gallery; stroll along The Tide, London’s answer to the Manhattan High Line; and peruse the covered market amidst the cobbled, time-warped streets of the town. After which, it seems only prudent to pop your head into one of Greenwich’s best pubs…
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