GREENWICH 004 by taoyni


									GREENWICH: 004                                                   26 March 2003

                  - Fun summer days out for the whole family -

A short hop from the heart of London, but a world away from the hustle and bustle of
the capital, Greenwich is the perfect place to spend a fun family day-out.      At the
heart of London’s greenest borough, Maritime Greenwich has numerous attractions
to keep the young, and young-at-heart entertained for hours; from the children’s
gallery at the famous National Maritime Museum and tours of the night sky in the
planetarium, to entertaining costumed performances and lazy days on Greenwich
Park’s boating lake.

Step back in time
The birthplace of King Henry VIII and his daughters Elizabeth and Mary, Greenwich
has hundred of years of royal heritage waiting to be explored. History comes alive in
Greenwich throughout the summer for adults and children alike, through various
exhibitions and live performances.

From May to September, the National Maritime Museum is hosting an Elizabeth
exhibition commemorating the life of the extraordinary ruler four hundred years after
her death.    The main exhibition is suitable for children aged 12 and older, but
younger visitors are also catered for in the special Discovery Gallery where low-tech
interactive, multi-sensory and playful learning displays, relating directly to real
objects in the Elizabeth exhibition, will be on show.

For example, the Discovery Gallery will include a large mock-up of Elizabeth’s ring,
kindly on loan from The Chequers Trust.       The ring opens to show two portraits:
Elizabeth and her mother, Anne Boleyn. Labels in the gallery explain that Elizabeth’s
ownership of the ring provides evidence that she acknowledged her mother, even
though her father publicly disgraced Anne. Children are challenged to use the
opposite half of the ring to draw their own miniature, a self-portrait or a portrait of
someone important to them.

Designed to complement the Elizabeth exhibition, the gallery will appeal to a younger
audience, particularly children aged 7 to 11, in families and school groups.      The
gallery will be arranged thematically and will explore Elizabeth’s childhood, her
association with Greenwich and exploration and discovery during her reign. The
themes have been chosen to provide content that will link to the National Curriculum
and QCA schemes of work in history, as well as appeal to family visitors.
(Admission - adults £9, children £4).

Following the theme of the exhibition, Greenwich will be the only place to be in early
July, when a spectacular Tudor banquet, complete with huge historical characters, is
re-enacted as part of the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival celebrations.

On the weekend of the 9th and 10th August, children can get ‘In Step with the
Tudors’, and join costumed dancers and musicians as they demonstrate and teach
Tudor dance at the Greenwich Gateway Visitor Centre.       On 24 th and 25th August,
children aged eight years and older, can be detectives for the day in the ‘Elizabethan
Murder Mystery’ event at the National Maritime Museum, action-packed with mystery
and intrigue!

Take time to discover
Greenwich is undeniably the 'home of time'. The Greenwich Meridian at the Royal
Observatory was adopted as the world's Prime Meridian, longitude 0o, at an
international conference in Washington in 1884, making Greenwich the centre of
world time, known as Greenwich Mean Time. A ‘must-do’ for all visitors, young and
old, is standing across the Meridian Line to be in both the eastern and western
hemispheres at the same time.

The Royal Observatory is where children of all ages can take a tour of the night sky
in the planetarium, look through the UK’s largest telescope and learn about all things
‘astronomical’. With many interactive displays, the story of how the longitude
problem was solved and time was set at Greenwich comes alive for all visitors.

Short courses for the whole family are held at the planetarium on Sundays. Courses
on offer include ‘Red Planet’, ‘History of the Universe’, ‘Exploring the Planets, and
‘Finding Time. Each course costs £8 for adults and £6 for children.

Time to set sail
Its all hands on deck at the National Maritime Museum’s children’s gallery where
young visitors can explore the lives of seafarers, and the skills and technology of sea
voyage through interactive exhibits.   Families can discover hidden treasures on one
of the museum’s Family Trails that will take them through a selection of the
museum’s sixteen galleries that tell the story of Britain and the sea. The museum
also offers regular lively presentations with costumed actors, suitable for all ages.
Admission to the museum is free.

Time for tea!
The historic Cutty Sark is also a firm favourite with children. This beautiful tea
clipper, launched in 1869, once sliced through the oceans at the rate of 350 miles a
day carrying tea from China. Today visitors of all ages can explore the vessel – both
inside and on deck, and learn more about her historic voyages.         Entrance to the
Cutty Sark is £3.95 for adults and £2.95 for children.

Take time out
Maritime Greenwich is home to London’s oldest royal park and families can get some
fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors just a short journey from central London in
zone 2. Greenwich Park is a former King’s hunting ground and deer still roam freely
today in the Wilderness area. On a summer’s day the boating lake and playground
at the foot of Greenwich Park are extremely popular with children. However if they
are feeling really energetic, children (and adults too!) can roll or tumble down the
slopes of the park as girls did in days gone past, when men used to watch and try
and get a glimpse of their ankles!

Getting to Greenwich
Getting to Greenwich couldn’t be easier. The driver-less Docklands Light Railway is a
real treat for children of all ages who rush to the front of the train to be the driver!
Raised above ground level like a fairground ride, the Docklands Light Railway offers
great views of Canary Wharf and the surrounding Docklands area enroute to your
Greenwich destination.    It provides fast, frequent services every day of the week
from Central London, Canary Wharf and Lewisham, direct to Cutty Sark for Maritime
Greenwich.    The DLR also connects with London Underground and mainline rail

Connex mainline services to Greenwich run from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and
London Bridge. Or families can enjoy a more scenic and leisurely journey taking in
many of London’s most famous landmarks, with one of the regular riverboat services
that run from Westminster, Embankment, Waterloo and Tower Piers.

For information contact the Greenwich Tourist Information Centre on 0870 608 2000.

                                   -   Ends –

For further press information, please contact:
Fay Osborn/Sarah Patten
Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG
Tel: 020 7497 3001

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