London Sights

Cutty Sark

  • King William Walk Map It
  • Greenwich
  • Nautical Site/Lighthouse
  • Fodor's Choice
  • Ship, Cutty Sark, London, England

    © Halie Cousineau/ Fodors Travel

Published 08/18/2015

Fodor's Review

This sleek, romantic clipper was built in 1869, one among a vast fleet of tall-masted wooden ships that plied the oceanic highways of the 19th century, trading in exotic commodities—in this case, tea. Cutty Sark (named after a racy witch in a Robert Burns poem) was the fastest, sailing the London–China route in 1871 in only 107 days. The clipper has been preserved in dry docks as a museum ship since the 1950s, but was severely damaged in a devastating fire in 2007. But up from the ashes, as the song goes, grow the roses of success—after a major restoration project the visitor facilities are now better than ever. Not only can you tour the ship in its entirety, but the glittering visitor center (which the ship now rests directly above, in an enormous gold mount) allows you to view the hull from below. (And as luck would have it, roughly half the ship had been dismantled and taken away for cleaning at the time of the fire, so the full extent of the damage was much less than it might have been.) There's plenty to see here, and the cramped quarters form a fantastic time capsule to walk around in—this boat was never too comfortable for the 28-strong crew (as you'll see). And don't forget to take in the amusing collection of figureheads.

Sight Information


King William Walk, London, SE10 9HT, England

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Sight Details:

  • £13.50 (£18.50 with Royal Observatory attractions)
  • Daily 10–5; last admission 4

Published 08/18/2015


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