Things to do in London

Your Ultimate Guide to Visiting Cutty Sark: Exploring Maritime History & Beyond

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Cutty Sark is the fastest and last surviving tea clipper ship of her time, now majestically anchored in Greenwich, London. This iconic maritime marvel is an unmissable voyage into the golden age of sail, promising an unforgettable journey for all history and nautical enthusiasts.

Know Before You Go

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Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration: 3 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Late Morning
🎟️ Cutty Sark Ticket: £16

Must-see at the Cutty Sark

  • Ship's Hull
  • Victorian Figurehead Collection
  • Captain's Cabin

Getting There

King William Walk, London SE10 9HT
London - United Kingdom
Get Directions

Opening Hours

Wednesday to Sunday: 10 AM to 5 PM

Closed on

Why is Cutty Sark worth visiting?

  • The Cutty Sark lets you delve into the captivating stories of life at sea, filled with tales of adventure and exploration.
  • Get a sailor's-eye view from the ship's deck, and imagine steering this historic vessel across the world's oceans.
  • It's not just a ship – it's a time capsule. Step aboard and step back into the 19th century, a time when tea from China was Britain's favourite import.
  • Be fascinated by the interactive exhibits, shedding light on the ship's history, voyages, and the crew's life.
  • The Cutty Sark is a part of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage site, allowing you to explore more historical treasures in one trip.

Recommended Cutty Sark Tickets

Cutty Sark History

Designed for speed, Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers built and the fastest of her time, a symbol of Britain's dominance over the high seas. The ship is now a beloved part of Greenwich's landscape, a beacon of the borough's rich maritime history. As you walk under her gleaming hull or wander on her weathered deck, you'll feel the pulse of history, the tales of intrepid sailors and distant lands. You might remember the ship from the famous 1984 "Doom Bar" by Sharps Brewery, forever tying the Cutty Sark to Britain's pop culture. Despite her age, the Cutty Sark has sailed into the 21st century with grace, her stories and spirit preserved for future generations to admire. So come, step aboard, and let history come alive!

 cutty sark architecture

Cutty Sark Architecture

The Cutty Sark, an architectural marvel, is a testament to British shipbuilding prowess. The ship's sleek lines, tall masts, and gleaming copper hull are an Instagrammer's delight, effortlessly marrying the old and the new.
The star of the show is the ship's hull, designed for speed, and now encased in glass, allowing you to walk underneath and marvel at her construction. The weather deck, with its wheel, masts, and miles of rigging, paints a vivid picture of life at sea. The 'tween deck, once loaded with precious cargo, now houses engaging exhibits.
The most photogenic spot is undoubtedly the ship's figurehead, "Nannie," dramatically reaching out from the bow. As for timing, the golden hour of sunset paints the Cutty Sark in a warm, nostalgic light - an idyllic setting for that perfect Instagram shot. It's not just a ship; it's a living piece of history, a story in wood and iron.

Highlights of Cutty Sark

1Ship's Hull

Engineering Marvel of the 19th Century

The ship's hull is a riveting sight that showcases the might of 19th-century shipbuilding. Designed for speed, the Cutty Sark's sleek lines and copper-clad hull are a testament to British engineering and a vision of beauty. This marvel of naval architecture is as fascinating as it is photogenic.

Cutty Sark hull

2'Tween Deck

A Journey Through Time

Once bustling with crew members and filled with tea and wool, the 'tween deck is now an interactive hub. The immersive exhibits here transport visitors back in time, offering an engaging and educational peek into the ship's cargo-laden past.

Cutty sark tween deck

3Captain's Cabin

Step into History

As you step into the captain's quarters, you're stepping back in time. Painstakingly restored, the cabin is a window into the shipmaster's world, filled with personal artifacts, navigational tools, and vintage charm. It's a must-see for history buffs.

captain's cabin cutty sark

4Crew's Quarters

Life at Sea

The crew's quarters offer a humbling insight into the sailor's life. These compact, communal spaces reveal the everyday struggles and camaraderie of the men who worked tirelessly to keep the Cutty Sark sailing smoothly.

crew's quarters cutty sark

5Figurehead Collection

Meet the Guardians of the Sea

The Cutty Sark boasts the world's largest collection of merchant navy figureheads. Each figurehead, from kings and queens to mythical creatures, has its unique backstory, adding a touch of drama and intrigue to your visit.

figureheads of cutty sark

Best Time to Visit Cutty Sark

If you want to beat the crowds, plan your visit for early morning right after opening, or later in the afternoon when the morning rush has dwindled. During these times, you'll have more room to explore and enjoy the exhibits without feeling rushed. Considering the seasons, spring and autumn are typically less crowded than the peak summer tourist season, and the weather is usually pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the surrounding Greenwich area as well. Keep in mind that the Cutty Sark is an indoor attraction, so it's a great year-round destination, come rain or shine. However, if you're keen on capturing beautiful photos of the ship's exterior and the stunning evening illuminations, consider the longer daylight hours of the summer months. As for street traffic and accessibility, the Cutty Sark is located in a pedestrian-friendly area and is easily reachable by public transport, so it's accessible without the need to worry about traffic congestion.

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Cutty Sark Opening Hours

  • Open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Last admission is at 4:15 PM
  • Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day

Getting There

Cutty Sark is located in Greenwich, London, United Kingdom. Here are the modes of transport you can take to reach the iconic ship.


A number of bus services run through Greenwich and can drop you off within walking distance of Cutty Sark. These include buses 177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 386, and N1. The closest bus stops are Greenwich Town Centre/ Cutty Sark (Stop E) and Greenwich Church Street (Stop G).


Cutty Sark is nearest to the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich DLR station, which is part of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) system and not the London Underground. However, the DLR is connected to the Tube network. It is just a 2-minute walk from the station to Cutty Sark.


The nearest train station to Cutty Sark is Greenwich Station, which is served by Southeastern rail services. This station is approximately a 10-minute walk from Cutty Sark.

River Boat

Thames Clippers river bus services to Greenwich Pier is another scenic and unique mode of transportation. The pier is just a 5-minute walk to Cutty Sark.

Insider Tips to Visit Cutty Sark

  • Plan your visit on weekdays to avoid large crowds.
  • Purchase your tickets online in advance to save time and skip the ticket queue.
  • Take advantage of the provided audio guide to learn about the ship's history and fascinating facts.
  • Don't miss the chance to step onto the ship's deck and explore the cabins below to truly experience life on board.
  • Check the schedule for special events or exhibitions during your visit to enhance your experience.
  • Visit the "Even Keel" cafe for a quick snack or beverage while enjoying stunning views of the Thames River.
  • Explore the interactive displays and engage in hands-on activities to delve into the history and stories of Cutty Sark.
  • Take your time to stroll through the beautiful Greenwich Park and savor the scenic views.
  • Consider combining your visit with nearby attractions like the Royal Observatory or the National Maritime Museum to maximize your trip to Greenwich.

Cutty Sark Facts

  • Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship that was built in 1869 for the China tea trade.
  • It is one of the last surviving clipper ships in the world and has been preserved as a museum in Greenwich, London.
  • The ship's name, "Cutty Sark," comes from a famous character in Scottish folklore and means "short shirt" or "short chemise."
  • Cutty Sark set a record-breaking speed of 17.5 knots during her second voyage to Australia in 1870.
  • The ship primarily transported tea from China to Britain but also carried other cargoes such as wool, coal, and spices.
  • Cutty Sark's distinctive design, with a narrow beam and tall masts, allowed her to navigate through narrow passages and sail at great speeds.
  • The ship's figurehead represents the character Nannie Dee from the Scottish folk tale.
  • In 1954, Cutty Sark was moved to a permanent dry dock in Greenwich and opened to the public as a museum in 1957.
  • The ship underwent extensive restoration from 2006 to 2012 to preserve its structure and ensure its long-term preservation.
  • Cutty Sark is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction, providing a glimpse into the fascinating world of 19th-century sailing ships.

Restaurants Near Cutty Sark

Bill's Restaurant Near Cutty Sark
Bill's Restaurant

A popular chain restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and a menu of classic British dishes with a modern twist. The restaurant is located just a short walk from Cutty Sark and offers stunning views of the river Thames.

Hullabaloo Near Cutty Sark

A lively Indian restaurant with a fun and vibrant atmosphere. The menu features a wide variety of Indian dishes, from traditional favorites to more modern fusion options.

           The old brewery Near Cutty Sark
The Old Brewery

A historic pub that has been converted into a restaurant. The restaurant offers a menu of modern British cuisine, as well as a wide selection of beers and wines.

The Gypsy Moth Near Cutty Sark
The Gipsy Moth

A seafood restaurant located in a converted boathouse. The restaurant offers a menu of fresh seafood dishes, as well as a selection of cocktails and wines.

Turnips Near Cutty Sark

A vegetarian restaurant that offers a modern take on plant-based cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes, from hearty stews to light salads.

Places to Stay Near Cutty Sark

Things to Do Near Cutty Sark


How old is Cutty Sark?

Cutty Sark was launched on 22 November 1869 in Dumbarton, Scotland. Cutty Sark is 153 years old.

Who built Cutty Sark?

The Cutty Sark was built by Scott and Linton, a shipbuilding firm based in Dumbarton, Scotland. The ship was designed by Hercules Linton, who had previously worked on a number of other clippers.

How big is Cutty Sark?

The Cutty Sark is 212 feet 5 inches (64.7 meters) long, 36 feet (11 meters) wide, and has a net tonnage of 921. She has a registered length of 212.5 feet (64.77 m), with a depth of hold of 21 feet (6.40 m).

What is the best mode of transport to reach Cutty Sark?

The best mode of transport to reach the Cutty Sark is by the Cutty Sark DLR (Docklands Light Railway) station. It provides direct access to the attraction, and DLR trains connect to various parts of London.

Are there any restaurants inside Cutty Sark?

There is no restaurant inside the Cutty Sark itself. However, there are a number of restaurants located near the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London.

Why is the Cutty Sark so famous?

The Cutty Sark is famous for being one of the last surviving tea clippers, a fast sailing ship that transported tea from China to Britain in the 19th century.

How did Cutty Sark burn?

The Cutty Sark caught fire in 2007 while undergoing restoration. The fire was caused by an industrial vacuum cleaner that had been left running.

Why is the Cutty Sark so called?

The Cutty Sark is named after a short nightdress worn by a witch in Robert Burns' poem Tam O'Shanter. The ship's owner, Jock Willis, chose the name because he thought it was appropriate for a fast and sleek ship.

Cutty Sark Guide