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The Old Royal Naval College Painted Hall

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Explore the elaborately decorated interiors of Painted Hall, which sits within the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.


  • Explore the famed Painted Hall, dubbed the ‘Sistine Chapel of Britain’
  • Marvel at the exquisite Baroque interiors and the finest architecture in the country
  • Learn more about the epic painting scheme with an audio guide commentary
  • Hear of Christopher Wren’s famous work and drop-in on talks regarding the Painted Hall
  • Browse through exhibits and get up close and personal with hands-on treasure chests
  • See UK artist Luke Jerram's masterpiece, Gaia, created from NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface
  • Listen to the specially-made surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones, which is played alongside the sculpture


  • Entry to the Painted Hall
  • Audio guide
  • Explorer map


  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

strict cancellation policy

The ticket cannot be canceled, amended, or rescheduled

your experience

With paintings that cover its ceilings, much like the Sistine Chapel, the Painted Hall in Old Royal Naval College is revered for its Baroque interiors and extravagant decorations. A laborious project of nineteen long years executed by British artist Sir James Thornhill, the stunning artwork set against a magnificent backdrop, celebrates and depicts naval endeavors, political changes, cultural achievements, and more. Using techniques such as trompe l’oeil (‘trick the eye’) and chiaroscuro (contrast of light and dark), Thornhill brings these paintings to life. You get to see all this and more during your tour accompanied by an audio guide. Also included in the ticket is an entry to the new Sackler Gallery where you can further explore how the Painted Hall came to be, as well as encounter the gods and heroes who rule the world-famous ceiling.

Currently on display is Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring art installation Gaia (30 May to 1 July), spanning 7 meters in diameter. It is back for a full month in pride of place in the magnificent Painted Hall. This monumental internally lit sculpture was created using 120dpi NASA imagery. If you stand 211 meters away from the slowly rotating earth, you will be able to see our planet as it appears from the moon. All this, accompanied by the surround-sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer, Dan Jones. Gaia is an exact scale replica of our planet. It is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth. Each centimeter of the sculpture describes 18km of the Earth’s surface. As such, it is a sight to behold. Jerram's goal is to instill in visitors a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ that astronauts experience when looking down at Earth from space. This includes feelings of awe for the planet and a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it also adds a sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

know before you go

COVID-19 Safety Measures

  • Health and safety measures implemented last summer are in use and in line with government and Visit Britain advice so that you can have a safe and enjoyable visit.
  • There are signs outlining guidance across the site to help you stay safe whilst you are here.
  • The site has Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation and the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.

Important Information

  • From 17th May, the Painted Hall, Chapel, Visitor Centre (including exhibitions), Skittle Alley and Painted Hall Café will reopen.
  • If you wish to use a multimedia guide, we recommend you bring your own headphones to minimize sharing with other visitors. Any standard wired headphones are compatible with the devices, but wireless or Bluetooth headphones are not. The multimedia guides are available in 7 languages and will be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
  • You can also use the self-guided tours available on the Smartify app. For those visiting with children aged 5 -12 years, there’s a family tour; Building Detectives. There is also an Architecture Tour.
  • Please note that from the 17th of May, normal guided tours will resume (covering the grounds and/or Painted Hall). If you wish to join a guided tour, you will need to book this on arrival at the site, when redeeming your tickets. Whilst government restrictions remain in place for social distancing and indoor household mixing, tour numbers will be limited to five visitors plus one guide.
  • Currently, only card or mobile device payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay) are accepted. No cash will be accepted.


  • The Painted Hall Café, King William Undercroft, and Visitor Centre shops will be open from 17th May onwards.
  • The Ice Cream Cart will be available every weekend.
  • Toilets are available in the King William Undercroft and Visitor Centre and are open from 10 AM – 5 PM. They are fully accessible and include baby change facilities.

Audio Guide Languages

Spanish, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese


From 17th May:

  • The Old Royal Naval College is open daily all year round except for 24, 25 & 26 Dec.
  • Grounds: Open daily.
  • Painted Hall, Chapel, Visitor Centre & Painted Hall Café: Open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM.
  • Skittle Alley: Open daily 11:30 AM – 5 PM.


70min approx.

my tickets

  • Your voucher will be emailed to you instantly after the purchase
  • Please display the same along with a valid photo ID at the time of redemption

Ticket Redemption Point

  • Redeem your voucher at The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College
  • Address: King William Walk, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9NN, United Kingdom

Get Directions to the Ticket Redemption Point

Getting There

  • Bus: 129, 177, 180, 188
  • Train: Southeastern, Thameslink
  • Tube: Jubilee
  • DLR: DLR


The ticket is valid for the date and time selected during the booking

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