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London has long been a standard part of UK & Scotland tours, but the city is so big it can be easy to miss some of its most appealing areas, like the diverse district of Greenwich. Located in the southeastern part of London, this marine hub has played a vital role in the city's history for centuries and is a tourist favorite.
The appeal of Greenwich is varied. Some people recognize the district as being the location where the prime meridian runs through and where each new year officially begins. However, few people may know exactly what this invisible line runs through, the Royal Observatory. While much of the scientific activity is performed off site, the original building (which dates back to the 17th century) stands today as a popular museum.
The Royal Observatory is home to a museum of astronomical and navigational tools, but also features unique objects like the Shepherd Gate Clock, which was installed on the gate outside in 1852. Though it may seem ordinary, the clock is unusual because it uses a 24 hour analog face. You should also make a point to catch a show at the Peter Harrison Planetarium before you head home.
Although the Royal Observatory may be indicative of Greenwich's natural appeal, the district is still part of the city and there are plenty of other attractions you can check out as well, including the world famous Greenwich Market.
Though it can trace its roots back to the 14th century, today Greenwich Market suits the needs of the modern traveler. The market is open five days a week (closed on Monday and Tuesday), and each day has a different focus, from antiques and collectibles to food and housewares.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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