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Visiting Gaia at the Old Royal Naval College

With just a couple of days until the kids return to school and having not had our usual camping trip to the Medieval Festival (actually we haven't really done any days out) we decided to utilise our bank holiday Monday and head into London.

It was our first train ride in a very long time, the carriages were fairly empty, the majority of people had masks on, a few didn't. We were headed to Greenwich as I had booked tickets to see Gaia at the Old Royal Naval College. Gaia is a seven-metre rotating Earth and is situated in the Painted Room, which is known to be London's answer to the Sistine Chapel, it is stunning.

Gaia Earth Luke Jerram Greenwich

The Old Royal Naval College can be easily reached from London Bridge station you can get a train to Greenwich and the DLR to the Cutty Sark. Then it is a very short, sign-posted, walk away.

The installation by artist Luke Jerram is at Greenwich until September 6th, 2020 but is on tour of the UK. You can view it daily from 10-5pm - book online to save money. It cost us £11 per adult and it was free for under 16's - we were given the option to extend our visit to come back for free for a year, which we have done. There was a possibility to see it for free in the evenings but all of those slots have been booked up.

Gaia Luke Jerram Greenwich

The ceiling took nineteen years to paint from the start of the commission to its completion in 1726!

Painted Room Old Royal Naval College

Gaia Luke Jerram Greenwich

We have seen one of Luke Jerram's pieces before, the Museum of the Moon was at the Natural History Museum last year. It is jaw-droppingly huge, a sight not to be missed. You can lay down on covered benches and view the baroque painted ceiling. The exhibit itself was pretty quiet, maybe around 20 people in the large hall, there are also staff around who are very knowledgeable.

Gaia Luke Jerram Greenwich

A man told us all about the chalk walk which is currently taped off to the public.

There is a cafe and gift shop and plenty of outdoor space. We also went to look inside the chapel of St Peter and St Paul, which again is very beautiful. The skittle alley is closed at the moment, this was built in the 1860s by the pensioners to keep them entertained.

Greenwich itself is a nice place to explore, if you go at the weekend there is the market and of course being right by the river Thames you can take boat rides and visit the Cutty Sark. There is also Greenwich Park which has a great children's playground and the Royal Observatory.

We really enjoyed seeing something so spectacular and can safely say that getting on a train felt fine. Greenwich was pretty busy in the parks and streets but the trains were not crowded at all.


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