National Maritime Museum

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Based in Greenwich, a short ride by train, bus or river boat from central London, The National Maritime Museum is the world’s largest maritime museum. Mainly free there is normally and additional paid exhibition, currently Turner and the Sea. The Museum is packed with exhibits that bring to life some of the UK’s amazing Maritime heritage. I admired the massive optic and light room from the Tarbat Ness lighthouse which was designed as far back as 1891. Did you know that the original lighthouse was pure white, the red hoops weren’t added until 1915. There was an enjoyable exhibition about explorers: The Americas and the North West Passage, enthralling me with tales of adventure for gold and spices. I marvelled at the opulence of Prince Frederick’s Barge from 1732. Did you know that The Thames wherries were a type of water taxi popular when London Bridge was the only other way to cross the Thames (much like the traghetti serve in Venice now). The design of Prince Frederick’s Barge was based on these simple wherries but by the time the lily had been extensively gilded, so to speak, it bore little resemblance. I was interested to learn that in the quest for greater speed in 1933 aluminium was used in the construction of Miss Britain III. Although the boat lost the International Harmsworth Trophy to America, her design was highly influential in the future design of fast navel torpedo boats and gunboats during World War II. I marvelled that between the first dutch war in 1652 and the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Royal Navy was at war for 71 of those 163 years. I took command of the bridge & fluked a docking with a submarine. There is so much to see & do here its well worth a full day visit if you’re interested in Maritime History.

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