Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Top Tourist Attractions

Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship. Built on the River Leven, Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development, which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship, the celebrated historic sailing ship which is fastest of its time. Built on the River Leven, Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, she is the world’s sole surviving tea clipper ship and now an award-winning visitor attraction in Greenwich, London. It’s a part of Royal Museums Greenwich and it held the record for fastest journey from England to Australia for 10 years.

Ship Highlights

Step inside the visitor centre, to realize that the light-filled modern structure, allows a visitor to go completely underneath the ship, and see close-up the remarkable metal hull, made to let the ship pass through the water with minimal resistance. Visitors can walk the entire length of the vessel to a display of historic ship's figureheads at the bow.

Experience moving ship

Moving the ship session include:


  • Mizzen Royal- learn how to use the ropes to move the top yard of the Mizzen Mast. A 'yard' on a ship is a horizontal wooden pole that supports the sails. By pulling on ropes placed along the deck, sailors could move the yards and position the sails to make the most of the winds.
  • Capstan — turn the capstan to raise the anchor

A Capstan is a machine onboard ships that help sailors wind ropes and raise or lower heavy objects.

  • Load the cargo

Cutty Sark didn't just carry tea. Anything and everything went into the hold to make the voyage worth it, from candles and coal to bottled beer, toys... and even pianos!

  • Take the helm

With the ship's wheel in your hands and the miles of rigging shivering in the breeze above your head, this is the place where dreams of setting sail come alive. the steering mechanism is one of the many original features preserved on board.


Captain’s Cabin

Explore the captain's cabin along with the nerve centre of the ship, and discover how the crew lived, where they ate and slept. Life onboard Cutty Sark was run to a strict timetable - and with a strict hierarchy among the crew.

Come aboard and see what day-to-day life was like. You can explore the captain's quarters and try out one of the bunk beds where the crew was expected to sleep. Discover the conditions under which sailors were preparing food and eating every day.

The Main deck

Learn the story of one of the most famous and magnificent ships in the world and take in epic views of the London skyline. With the ship's wheel in your hands and the miles of rigging shivering in the breeze above your head, this is the place where dreams of setting sail come alive. Get a taste of life on the ocean waves and learn how to steer 963 tons of Victorian tea clippers through imaginary storms and high seas. The steering mechanism is one of the many original features preserved on board.

The Hull

When you touch the Cutty Sark’s hull, you will be touching a part of history. Walk around the copper hull and understand what made it the fastest ship of its day.

Cutty Sark figurehead

Cutty Sark’s name comes from the poem Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns. It’s an archaic Scottish name for a short nightdress.

Characters of Cutty Sark

Meet the captain, chat with the cook, and even take a tour with Nannie the Figurehead! You never know who you might run into onboard Cutty Sark. Meet colourful characters from Cutty Sark’s past and hear astonishing stories about life at sea in the age of sail.

Cutty Sark audio tour

Use the Wi-Fi to listen to the tour on your phone and follow the audio guide and take a voyage into the past. Listen to the thrilling tales from Cutty Sark's history, hear expert commentary on how and why it was built, stories from the ship's seafaring past, and its place in Greenwich today. Lean back and listen or read the transcript – explore the ship at your own pace and in your own way.

Family adventure

Cutty Sark is a fantastic day out with the kids. Explore the family-friendly interactive displays and get a taste of life at sea. Don’t miss the Cutty Sark Theatre. Make time for the Cutty Sark Theatre where visitors can watch stand-up comedy and musicals. 

Figurehead collection

Discover the largest collection of Merchant Navy ship figureheads in the world. Spot the figurehead versions of important characters from literature, history, and politics. The figureheads are all that remains of the ships they once adorned. The vessels have been lost, wrecked, or broken up so one can only guess who these figureheads might represent.

Enjoy the view

Enjoy stunning views across the River Thames. Lookout at the London skyline, spot the landmarks spread around you and snap that all-important picture with the deck and rigging surrounding you

Rig Climb Experience

Upcoming experience, for the first time since arriving in Greenwich in 1954, visitors to Cutty Sark will be able to climb the famous masts and enjoy views of the Thames and London. Starting with a briefing underneath the ship’s beautiful hull, those braves enough to take on the challenge will step up from the Main Deck and climb up its shrouds, just as hundreds of sailors did during Cutty Sark’s long and fabled career at sea.


Take home the Cutty Sark Pocket Manual or a Cutty Sark in a bottle, as a visual reminder of the spectacular tour. Look out for gunpowder green tea, one of the original teas brought over from China by the Cutty Sark.


The Cutty sark café is located on the lower ground deck of the ship. A Delicious combination of sandwiches with classic British ingredients, freshly baked cakes, cream teas, assorted snacks, and children’s dishes are visitors’ favourites.

The Cutty Sark is a ship worth visiting. Its sheer size and prowess bewilder the eye when you consider it was built over a century ago. A most exclusive place to make lifetime memories.