Blog > Cutty Sark in London

November 1, 2013

A little more than 5 miles from Safestay Hostel is an interesting attraction for any history buff.  It is Cutty Sark a British clipper ship built in 1869.  By car you can be there in less than 30 minutes.  If you wish to use public transport the total trip will be less than 45 minutes.  Walk to Elephant and Castle and take the Northern Line Subway towards Barnet. You will disembark at the London Bridge stop.  It will be a short walk to Bank.  At Bank take the DLR (light rail) towards Lewisham.  It will take 19 minutes with 10 stops. From there it is a 2 minute walk to Cutty Sark.

Cutty Sark was one of the last and fastest tea clippers built right before the end of the sailing ship era that would be replaced by the steam engine. When the ship no longer carried tea it began to transport wool from Australia. For 10 years it held a record as the fastest ship to Britain from the Far East.

As more and more transport of commodities was taken over by steamships Cutty Sark was sold to the Portuguese in 1895 and renamed the Ferreira. The clipper would continue as a cargo ship until it was purchased by a retired sea captain in 1922. The new owner Mr. Wilfred Dowman used the clipper as a training ship in Cornwall. In 1938 it became a cadet training ship. In 1954 it was transferred to permanent dry dock in Greenwich for public display.


Cutty Sark is only 1 of 3 ships in London that are part of the Core Collection of the National Historic Ships Register. Unfortunately, Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire in 2007 while undergoing a major conservation effort. The clipper has been recently restored and went on public display again beginning in 2012. The ship was named after a witch named Nannie Dee in Robert Burns 1791 poem Tam o' Shanter.

This attraction is open 7 days a week only closing around the Christmas holidays. Hours of operation are from 10:00 to 17:00 ( 5:00 P.M.). The last admission is at 16:00. If you need more information the phone number is +44 (0) 20 8312 6608.

The ship is part of the National Maritime Museum Complex so a combination ticket is recommended if you are planning on visiting others parts of the family of attractions. A single adult ticket to Cutty Sark alone is 12 British pounds. Reduced prices are available for families, seniors and children. On Mondays for no extra charge a talk relating to the history of the ship is provided.

On board is the Keel Cafe which has a nice offering of desserts and beverages of your choice. Their signature sweet is a chocolate fudge cake. Deli items and hot meals are also prepared on site. There is also a gift shop for those who are interested.