Just down the road from our studio, we took a private tour of Europe’s largest decoratively painted room, played skittles in the basement and took a trip on a ferris-wheel on the banks of the Thames.
The Royal Naval College, designed by Christopher Wren (with additions from Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh) is a magnificent structure, built as a hospital on the site of much older palaces, where Henry VIII reigned and Elizabeth I was born and held court.
The buildings were still occupied by the Royal Navy until very recently but the whole complex is now open to the public and is home to Trinity College of Music and Greenwich University. Some of the most historically important buildings are kept as tourist attractions.
Our guide took us through the Painted Hall (which took James Thornhill nineteen years to complete) and behind the scenes, to see the spot where Nelson’s body lay. And as light relief, she let us play in the skittle lanes, in a converted morgue, where 19th century sailors bowled cannon balls for fun.
As a further tourist attraction, the grounds also boasted a big-wheel (a mini London Eye) with views across the capital.
The college makes the perfect setting for films; look out for it in countless historical dramas on TV and film.
After the tour we had a slot for two pods in the temporarily installed Greenwich Wheel. Acrophobia meant that one of us bailed and another filled their pod with hysterics. But the pod I was in was serene and provided panoramic views of London.
I loved our night out and have always held a place in my heart for the gorgeous buildings and grounds. So I was delighted when a decade later we got to work with them on a lovely new website: ornc.org