We head for Turner to see his dramatic depiction of ‘The Battle of Trafalgar’. Watercolours too, including ‘The Mouth of the Humber’ capturing the drama of the sea and moody sky. This exhibition gives a delightful overview of Turner, which includes artists who had influenced him. His last painting ‘The Wreck Buoy’ was included. Turner reworked it many years later and added a double rainbow. Special, too, his tiny sketchbooks, full of close observation and colour.
At the National Maritime Museum we are just in time to catch a free talk about the East India Company charting it’s wealth from trade in the East including spice, cotton, silk, tea and finally opium leading to the Opium Wars with China.
I loved Prince Frederick’s golden barge, the display of figureheads and the many navigational instruments.
We examine a gallery of model ships, investigate the Arctic Convoys, but decide the Explorers gallery and the many other delight s will have to wait for another day.
We have purchased the Big Ticket which includes all the exhibitions, but you do need to have full day to get the most out of it all.
Time now for us to visit the Cutty Sark, rescued for posterity in the 50s. It’s history as the last surviving tea clipper is beautifully illustrated by fake tea chests and interactive screens. Where the journeys and the crew’s life are on display.
Can we possibly include the Queen’s Gallery? We decide to try, but only a small section is open. However many interesting paintings are on display reached by an impressive spiral staircase and this Gallery is free to view!
Again the Royal Observatory looks inviting but just one thing too many today.
We did find time, however, for traditional pie and mash in one of the few places that still serve it in London.
To those who are not so lucky as to get a coach trip with an Arts Club you can get there from Brighton to Waterloo (change at London Bridge) then a bus to Greenwich (about half an hour).