There are a few places in London that have made me say “wow” and The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College is one of those places. In 2021 I put this spot on my list which I titled Next Up: Hidden Gems in London and I have now visited twice. Mark and I first took the trip down to Greenwich last Summer and toured around the university, including this beautiful space. Then when my mom came for two weeks in May to visit with Lily we took her.
When I first heard it referred to as the Sistine Chapel of the UK I had thought that was some guide book over exaterating but upon visiting, it is not too far from the truth. The 40,000 square feet of painted Baroque walls and ceilings are really something to behold. The main hall has countless benches for you to sit and take in the art but my favorite is the oak daybeds where you can lay on your back and look up so as not to strain your neck. In the photos below you will also see shots of the mirrors, another great way visitors can view the ceiling without killing their necks.
If it looks familaro that might be because it has been the filming location of countless movies and shows, most notably Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).19 Jul 2022 and the acclaimed televisions show The Crown. You can learn more about the movie history in one of my many tours included with admission, 15 GBP at the time of publishing, on their website here. If you have more than a few days in London I would recommend a visit to Maritime Greenwich, all of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a visit to the Painted Hall is a must.